William Johnson Cory

Oh, lost and unforgotten friend,
Whose presence change and chance deny;
If angels turn your soft proud eye
To lines your cynic playmate penned,

Look on them, as you looked on me,
When both were young; when, as we went
Through crowds or forest ferns, you leant
On him who loved your staff to be;

And slouch your lazy length again
On cushions fit for aching brow
(Yours always ached, you know), and now

As dainty languishing as then,
Give them but one fastidious look,
And if you see a trace of him
Who humoured you in every whim,

Seek for his heart within his book:
For though there be enough to mark
The man's divergence from the boy,
Yet shines my faith without alloy

For him who led me through that park;
And though a stranger throw aside
Such grains of common sentiment,
Yet let your haughty head be bent

To take the jetsom of the tide;
Because this brackish turbid sea
Throws toward thee things that pleased of yore,
And though it wash thy feet no more,

Its murmurs mean: ""I yearn for thee.""

Oxford University School of English