Archive for January 23rd, 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015

Lines by Margaret Miller Davidson

Written after she herself began to fear that her disease was past remedy.

I once thought life was beautiful,
I once thought life was fair,
Nor deem’d that all its light could fade
And leave but darkness there.

But now I know it could not last —
The fairy dream has fled!
Though thirteen summers scarce have past
Above this youthful head.

Yes, life — ’twas all a dream — but now
I see thee as thou art;
I see how slight a thing can shade
The sunshine of the heart.

I see that all thy brightest hours,
Unmark’d, have pass’d away;
And now I feel how sweet they were,
I cannot bid them stay.

In childish love or childish play
My happiest hours were spent,
While scarce my infant tongue could say
What joy or pleasure meant.

And now, when my young heart looks up,
Life’s gayest smiles to meet;
Now, when in youth her brightest charms
Would seem so doubly sweet;

Now fade the dreams which bound my soul
As with the chains of truth!
Oh that those dreams had stay’d awhile,
To vanish with my youth!

Oh! once did hope look sweetly down,
To check each rising sigh;
But disappointment’s iron frown
Has dimm’d her sparkling eye.

And once I loved a brother too,
Our youngest and our best,
But death’s unerring arrow sped,
And laid him down to rest.

But now I know those hours of peace
Were never form’d to last;
That those fair days of guileless joy
Are past — for ever past!

January, 1837.

From: Irving, Washington and Davidson, Margaret Miller, Poetical Remains and Biography of the Late Margaret Miller Davidson, 1850, Clark, Austin & Co.: New York, pp. 203-204.

Date: 1837

By: Margaret Miller Davidson (1823-1838)