When last I wandered by the Main
I had a friend my guide to be,
Who joyed to hear my rural strain
And share his unfeigned love with me.

Sweet were the vales he led me through,
And scenes I ne’er beheld before;
In everything they brought to view
There was a tempting to adore.

In beauty they were fairer far
Than aught I have seen or e’er will see
Until I cross the gloomy bar
Which lies ‘tween happiness and me.

We lingered ‘mong their ancient trees
Where sang the thrush and grey cuckoo,
Delighting in the vernal breeze
That dallied with the violet blue.

And he was pleased that morn to see
The sweets his spreading lawns displayed,
Nor could I there less happy be,
Though distant from my native glade.

For as we eyed the purling stream
That sang so soft and sweetly by
I felt with him as in a dream
Where all is lovely to the eye.

How we admired each heaven-like place
Till night’s grey curtain round us spread
Till Luna, smiling, showed her face
Hillmount re-echoed with our tread.

We wandered till the midnight star
Its holy influence o’er us threw,
Until the landscape spreads afar
A living sheet of sparkling dew.

I left him joyful as the lark
That singing hails Spring’s early ray,
And homeward strayed o’er moor and park,
Rejoicing in a well-spent day.

But ne’er again the crystal Main
Nor Hillmount shall my bosom cheer,
For death my dear-loved friend has ta’en
And parted us for ever here.

But long his name shall find a place
In hearts that loved the good man’s ways;
Long will we his perfections trace,
And crown them with deserving praise.

In him the poor have lost a friend
Whole like they ne’er may see again;
To all their wants he did attend,
And soothed them in their hours of pain.

Well may they o’er his askes bend,
And wee p their house in grief away,
For he was still the poor man’s friend,
The widow and the orphan’s stay.

David Herbison, Dunclug 1872

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