TO AN OLD DRESS
the time has come, old dress,
When you and I must part;
To say adieu, my valued friend,
Is tearing heart from heart.
Long years have passed since thou wert new,
Long years of war and crime;
But sight of thee to memory brings
The olden golden time.
I'd braid my silken tresses smooth;
Then cast thee o'er my form,
And press my hand upon my heart,
To quell tumultuous storm.
For well I know whose eye would beam
To see me thus arrayed;
'Twas one whose gentle tender glance,
His love for me betrayed.
Old dress, dost thou remember well
That beauteous moon-light night,
When the hoped-for truth o'erwhelmed my heart,
With a perfect blaze of light?
How he clasped us to his heart, old dress,
And he vowed beneath the stars,
That naught in heaven could us divide-
'Twas registered by Mars.
Ah, the Gods but mocked us then, old dress,
With a short, sweet dream of bliss,
That vanished, alas! from our mortal sight,
Like the dew at the sun's warm kiss.
In but a short year from then, old dress,
That sudden gleam of light
Had passed away, and left me naught,
But the darkness of midnight.
For Mars laughed at our arrogance,
And he hurled his mighty dart,
And my love lies in the battle-field,
And broken is my heart.
Ah, I cannot give thee up, old dress,
For thy threads are links of chain,
That bind my memory to the past-
To long gone joys and pain.