The hermit sat within his cave,
A prey to anxious care;
Distress sat gravely on his brow,
And suffering slumbered there.
His form is worn with constant fasts,
His eyes are dimmed from tears,
Within this gloomy wilderness,
He's spent full twenty years.
Yet 'neath the lofty, classic brow,
The window of his soul
O'erlooks a face where beauty dwells,
And strong emotions roll.
To-night, the tempter's crafty arts,
Repeated oft before,
Has stirred ambition's smoldering fires,
And roused the hopes of yore.
"Alone, alone;" he sadly sighs,
No human voice I hear;
For twenty years no son of Eve
Has passed this prison, drear.
No gentle hand has grasped my palm,
And with its feeling touch,
Taught me to value sympathy,
My fate has ne'er been such.
"And yet, my vision can recall,
A bright but buried past;
The casket of those happy days,
Too bright by far to last,
Is strewn with hope's dead blossom leaves,
That withered, ay, too fast,
Ere fragrance lent her added charm,
They perished in the blast.
"Within those crumbled halls of time,
With fancy's kindly eyes,
I see a form flit to and fro,
With beauty's soft surprise.
Her smile is like the April sun
That gladdens leaf and flower;
Her tear of tender sympathy
Is like to April's shower.
"A hermit, near to nature's heart,
For twenty years I've lived;
And dark temptations could my life,
In agony I've writhed.
But now, no more I'll linger here,
I'll let the die be cast,
I'll live once more those days of yore,
And breathe again that past."