Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant

I SEE THEE STILL.

"I rocked her in the cradle,
And laid her in the tomb. She was the youngest:
What fireside circle hath not felt the charm
Of that sweet tie! The youngest ne'er grow old.
The fond endearments of our earlier days
We keep alive in them, and when they die,
Our youthful joys we bury with them."
I SEE thee still:
Remembrance, faithful to her trust,
Calls thee in beauty from the dust;
Thou comest in the morning light,
Thou'rt with me through the gloomy night;
In dreams I meet thee as of old;
Then thy soft arms my neck enfold,
And thy sweet voice is in my ear;
In every scene to memory dear,
I see thee still.
I see thee still,
In every hallow'd token round;
This little ring thy finger bound,
This lock of hair thy forehead shaded,
This silken chain by thee was braided,
These flowers, all withered now, like thee,
Sweet sister, thou didst cull for me;
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This book was thine, here didst thou read;
This picture, ah! yes, here, indeed,
I see thee still.
I see thee still:
Here was thy summer noon's retreat,
Here was thy favourite fireside seat;
This was thy chamber—here, each day,
I sat and watch'd thy sad decay;
Here, on this bed, thou last didst lie,
Here, on this pillow, thou didst die:
Dark hour! once more its woes unfold;
As then I saw thee, pale and cold,
I see thee still.
I see thee still:
Thou art not in the grave confined—
Death cannot claim the immortal Mind;
Let Earth close o'er its sacred trust,
But goodness dies not in the dust;
Thee, oh! my sister, 'tis not thee
Beneath the coffin's lid I see;
Thou to a fairer land art gone:
There, let me hope, my journey done,
To see thee still!