The last word from some dear departing friend,
So leave as keepsake to these chapel-walls,
That hitherto so kindly sheltered us,
Your song whereby they may remember you.
[He henceforth speaks with a deep inspiration, which, ever rising, culminates in his last word :]
Here it will linger, spirit of this place,
Wandering and whispering through its alley-ways,
A melody, as when the vernal breeze
Plays 'mid the branches of the new-leaved trees,
As when Æolian harps, suspended there.
Reecho from the Westwind's sighing air.
Then oft some idle passer-by, in wonder
About these notes, will shake his head and ponder;
Then oft some tender maiden, when she hears
These whisper-sounds, will feel some pearly tears
Well from her silken lashes—till one day
Upon his life's uncertain, checkered way,
A swain will seat him there, a minstrel-bard.
Scarce knowing what should here his feet retard.
His lyre, his only friend, his only wealth,
Rests in his hand; then floats, as if by stealth,
Our song around him. See! he starts! he lists!
His spirit pierces through the secret's mists,
His hearing, deaf to wordly lore and noise.
But tutored well to Nature's inward voice.
Has caught our song; e'en then on fluttering wing
It trembles o'er his lyre from string to string;