Oh! Life is like the summer rill, where weary daylight dies;
We long for morn to rise again, and blush along the skies:
For dull and dark that stream appears, whose waters in the day,
All glad, in conscious sunniness, went dancing on their way.
But when the glorious sun hath 'woke, and look'd upon the earth,
And over hill and dale there float the sounds of human mirth;
We sigh to see day hath not brought its perfect light to all,
For with the sunshine on those waves, the silent shadows fall.
Oh! like that changeful summer rill our years go gliding by,
Now bright with joy, now dark with tears, before youth's eager eye.
And thus we vainly pant for all the rich and golden glow,
Which young Hope, like an early sun, upon its course can throw,
Soon o'er our half illumined hearts the stealing shadows come,
And every thought that 'woke in light receives its share of gloom;
And we weep while joys and sorrows both are fading from our view,
To find, wherever sunbeams fall, the shadow cometh too.