One dewy morn, when flowers were fair,
And odors sweet perfumed the air,
And bees went humming here and there
Amid the clover bloom,
Fair Love and Duty, strong and true,
Together passed the wildwood through.
The rustling trees their branches drew
Aside to give them room.
With golden locks and azure eyes,
Love laughed aloud in glad surprise
At flowers and birds and butterflies
And purling waterfalls.
While Duty, resolute and stern,
Pressed straight ahead nor cared to turn
His glance to right or left to learn
What caused Love's eager calls.
Love, loitering, oft turned aside
To seek the flowers where they hide,
But still with ready tones replied
When Duty's call pursued.
And when the way grew dark and wild
He clung as close as any child
And with his sunny smiles beguiled
His comrade's sterner mood.
And thus they journeyed, so they say,
Till one fair morn Love went astray
In listening to a wood-nymph's lay,
And Duty called in vain.
Enraptured by the witching maid
He followed her afar, nor paid
Regard to time, until the shade
Of eve wrapped wood and plain.
Then overcome by sudden fright
His cries of terror pierced the night,
And in the dawn of morning light
They found his lifeless form.
Ah, well-a-day! With sob and tear
They buried Love, and o'er the bier
The woodland nymphs still weep to hear
The moaning of the storm.
And Duty? Ah, with heavy soul
He pressed ahead and reached the goal,
But found success could not console
The grief which Love's loss gave.
And oftentimes they tell of how
With visage harsh and gloomy brow,
His lonely form is seen e'en now
At times around the grave.
Peterson's Magazine (May, 1881): 382
Courtesy of Linda Listmann
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