Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 7/Found twenty years after

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It may be after years have passed away,
’Mid faded relics of a time gone by,
These lines, in some far-off and distant day,
May chance to fall beneath your careless eye!


If then the hand that penn’d them long ago
Lies nerveless in the grave,—if then the heart
From whence this stream of fancy once could flow
Is cold in death!—it may be you will start,


When dwelling in the changes time has seen,
’Mid hopes deluded, ’mid accomplished fears,
When naught is left of all that once has been,
Save the pale memories of happier years!


If at that hour a shade of sorrow creeps
O’er your poor spirit—weary on its way!
If one who could have cheer’d for ever sleeps—
Lean on the love of a forgotten day!


May be, rank grass will choke a rotting grave,
Where cruel rains beat down, where winds moan past—
Yet feel that love,—that life you scorn’d to save
Was true to death,—was faithful to the last!

Gilbert à Beckett.