by Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Lucy.” The old familiar name
Is now, as always, pleasant,
Its liquid melody the same
Alike in past or present;
Let others call you what they will,
I know you’ll let me use it;
To me your name is Lucy still,
I cannot bear to lose it.
What visions of the past return
With Lucy’s image blended!
What memories from the silent urn
Of gentle lives long ended!
What dreams of childhood’s fleeting morn,
What starry aspirations,
That filled the misty days unborn
With fancy’s coruscations!
Ah, Lucy, life has swiftly sped
From April to November;
The summer blossoms all are shed
That you and I remember;
But while the vanished years we share
With mingling recollections,
How all their shadowy features wear
The hue of old affections!
Love called you. He who stole your heart
Of sunshine half bereft us;
Our household’s garland fell apart
The morning that you left us;
The tears of tender girlhood streamed
Through sorrow’s opening sluices;
Less sweet our garden’s roses seemed,
Less blue its flower-de-luces.
That old regret is turned to smiles,
That parting sigh to greeting;
I send my heart-throb fifty miles
Through every line ‘t is beating;
God grant you many and happy years,
Till when the last has crowned you
The dawn of endless day appears,
And heaven is shining round you!
October 11, 1875.