Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




Tho’ Time may steal the roseate blush
    On which I now so fondly gaze,
Its sternest power can never crush
    The love which lit my youthful days. [Page 107]

Your cheek may blanch, your eye grow dim,
    Your clustering locks with sorrow fade,
But still you’ll be as dear to him
    Who on your breast in Boyhood laid.

Who, o’er you bent whole happy hours,
    Or round your form enraptured clung,
While Love and Hope transformed to flowers
    The sharpest thorns that near him sprung.

Who, in his childish heart would cherish
    Bright thoughts that kindled at your name,
Who’d rather Life and Peace should perish,
    Than try to quench the glowing flame.

Who, when the warm and genial tide
    Of youthful blood, flowed fresh and free,
Was only happy by your side,
    Was never blest till loved by thee.

Time may steal on, and Age advance,
    Affection’s rays will brighter beam,
I’ll love your eye’s mild mellow’d glance,
    As now I love its sparkling gleam.

And though the hand of Age may press
    Its furrows on your gentle brow,
In meek and faded loveliness
    ’Twill be as dear as it is now. [Page 108]

The glow of Mind, the Spirit’s light,
    Which Time or Age can never take,
Will still shine on, undimmed and bright,
    And many a holy rapture wake.

And Mem’ry will recall the hours
    When side by side we sought the grove,
And there in Nature’s beauteous bowers,
    Poured forth our vows of mutual love.

While to my bounding heart I held
    All that to that fond heart was dear,
And your unsullied bosom swelled
    With Love, unchecked by doubt or fear.

And thus, while Mem’ry’s power shall last,
    Time ne’er can break Love’s flowery chain
That links the present with the past,
    And brings youth’s pleasures back again.
1827. [Page 109]