The Name

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THY name was once the magic spell, by which my thoughts were bound,
And burning dreams of light and love were wakened by that sound;
My heart beat quick when stranger tongues, with idle praise or blame,
Awoke its deepest thrill of life, to tremble at that name.

Long years--long years have passed away, and altered is thy brow;
And we who met so gladly once, must meet as strangers now:
The friends of yore come round me still, but talk no more of thee;
'Tis idle ev'n to wish it now--for what art thou to me?

Yet still thy name, thy blessed name, my lonely bosom fills,
Like an echo that hath lost itself among the distant hills,
Which still, with melancholy note, keeps faintly lingering on,
When the jocund sound that woke it first is gone--for ever gone.

© Caroline Norton