Recollections by Adelaide Anne Procter

As strangers, you and I are here;
We both as aliens stand,
Where once, in years gone by, I dwelt
No stranger in the land.
Then while you gaze on park and stream,
Let me remain apart,
And listen to the awakened sound
Of voices in my heart.

Here, where upon the velvet lawn
The cedar spreads its shade,
And by the flower-beds all around,
Bright roses bloom and fade;
Shrill merry childish laughter rings,
And baby voices sweet,
And by me, on the path, I hear
The tread of little feet.

Down the dark avenue of limes,
Whose perfume loads the air,
Whose boughs are rustling overhead,
(For the west wind is there,)
I hear the sound of earnest talk,
Warnings and counsels wise,
And the quick questioning that brought
Such gentle calm replies.

Still the light bridge hangs o’er the lake,
Where broad-leaved lilies lie,
And the cool water shows again
The cloud that moves on high;–
And one voice speaks, in tones I thought
The past for ever kept;
But now I know, deep in my heart
Its echoes only slept.

I hear, within the shady porch,
Once more, the measured sound
Of the old ballads that were read,
While we sat listening round;
The starry passion-flower still
Up the green trellice climbs;
The tendrils waving seem to keep
The cadence of the rhymes.

I might have striven, and striven in vain,
Such visions to recall,
Well known and yet forgotten; now
I see, I hear, them all!
The Present pales before the Past,
Who comes with angel wings;
As in a dream I stand, amidst
Strange yet familiar things!

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Enough; so let us go, mine eyes
Are blinded by their tears;
A voice speaks to my soul to-day
Of long forgotten years.
And yet the vision in my heart,
In a few hours more,
Will fade into the silent past,
Silently as before.

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