A Retrospect by Frances Anne Kemble

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Life wanes, and the bright sunlight of our youth
Sets o’er the mountain-tops, where once Hope stood.
O Innocence! O Trustfulness! O Truth!
Where are ye all, white-handed sisterhood,
Who with me on my way did walk along,
Singing sweet scraps of that immortal song
That’s hymned in Heaven, but hath no echo here?
Are ye departing, fellows bright and dear
Of the young spirit, when it first alights
Upon this earth of darkness and dismay?
Farewell! fair children of th’ eternal day,
Blossoms of that far land where fall no blights,
Sweet kindred of my exiled soul, farewell!
Here I must wander, here ye may not dwell,
Back to your home beyond the founts of light
I see ye fly, and I am wrapt in night.

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