When dreary winter takes his welcome flight,
And day extends his conquests on the night,
And Flora comes with her delightful train
To scatter gems o'er all the verdant plain,
How sweet to wander forth by wood or grove,
Where warblers sing their happy songs of love--
Or by the brook or o'er the flow'ry mead,
Where nature has her richest carpet spread,
Where butterflies display their gaudy wings,
While overhead spring's sweetest warbler sings.
The humming bee her busy task pursues,
Nor stops to gossip nor to ask the news;
By nature taught she makes her work her pleasure,
Then homeward speeds to store her precious treasure.
Or let me wander by the crystal stream,
And on its banks enjoy the poet's dream,
Or realize the joys around me spread,
A world of beauty rising from the dead.
Or if on fancy's wings my thoughts should rove
To youth's bright morn or days of blushing love,
'Twould grieve my heart, for all the happy past
With grief's dark clouds would soon be overcast.
My friends, where are they? some have crossed the wave,
While others slumber in the peaceful grave,
And here alone, far from those scenes remov'd,
I mourn the mem'ry of the early loved.
But hold, fond muse, nor sing this pensive strain,
See life and beauty animate the plain;
For nature smiles, the little lambkins play,
The groves are vocal, everything looks gay.
One song of rapture now fills earth and sky,
Creation's anthem to the Lord most high.
Then, O my soul, take thou thy glorious part,
Where reason leads, O let me give my heart.
But nature's beauties hasten to decay,
And earth's bright scenes shall soon have passed away.
But thou, my soul, with righteousness arrayed,
Shall never wither and canst never fade;
For in the blissful paradise above,
Where all is peace and everlasting love,
Thou, after death to glory shalt ascend,
And feast on pleasures which shall never end.