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Joseph Rodman Drake

(1795-1820 / United States)

Lines Written On Leaving New Rochelle


WHENE'ER thy wandering footstep bends
Its pathway to the Hermit tree,
Among its cordial band of friends,
Sweet Mary! wilt thou number me?

Though all too few the hours have roll'd
That saw the stranger linger here,
In memory's volume let them hold
One little spot to friendship dear.

I oft have thought how sweet 'twould be
To steal the bird of Eden's art;
And leave behind a trace of me
On every kind and friendly heart,

And like the breeze in fragrance rolled,
To gather as I wander by,
From every soul of kindred mould,
Some touch of cordial sympathy.

'Tis the best charm in life's dull dream,
To feel that yet there linger here
Bright eyes that look with fond esteem,
And feeling hearts that hold me dear.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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