Poets of John Company/The Return from India

The Return from India.

I sit beside my lonely hearth.
Long years of toil and exile past.
My life is in its twilight path,
Still I have reached my home at last;
But other hands now cull its flowers,
But other footsteps tread its floor,
That clock still chimes the silver hours,
But those who heard it hear no more.

I am a stranger in my hall,
The hearts which made it glad are cold.
Young voices answer to my call,
But not the tones I loved of old;
With happy looks they bid me tell
Some story of the days gone by.
Or speak of those I loved so well,
I can but answer with a sigh.

With smiles they urge me to recall
The memory of their childhood's prime,
For they were happy children all
When last I left my native clime;
But as they speak some cherished trait
Arises with each look and tone,
Of those whose love has past away,
Of those who are for ever gone.

I wander on the breezy hill,
By hazel copse, in dingle green,
I pause beside the gushing rill,
When summer twilight sings serene;
Each well-remembered scene is there
Fresh as when first it met my sight,
But where are all the feelings, where.
Which made it still more dear than bright?

The harvest moon is rising now
O'er glorious fields of ripened grain.
And on the breeze that cools my brow
The bells of many a harvest wain
Come soft and sweet; but sweeter yet
Yon spire on which the moonshine glows.
That tells me where I shall forget
Life's toils and hopes in death's repose.