VERSES WRITTEN AT THE END OF MY ALBUM.With tardy hand I close thy varied page,
BY CATHERINE S. A. HALCOMBE
Beloved companion of my earlier hours.
Like you I've suffered from the hand of age ;
Youth's hues, and freshness are no longer ours ;
We have been tried, —but not beyond our powers.
Betimes I knew the countless ills of eld ;
Ere others taste of life, its cup I drained :
By sorrow saddened, I in thee beheld,
The only solace which this world contained ;
I sought thee sorrowing, — and my peace regained.
For thy pure bosom then a refuge gave,
Aggrieved affection, disappointed truth,
That harassed long still lingered near the grave,
Where lay the feelings of untainted youth,
Nipp'd by the world's cold hand, but wail'd by me in sooth.
Thou didst receive each weak complaint and cry,
That sorrow loves in friendship's ear to pour ;
Betrayed no trust ; consoled, though silently,
Till care's dark form a brighter aspect wore,
And swift-winged moments stayed not to deplore.
Thou art the treasury of buried years,
And thoughts still live in thee by time unchanged ;
And many a name upon thy page appears,
Still true to friendship, tho' alas ! estranged,
And those seem near who long have exiles ranged.
And loved ones dwell who never more shall know,
The changing scenes of human joy or pain ;
And words of tenderness exist, tho' low
The heart that framed them lies in death's domain,
The hand which traced may ne'er transcribe again.
With thee, dear volume, many a pleasure ends :
The latest leaf is filled,— yet ah ! in thee
I hold communion with departed friends ;
Converse with those I never more may see,
And feel not desolate possessed of thee.