Come, brothers, let us sing a dirge,--
A dirge for myriad chances dead;
In grief your mournful accents merge:
Sing, sing the girls we might have wed!
Sweet lips were those we never pressed
In love that never lost the dew
In sunlight of a love confessed,--
Kind were the girls we never knew!
Sing low, sing low, while in the glow
Of fancy's hour those forms we trace,
Hovering around the years that go;
Those years our lives can ne'er replace!
Sweet lips are those that never turn
A cruel word; dear eyes that lead
The heart on in a blithe concern;
White hand of her we did not wed;
Fair hair or dark, that falls along
A form that never shrinks with time;
Bright image of a realm of song,
Standing beside our years of prime;--
When you shall go, then may we know
The heart is dead, the man is old.
Life can no other charm bestow
When girls we might have loved turn cold!
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