Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/The linden trees
THE LINDEN TREES.
(Suggested by Schiller’s “Walk under the Linden Trees.”)
Nature hath endless aspects—to the young
She doth her beauties and her glories all unfold,
A magic light rests upon land and sea,
And all her brooks are silver, all her sunshine gold.
But to the old that light falls cold and dead,
’Tis ever winter, and the wind blows cold and chill:
For just as earth is coloured by the sky,
So rests the colour of the mind on vale and hill.
Behold those Linden Trees, wrapt in the glow
Of crimsoned-burning fire, flooding the sunset sky;
From plain to zenith all is mantling gold,
Reflected in the river, gliding, sliding by.
Thither, at eve, two youthful lovers came,
To meet their loves, while overhead the murm’ring bees
Drowned in soft music every loving word,
And every uttered vow, beneath the Linden Trees.
I only know they parted ; one pressing close
The dearest treasure youth or age can ever know—
Life’s comforter; the other, silent and alone,
Took his sad weary way with faltering steps and slow.
And, ah! in future years, when memory clings
To by-gone summer hours, and in fond fancy sees
That hour, that golden eve, that gliding stream,
Those meetings underneath the scented Linden Trees,
For one, the scene will ever gilded be,
Folded in sunset and the music of the bees,
And he will say, while pressing closer still,
“Dear life, dear love, those happy, happy Linden Trees.”
The other, by his sad and lonely hearth,
Will sigh, “Those dark funereal Linden Trees,
The death of all my hopes, how dark and cold!
I seem to see them tossing in the winter breeze.”
And yet they change not; summer comes and goes,
And o’er the Linden Trees the sunset lingers still,
Still lovers whisper in the leafy shade;
Nature is changeless—man alone is fickle still!