Dust on the page, from these forgetful years!
I brush it off, to see the fading date
Written in boyish hand; to find through tears
The lad's dear name, inscribed with all the state
Of the first day's possession; and to read
Along the tell-tale margin, scribbled thick.
Here is the note, 'twas writ with guilty speed
And here the sketch, with guilty pencil quick;
And here's a picture! Was she ever so?
Were these her curls and this her merry look
Who lieth in her old green grave as low
As he is lying? Ah, this faded book!
I think not of the bold and storied wrong
Done for a woman's fairness, nor of strong
And god-like heroes, nor of beauteous youth
In game and battle, but, with heart of ruth,
About this boy, who laughed and played and read
So carelessly! Ah, how long he is dead!