I wish I was by that dim Lake,
Where sinful souls their farewell take
Of this vain world, and half-way lie
In death’s cold shadow, ere they die.
There, there, far from thee,
Deceitful world, my home should be;
Where, come what might of gloom and pain,
False hope should n’er deceive again.
The lifeless sky, the mournful sound
Of unseen waters falling round;
The dry leaves, quivering o’er my head,
Like man, unquiet even when dead!
These, ay, these shall wean
My soul from life’s deluding scene,
And turn each thought, o’ercharged with gloom
Like willows, downward towards the tomb.
As they, who to their couch at night
Would win repose, first quench the light,
So must the hopes, that keep this breast
Awake, be quench’d, ere it can rest.
Cold, cold, this heart must grow,
Unmmoved by either joy or woe,
Like freezing founts, where all that’s thrown
Within their current turns to stone.