The Forget Me Not Literary Annual for 1829

Poetess Archive: Collections

The Faithful Guardian     

The Faithful Guardian John Bird, Esq.


          Sweet Innocence! How calm thou sleepest,
          Cradled beneath yon clustering boughs,
          Where the green forest shade lies deepest,
          And the light noon-breeze freshest blows;
          Where summer flowers, in beauty blending,     5
          Lure from his path the honey-bee;
          And on his spray the linnet, bending,
          Attunes his softest lay for thee!

          What though the gentle form that bore thee
          Awhile her treasured hope resign,     10
          A mother's love still watches o'er thee,
          A mother's holiest trust is thing.
          Move but a leaf, he starts, he listen;
          Wings some lone bird, and swift as thought
          The Guardian wakes -- his quick eye glistens:     15
          Can faithful friendship, thus be taught!

          A few short years, and wildly roaming,
          They mute companion not more fleet,
          The playful fawn shall list thy coming,
          And bound they frolic step to meet.     20
          Thee shall the breezy morn, inspiring,
          On dewy mead and upland see;
          Nor till the day-beams' slow retiring
          Shall home, sweet home, have charms for thee.

          Season of joy, of youthful daring,     25
          Who would not these bright dreams renew?
          When hope and health the glad hour sharing,
          Tears were but sunbeams shrined in dew;
          Wielding the bat, through ether soaring
          On the far kite's aspiring wing,     30
          Or the stream's coolest depths exploring --
          Oh, why has life no second spring!

          But summer dawns; and hours more tender,
          Of richer light and deeper shade,
          Shall mark thy throbbing heart surrender     35
          Its homage to some bright-eyed maid.
          Then, when the glowworm's lamp is lighting
          They woodland path by lawn or lea,
          And lips are prest, and vows are plighting--
          Will time's soft whisper breath for thee!     40

          Love hath is pangs! -- through grief and gladness
          Its votary toils for one bright bourn;
          And lengthening years but lead to sadness; --
          Oh wilt no though, sweet smiler, mourn,
          When age, o'er they protector stealing,     45
          Shall dim the eye and dull the year;
          And these fair hands, her cold lids sealing,
          Are folded o'er a mother's bier?

          So passes life; -- a current gliding
          In sunshine or in storms away.     50
          Thrice happy those, who, Virtue guiding,
          Bow to the tempest, bless the ray!
          Whose silent path through soft vales flowing,
          No dream of wild ambition knows;
          Grateful that Heaven, meet aid bestowing,     55
          Smiles on their course, and gilds its close!

Date: 1829 (Web page revisions: 04/22/2006) Author: John Bird, Esq. (Web page revisions: Laura Mandell).
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