And Doth Not a Meeting Like This

Melody - ???

Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, vol. 9

And doth not a meeting like this make amends
For all the long years I've been wandering away
To see thus around me my youth's early friends,
As smiling and kind as in that happy day?
Though haply o'er some of your brows, as o'er mine,
The snow - fall of time may be stealing - what then?
Like Alps in the sunset, thus lighted by wine,
We'll wear the gay tinge of youth's roses again.

2. What soften'd remembrances come o'er the heart,
In gazing on those we've been lost to so long!
The sorrows, the joys, of which once they were part,
Still round them, like visions of yesterday, throng.
As letters some hand hath invisibly traced,
When held to the flame, will steal out on the sight,
So many a feeling, that long seem'd effaced,
The warmth of a meeting like this brings to the light.

3. And thus, as in memory's bark we shall glide,
To visit the scenes of your boyhood anew,
Though oft we may see, looking down on the tide,
The wreck of full many a hope shining through;
Yet still, as in fancy we point to the flowers,
That once made a garden of all the gay shore,
Deceived for a moment, we'll think them still ours,
And breathe the fresh air of life's morning once more.*

4. So brief our existence, a glimpse, at the most,
Is all we can have of the few we hold dear;
And oft even joy is unheeded and lost,
For want of some heart, that could echo it, near.
Ah, well may we hope, when this short life is gone,
To meet in some world of more permanent bliss,
For a smile, or a grasp of the hand, hastening on,
Is all we enjoy of each other in this.**

5. But, come, the more rare such delights to the heart,
The more we should welcome and bless them the more;
They're ours, when we meet - they are lost when we part,
Like birds that bring Summer, and fly when 'tis o'er.
Thus circling the cup, hand in hand, ere we drink,
Let Sympathy pledge us, through pleasure, through pain,
That, fast as a feeling but touches one link,
Her magic shall send it direct through the chain.

* Jours charmants, quand je songe â vos heureaux instants,
Je pense rementer le fleuve de mes ans;
Et mon cour enchante, sur sa rive flourie,
Respire condor l'air pur du matin de la vie.

** The same thought has been happily expressed by my friend, Mr. Washington Irving, in his Braceridge Hall, vol. i., p. 213. The sincere pleasure which I feel in calling this gentleman my friend is much enhanced by the reflection, that he is too good an American to have admitted me so readily to such a distinction, if he had not known that my feelings towards the great and free country that gave him birth have been long such as every real lover of liberty and happiness of the human race must entertain.