Lorena

The years creep slowly by, Lorena,
     The snow is on the grass again;
The sun's low down the sky Lorena,
     The frost gleams where the flowers have been;
But the heart throbs on as lovely now,
     As when the summer days were nigh;
Oh, the sun can never dip so low,
     Adown affection's cloudless sky.

A hundred months have passed, Lorena,
     Since last I held your hand in mine,
And felt that pulse beat fast, Lorena,
     Though mine beat faster far than thine;
A hundred months -- 'twas flow'ry May,
     When up the hilly slopes we climbed,
To watch the dying of the day,
     And hear the distant church bells chimed.

We loved each other then, Lorena,
     More than we ever dared to tell,
And what we might have been, Lorena,
     Had but our loving prospered well --
But then, 'tis past, the years are gone,
     I'll not call up their shadowy forms;
I'll say to them, "Lost years, sleep on,
     Sleep on, nor heed life's pelting storms."

The story of the past, Lorena,
     Alas, I care not to repeat,
The hopes that could not last, Lorena,
     They lived, but only lived to cheat;
I would not cause e'en one regret,
     To rankle in your bosom now;
For "if we try, we may forget,"
     Were words of thine long years ago.

Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena,
     They burn within my memory yet;
They touch some tender chords, Lorena,
     Which thrill and tremble with regret;
'Twas not thy woman's heart that spoke;
     Thy heart was always true to me --
A duty, stern and pressing, broke
     The tie which linked my soul to thee.

It matters little now, Lorena,
     The past -- is in eternal past,
Our heads will soon lie down, Lorena,
     Life's tide is ebbing out so fast;
There is a future -- Oh, thank God --
     Of life this is so small a part,
'Tis dust to dust beneath the sod,
     But there, up there, 'tis heart to heart.

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