With pen in hand, I shall contrast,
The present moments with the past
And mark difference, not by grains,
But weighed by feelings, joys and pains.
Calm, tranquil—far from fashion’s gaze,
Passed all my earliest, happy days
Sweetly flew the golden hours,
In St. Mary’s woodland bowers
Or my father’s simple hall,
Oped to whomsoe’er might call
Pains or cares we seldom knew
All the hours so peaceful flew
Concerts sweet we oft enjoyed,
Books our leisure time employed
Friends on every side appeared
From whose minds no ill I feared
If by chance, one gave me pain
The wish to wound me not again
Quick expressed in accents kind
Cast a joy throughout my mind
That, to have been a moment pained,
Seemed like bliss but just attained.
Whene’er in fault, to be reproved,
With gratitude my heart was moved,
So mild and gentle were their words
It seemed as soft as song of birds
For well I knew, that each behest,
Was warmed by love—convincing test.
                 Thus passed the morning of my days,
My only wish, to gain the praise
Of friends I loved, and neighbours kind,
And keep a calm and heavenly mind.
My efforts, kindly were received,
Nor grieved, nor was myself aggrieved.
But ah! how changed is every scene,
Our little hamlet, and the green,
The long rich green, where warriors played,
And often, breezy elm-wood shade.
How changed, since full of strife and fear,
The world hath sent its votaries here.
The tree cut down—the cot removed,
The cot the simple Indian loved,
The busy strife of young and old
To gain one sordid bit of gold
By trade’s o’er done plethoric moil,
And lawsuits, meetings, courts and toil.
Adieu, to days of homebred ease,
When many a rural care could please,
We trim our sail anew, to steer
By shoals we never knew were here,
And with the star flag, raised on high
Discover a new dominion nigh,
And half in joy, half in fear,
Welcome the proud Republic here.