Oh, ever thus, from childhood's hour, I 've seen my fondest hopes decay; I never loved a tree or flower But 't was the first to fade away. I never nurs'd a dear gazelle, To glad me with its soft black eye, But when it came to know me well And love me, it was sure to die.
Alas! how light a cause may move Dissension between hearts that love! Hearts that the world in vain had tried, And sorrow but more closely tied; That stood the storm when waves were rough, Yet in a sunny hour fall off, Like ships that have gone down at sea When heaven was all tranquillity.
Thus, when the lamp that lighted The traveller at first goes out, He feels awhile benighted, And looks around in fear and doubt. But soon, the prospect clearing, By cloudless starlight on he treads, And thinks no lamp so cheering As that light which Heaven sheds.