Ye wavering shapes, again ye do enfold me,
As erst upon my troubled sight ye stole;
Shall I this time attempt to clasp, to hold ye?
Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul?
Ye press around! Come then, your captive hold me,
As upward from the vapoury mist ye roll;
Within my breast youth’s throbbing pulse is bounding,
Fann’d by the magic breath your march surrounding.
Shades fondly loved appear, your train attending,
And visions fair of many a blissful day;
First-love and friendship their fond accents blending.
Like to some ancient, half-expiring lay;
Sorrow revives, her wail of anguish sending
Back ^’er life’s devious labyrinthine way.
And names the dear ones, they whom Fate bereaving
Of life’s fair hours, left me behind them grieving.
They hear me not my later cadence singing,
The souls to whom my earlier lays I sang;
Dispersed the throng, their severed flight now winging;
Mute are the voices that responsive rang.
For stranger crowds the Orphean lyre now stringing.
E’en their applause is to my heart a pang;
Of old who listened to my song, glad hearted.
If yet they live, now wander widely parted.
A yearning long unfelt, each impulse swaying.
To yon calm spirit-spirit-realm uplifts my soul;
In faltering cadence, as when Zephyr playing.
Fans the aeolian harp, my numbers roll;
Tear follows tear, my steadfast heart obeying
The tender impulse, loses its control;
What I possess as from afar I see;
Those I have lost become realities to me.