Early Adieux

ADIEU to kindred hearts and home,

To pleasure, joy, and mirth,

A fitter foot than mine to roam

Could scarcely tread the earth ;

For they are now so few indeed

(Not more than three in all),

Who e’er will think of me or heed

What fate may me befall.


For I through pleasure’s paths have run

My headlong goal to win,

Nor pleasure’s snares have cared to shun

When pleasure sweetened sin.

Let those who will their failings mask,

To mine I frankly own ;

But for them pardon will I ask

Of none—save Heaven alone.


From carping friends I turn aside ;

At foes defiance frown ;

Yet time may tame my stubborn pride,

And break my spirit down.

Still, if to error I incline,

Truth whispers comfort strong,

That never reckless act of mine

E’er worked a comrade wrong.


My mother is a stately dame,

Who oft would chide with me ;

She saith my riot bringeth shame,

And stains my pedigree.

I’d reck not what my friends might know,

Or what the world might say,

Did I but think some tears would flow

When I am far away.


Perchance my mother will recall

My mem’ry with a sigh ;

My gentle sister’s tears may fall,

And dim her laughing eye ;

Perhaps a loving thought may gleam,

And fringe its saddened ray,

When, like a nightmare’s troubled dream,

I, outcast, pass away.


Then once again farewell to those

Who e’er for me have sighed ;

For pleasures melt away like snows,

And hopes like shadows glide.

Adieu, my mother ! if no more

Thy son’s face thou may’st see,

At least those many cares are o’er

So ofttimes caused by me.


My lot is fixed ! The die is cast !

For me home hath no joy !

Oh, pardon then all follies past,

And bless your wayward boy !

And thou, from whom for aye to part

Grieves more than tongue can tell,

May Heaven preserve thy guileless heart !

Sweet sister, fare thee well !


Thou, too, whose loving-kindness makes

My resolution less,

While from the bitter past it takes

One half its bitterness,

If e’er you held my mem’ry dear,

Grant this request, I pray—

Give to that mem’ry one bright tear,

And let it pass away.