The ship has anchored in the bay;
They've dropped her weary wings; and some
Have manned the boat and come away;
But where is he? Why don't he come?
Among the crowd with busy feet,
My eye seeks one it cannot find.
While others haste their friends to greet,
Why, why is he so long behind?
Because he bade me dry my cheek,
I dried it, when he went from us;
I smiled with lips that could not speak;
And now, how can he linger thus?
I've felt a brother's parting kiss
Each moment since he turned from me,
To lose it only in the bliss
Of meeting him—Where can he be?
I've reared the rose, he bade me rear;
I've learnt the song, he bade me learn;
And nursed the bird, that he might hear
Us sing to him, at his return.
I've braided many a lovely flower
His dear, dear picture to inwreathe;
While doating fancy, hour by hour,
Has made it smile and seen it breathe.
I wonder if the flight of time
Has made the likeness now untrue;
And if the sea and foreign clime
Have touched him with a darker hue.
For I have watched, until the sun
Has made my longing vision dim;
But cannot catch a glimpse of one
Among the crowd, that looks like him.
How slow the heavy moments waste,
While thus he stays! Where can he be?
My heart leaps forth; haste, brother, haste!
It leaps to meet and welcome thee.
'Thou lovely one! the mournful tale
That tells why he comes not, will make
Thy heart to bleed; thy cheek turn pale!
Death finds no tie too strong to break!
'The bird will wait its master long,
And ask his morning gift in vain.
Ye both must now forget the song
Of joy, for sorrow's plaintive strain.
'The face, whose shade thy tender hand
Has wreathed with flowers, is changed! But sea,
Nor sun, nor air of foreign land
Has wrought the change; for where is he?
'Where! ah! the solemn deep that took
His form, as with their sad farewell,
His brethren gave the last, last look,
And lowered him down, that deep must tell!
'But ocean cannot tell the whole—
The part that death can never chill,
Nor floods dissolve; the living soul
Is happy, bright and blooming still.
'And nobler songs than ever sound
From mortal voices greet his ear,
Where sweeter, fairer flowers are found
Than all he left to wither here.
'This, this is why he does not come,
Whom thy fond eye has sought so long!
Wait till thy days have filled their sum;
Then find him in an angel throng!'