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Poem by Bessie Rayner Parkes

At First

IS there anything--
Nightingales that sing--
Violets in the spring--
As at first?

Sun and moon arise,
But our accustomed eyes
Have grown more coldly wise
Than at first!

All the woods are green,
And yet I think the scene
Is not as it hath been--
At the first!

Where sight or thought can range,
Something just a little strange,
Ah! so little! yet a change
From the first!

My Friends! all you that hear!
Let me whisper in your ear,
Do you love all you held dear
At the first?

Have you come to hold as nought
What you blindly, fondly thought
By God's special blessing brought
At the first?

Just as, being dead of pain,
It were awfully in vain
To bid love, even, live again
As at first!

Nay; even could we choose,
Would we seek the hopes we lose--
Or the cheating show refuse
From the first?

Ah! my heart! it may not be;--
Yet I often dream I see
All the treasures dear to me
Safely nursed,

(All so bitterly deplored,)--
With their early light restored,
In the keeping of the Lord
--As at first!

Bessie Rayner Parkes

Bessie Rayner Parkes's other poems:
  1. On a Group of Justice and Charity
  2. The Little Bird
  3. Up the River
  4. The Old Chateau
  5. The Roman Cities of the Rhone

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Sidney Lanier At First ("My crippled sense fares bowТd along")

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