Ye early minstrels of the earth, —
Whose mighty voices woke
The echoes of its infant woods,
Ere yet the tempest spoke!
How is it, that ye waken still
The young heart’s happy dreams,
And shed your light on darkened days,
bright and blessed streams!
Woe for the world! — she hath grown old
And grey, in toil and tears; —
But ye have kept the harmonies
Of her unfallen years :
For ever, in our weary path.
Your ceaseless music seems
The spirit of her perished youth, —
Ye glad and glorious streams!
Your murmurs bring the pleasant breath
Of many a sylvan scene,—
They tell of sweet and sunny vales,
And woodlands wildly green.
Ye cheer the lonely heart of age, —
Ye fill the exile’s dreams
With hope and home and memory, —
Ye unforgotten streams!