My gentle sister, if the love,
My bosom bears for thee,
Were poured, like running waters, out,
'Twould be a surging sea.
But fullest streams, are ever those,
Most silently which run,
And the deep earth has deeper founts,
Than ever see the sun.
My gentle sister, could the thoughts,
That throng my heart, of thee,
Be coined in ducats, what a shower,
Of minted gold, 'twould be
But richest ores, lie farthest down,
And, ripening in the mine,
Sleep gold and jewels, costlier far
Than all, on earth, that shine.
Then, gentle sister, think not hard,
Nor count it, loss of love,
That ne'er for thee, in idle hours,
One idle rhyme I've wove;
That fitful harp, whose sleeping strings,
The wild wind, wakes at will,
The soul of music harbours yet,
Though all its strings are still.
Then, sister dearest, with the year,
That newly dawns to-day,
To light thee on, in gentleness,
Thy pure and peaceful way;
Take deeply, warmly, from the heart,
The silent prayer of love--
God's blessing be thy portion here,
His blessedness, above!