THE SMOKER'S REVERIE.
I'm sitting at dusk 'neath the old beechen tree,
With its leaves by the autumn made ripe;
While they cling to the stems like old age unto life,
I dream of the days when I'll rest from this strife,
And in peace smoke my brierwood pipe.
O my brierwood pipe!--of bright fancy the twin,
What a medley of forms you create;
Every puff of white smoke seems a vision as fair
As the poet's bright dream, and like dreams fades in air,
While the dreamer dreams on of his fate.
The fleecy white clouds that now float in the sky,
Form the visions I love most to see;
Fairy shapes that I saw in my boyhood's first dreams
Seem to beckon me on, while beyond them there gleams
A bright future, in waiting for me.
O my brierwood pipe! I ne'er loved thee as now,
As that fair form and face steal above;
See, she beckons me on to where roses are spread,
And she points to my fancy the bright land ahead,
Where the winds whisper nothing but love.
Oh, answer, my pipe, shall my dream be as fair
When it changes to dreams of the past?
When autumn's chill winds make this leaf look as sere
As the leaves on the beech-tree that shelters me here,
Will the tree's _heart_ be chilled by the blast?
While musing, around me has gathered a heap
Of the leaflets, all dying and dead;
And I see in my reverie plainly revealed
The slope of life's hill, in my boyhood concealed
By the forms that fair fancy had bred.
While I sit on the banks of the beautiful stream,
Picking roses that bloom by its side,
I know that the shallop will certainly come,
When the roses are withered, to carry me home,
And that life will go out with the tide.
O my brierwood pipe! may the heart be as light
When memory supplanteth the dream;
When the sun has gone down may the sunbeam remain,
And life's roses, though dead, all their fragrance retain,
Till they catch at Eternity's gleam.
Next: A BRIEF PUFF OF SMOKE.