Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




Deserted nest, that on the leafless tree,
    Waves to and fro with every dreary blast,
With none to shelter, none to care for thee,
    Thy day of pride and cheerfulness is past.

Thy tiny walls are falling to decay,
    Thy cell is tenantless and tuneless now,
The winter winds have rent the leaves away,
    And left thee hanging on the naked bough.

But yet, deserted nest, there is a spell
    E’en in thy loneliness, to touch the heart,
For holy things within thee once did dwell,
    The type of joys departed now thou art. [Page 161]

With what assiduous care thy framers wrought,
    With what delight they viewed the structure rise,
And how, as each some tiny rafter brought,
    Pleasure and hope would sparkle in their eyes.

Ah! who shall tell when all the work was done,
    The rapt’rous pleasure that their labors crown’d,
The blissful moments Nature for them won,
    And bade them celebrate with joyous sound.

A Father’s pride—a Mother’s anxious care,
    Her flutter’d spirits, and his gentlest tone,
All, all, that wedded hearts so fondly share,
    To thee deserted nest, were surely known.

Then though thy walls be rent, and cold thy cell,
    And thoughtless crowds may hourly pass thee by,
Where love, and truth, and tenderness did dwell,
    There’s still attraction for the Poet’s eye. [Page 162]