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a web of many textures

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Rippling, rippling on memory's shore,
Comes the sound of waters evermore, —
Comes in the dreams of quiet night,
Comes in the day's effulgent light,
Comes with the thoughts of years bygone,
Thrilling my heart with its monotone, —
Thrilling my heart with emotions fond,
As I think of the dear old North Mill-Pond.
There are lakes which glow 'neath warmer skies,
There are waves which shine in grander guise,
There are mightier seas and loftier streams
Than this meandering through my dreams;
But none with me have a stronger claim
Than the humble one with its humble name,
That has drawn my muse from its flight beyond,
To bathe its wings in the North Mill-Pond.
I 've passed far on life's devious track, —
Onward, still onward, but, looking back,
O'er a weary landscape of cares and tears,
A boy by a silvery stream appears,
Who smiles as he stands in the sun 's bright ray
As I smiled in glad boyhood's day,
Ere the bitter lesson of life I conned,
And left the side of the North Mill-Pond.


Page 286
O, blessed alchemy of youth,
That holdest the mirror up to truth,
Bnd all that makes the young heart blest
Is on the polished plate impressed;
Each scene by young affection traced
Is vivid still and undefaced,
Drawing me back with a loving bond
Again to the bank of the North Mill-Pond.
The grave-yard lies o'er the water blue,
The old grave-yard which my boyhood knew;
The white stones gleam by the hillock green,
And nameless mounds strew the space between;
And sweetly they rest in their dreamless sleep
Whom the graves in their motherly bosoms keep,
Recalled and held in affection fond
As they rest by the side of the North Mill-Pond.
'T was beautiful, when the eve was still,
To list to the drone of the distant mill,
As it rose and fell on the summer air,
In the dewy darkness resting there;
Its tones were words to my youthful ear,
My heart was soothed with their better cheer,
And was borne away to scenes beyond
The margin green of the North Mill-Pond.
And when in the north the lightning shone
From out the gathering tempest's throne,
In the hush of the winds ere they woke from rest,
To foam o'er the water's placid breast,
I loved to stand mid the shadows dark,
The muttering thunder's voice to hark,
And my soul to its music did respond,
As I sat by the side of the North Mill-Pond.
'T is here again with its early note,
Again on its beauteous tide I float;
I bathe once more in its crystal bright,
And sport with the skaters in rapid flight;
And fish for minnows beneath its waves
From the broad flat stone which the water laves; —
All, all are here in remembrance fond,
And my heart is glad for the North Mill-Pond.


Page 287
Thus rippling, rippling on memory's shore,
Comes the sound of waters evermore!
O, sounds of delight, my spirit hears
And treasures the words of those distant years, —
Ere care had deadened or sorrow pressed,
To ruffle my buoyant bosom's rest, —
When hope was bright nor knew despond,
By the smiling and beautiful North Mill-Pond.