WHY, on the vanished look, the by-past tone,
Loves the fond heart, devotedly to dwell?
Why, reckless of that now which is its own,
Of hours that were, delights it still to tell?
Why, for her pillaged nestling mourns the dove,
With all her living loves, still all unblest?
Why dotes the fond, bereaved mother more,
On her dead infant, than on all the rest?
Why is it, that around the loved and lost,
Her most enchanting radiance, fancy throws,
While all the past is robed in richer green,
And fresher fragrance breathes, from every rose?
Mysterious Sympathy! thy secret source,
Thy deep, embosomed springs, we cannot tell,
Nor scan thy subtle, undetected laws,
Though each effect, we feel and know so well.
'Tis thine, the withered floweret, most to prize,
To mourn the music flown, the odour shed;
And, in the hallowed tomb of buried love,
To twine life's best affections, round the dead.