White jasmine stretches far and wide,
Along the grey wall's southern side
Its graceful branches wreathe;
And winds of summer sweet and low,
Among its verdure and its snow,
Their tender music breathe.
The garden beds that once were gay
And fragrant all the summer day,
Are empty and forlorn;
The hungry bees afar have flown,
The gravel walks are weed-o'ergrown,
The trellis rose is torn.
Within the house each empty room
Is shut in silent, rayless gloom,
With cheerless hearthstone cold;
No pictures smile upon the wall,
No single trace is left of all
We cherished so of old.
But in the southern sunshine bright,
And by the jasmine, clad in white,
A youthful maiden stands,
With lips that speak of sad unrest;
A hunch of daisies on her breast,
And jasmine in her hands.
With farewell looks of aching love,
Her brown eyes wander round, above,
It is a sacred spot;
The home of childish grief and mirth,
The home whence dearest dead went forth
To share earths common lot.
Ah, maiden! as the jasmine snow
Doth vanish, so the years that go
Will take this grief away;
Will give thee older woes as sure,
As strong, and deep if not so pure
As this of thine to-day.
Yet let the daisies on thy breast
Teach thee that life's securest rest
In humble paths doth lie;
And let the jasmine in thine hand
Whisper of fairer blossoms fanned
By sweetest airs on high.
Fear not to muse when far away,
How summer sunshine gilds each day
These lonely garden bowers;
How sweetly yet the thrushes call,
How climb about the gray old wall
Thine own loved jasmine flowers.
So may the memory of this home,
Thy first and dearest, ever come
With healing strength to thee;
To mind thee, by its vanished grace,
Of one prepared abiding-place,
From sound of farewell free!