Joseph Rodman Drake

Lines Written on Leaving New Rochelle

Whene’er thy wandering footstep bends
   Its pathway to the Hermit tree,
Among its cordial band of friends,
   Sweet Mary! wilt thou number me?

Though all too few the hours have roll’d
   That saw the stranger linger here,
In memory’s volume let them hold
   One little spot to friendship dear.

I oft have thought how sweet ’twould be
   To steal the bird of Eden’s art;
And leave behind a trace of me
   On every kind and friendly heart,

And like the breeze in fragrance rolled,
   To gather as I wander by,
From every soul of kindred mould,
   Some touch of cordial sympathy.

’Tis the best charm in life’s dull dream,
   To feel that yet there linger here
Bright eyes that look with fond esteem,
   And feeling hearts that hold me dear.

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