The traveller tells how, in that ancient clime
Whose mystic monuments and ruins hoar
Still struggle with the antiquary's lore,
To guard the secrets of a by-gone time,
He saw, uprising from the desert bare,
Like a white ghost, a city of the dead,
With palaces and temples wondrous fair,
Where moon-horn'd Isis once was worshipped.
But silence, like a pall, did all enfold,
And the inhabitants were turn'd to stone --
Yea, stone the very heart of every one!
Once to a rich man I this tale re-told.
"Stone hearts! A traveller's myth!" -- he turn'd aside,
As Hunger begg'd, pale-featured and wild-eyed.
Man lives alone; star-like, each soul
In its own orbit circles ever;
Myriads may by or round it roll --
The ways may meet, but mingle never.
Self-pois'd, each soul its course pursues
In light or dark, companionless:
Drop into drop may blend the dews --
The spirit's law is loneliness.
If seemingly two souls unite,
'Tis but as joins yon silent mere
The stream that through it, flashing bright,
Carries its waters swift and clear.
The fringes of the rushing tide
May on the lake's calm bosom sleep --
Its hidden spirit doth abide
Apart, still bearing toward the deep.
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When these dead leaves were green, love,
November's skies were blue,
And summer came with lips aflame,
The gentle spring to woo;
And to us, wandering hand in hand,
Life was a fairy scene,
That golden morning in the woods
When these dead leaves were green!
How dream-like now that dewy morn,
Sweet with the wattle's flowers,
When love, love, love was all our theme,
And youth and hope were ours!
Two happier hearts in all the land
There were not then, I ween,
Than those young lovers' -- yours and mine --
When these dead leaves were green.
How gaily did you pluck these leaves
From the acacia's bough,
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