A Southern Refrain

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Near the lake where droop'd the willow,
       Long time ago!
Where the rock threw back the bellow,
       Brighter than snow;
Dwelt a maid, beloved and cherish'd,
       By high and low;
But, with autumn's leaf she perish'd,
       Long time ago!

Rock and tree and flowing water,
       Long time ago!
Bee and bird and blossom taught her
       Love's spell to know!
While to my fond words she listen'd,
       Murmuring low,
Tenderly her dove-eyes glisten'd
       Long time ago!

Mingled were our hearts for ever!
       Long time ago!
Can I now forget her?—Never!—
       No, lost one, no!
To her grave these tears are given,
       Ever to flow;
She's the star I miss'd from heaven,
       Long time ago!