The dying sycamores
|←To ----, in obscurity||The dying sycamores by
from Poems (1848)
|Lines on an incident observed from the deck of a steamboat on the Mississippi river→|
A beauty like young womanhood's
Upon the green earth lies,
And June's sweet smile hath waked again
All summer's harmonies.
The insects hum their dreamy song,
The trees their honors wear,
And languid with its perfume spoils
Sighs the voluptuous air.
A gorgeous wealth of leaf and bloom
Enchants the dazzled sight;
And over earth and sky there smiles
A Presence of delight.
From yon sad dying Sycamores,
Alone a shadow falls, --
As from the ghastly form of Death,
In Egypt's banquet-halls.
Against the soft blue sky they stand,
Their naked limbs outspread,
And to the throbbing life around,
They murmur of the dead.
Spring, with her soft and odorous breath,
Hath sighed o'er them in vain,
Nor sun, nor dew, nor summer shower,
Awakes their bloom again.
Oh stately monarchs of the wood,
What blight hath o'er ye passed?
What kanker wastes your noble hearts?
What spell is on ye cast?
I watch ye where a thousand forms
With life and beauty glow,
Till half I deem that on ye lies
Some weight of human woe.
Sad emblems are ye of those hearts
In this fair world of ours,
Who live unloving and unloved,
Oh dying Sycamores.
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.