Sweet Hope, so oft my childhood's friend,
I will believe thee still,
For thou canst joy with sorrow blend,
Where grief alone would kill.
When disappointments wrung my heart,
Ill brook'd in tender years,
Thou, like a sun, perform'dst thy part,
And dried my infant tears.
When late I wore the bloom of health,
And love had bound me fast,
My buoyant heart would sigh by stealth
For fear it might not last.
My sickness came, my bloom decay'd,
But Philip still was by;
And thou, sweet Hope, so kindly said,
'He'll weep if thou should'st die.'
Thou told'st me too, that genial Spring
Would bring me health again;
I feel its power, but cannot sing
Its glories yet for pain.
But thou canst still my heart inspire,
And Heaven can strength renew;
I feel thy presence, holy fire!
My Philip will be true.
* * * * *
All eyes were turn'd, all hearts with pity glow'd,
The maid stood trembling, and the lover bow'd
As rose around them, while she dried her tears,
'Long life to Rosamond, and happy years!'
Scarce had the voices ceased, when forth there came
Another candidate for village fame:
By gratitude to Heaven, by honest pride,
Impell'd to rise and cast his doubts aside,
A sturdy yeoman, button'd to the throat,
Faced the whole ring, and shook his leathern coat.
'I have a tale of private life to tell,
''Tis all of self and home, I know it well;
'In love and honour's cause I would be strong,
'Mine is a father's tale, perhaps too long,
'For fathers, when a duteous child's the theme,
'Can talk a summer's sun down, and then dream
'Of retrospective joys with hearts that glow
'With feelings such as parents only know.'