Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Aug 29, 1809 - Oct 7, 1894


From A Bachelor's Private Journal

by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sweet Mary, I have never breathed
The love it were in vain to name;
Though round my heart a serpent wreathed,
I smiled, or strove to smile, the same.

Once more the pulse of Nature glows
With faster throb and fresher fire,
While music round her pathway flows
Like echoes from a hidden lyre.

And is there none with me to share
The glories of the earth and sky?
The eagle through the pathless air
Is followed by one burning eye.

Ah no! the cradled flowers may wake,
Again may flow the frozen sea,
From every cloud a star may break, --
There comes no second Spring to me.

Go, -- ere the painted toys of youth
Are crushed beneath the tread of years,
Ere visions have been chilled to truth,
And hopes are washed away in tears.

Go, -- for I will not bid thee weep, --
Too soon my sorrows will be thine,
And evening's troubled air shall sweep
The incense from the broken shrine.

If Heaven can hear the dying tone
Of chords that soon will cease to thrill,
The prayer that Heaven has heard alone,
May bless thee when those chords are still.


Copyright 1861
Boston: Ticknor And Fields