A Worn and Weary Soul

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“I came, but they had passed away,
The fair in form, the pure in mind;
And, like a stricken deer, I stray,
Where all are strange and some are kind;
Kind to a worn and wearied soul,
That pants, that struggles for repose;
Oh! that my steps had reached the goal
Where earthly sighs and sorrows close!

“Years have passed o’er me like a dream,
That leaves no trace on memory’s page,
I look around me, and I seem
Some relic of a former age;
Alone, and in a stranger clime,
Where stranger voices mock my ear,
In all the lagging course of Time,
Without a wish — a hope — or fear!

“Yet I had hopes — but they have fled,
And fears — and they were all too true;
And wishes too — but they are dead,
And what have I with life to do?
‘Tis but to bear a weary load
I may not, dare not, cast away,
To sigh for one small, still abode,
Where I may sleep as sweet as they!

“As they, the loveliest of their race,
Whose grassy tombs my sorrows steep,
Whose worth my soul delights to trace,
Whose very loss ’tis sweet to weep;
To weep, forgotten and unknown,
With me to smile, to hear, to see;
Earth can bestow no dearer boon
On one whom Death disdains to free!

“I leave a world that knows me not,
To hold communion with the dead,
And Fancy consecrates the spot,
Where Fancy’s early dreams are shed,
I see each shade, all silvery white,
I hear each spirit’s melting sigh;
I turn to clasp those forms of light,
And the pale Morning chills mine eye!

“But soon the last dim morn shall rise;
My lamp of life burns feebly now;
Where stranger hands shall close mine eyes,
And smooth they cold and dewy brow;
Unknown I lived — so let me die;
No stone or monumental cross,
Tell where his mouldering ashes lie,
Who sought for gold, and found it dross!”

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) May 27, 1854

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