THE LOST HEART
by: Horatio Alger (1832-1899)
- NE golden summer day,
- Along the forest-way,
- Young Colin passed with blithesome steps alert.
- His locks with careless grace
- Rimmed round his handsome face
- And drifted outward on the airy surge.
- So blithe of heart was he,
- He hummed a melody,
- And all the birds were hushed to hear him sing.
- Across his shoulders flung
- His bow and baldric hung:
- So, in true huntsman's guise, he threads the wood.
- The sun mounts up the sky,
- The air moves sluggishly,
- And reeks with summer heat in every pore.
- His limbs begin to tire,
- Slumbers his youthful fire;
- He sinks upon a violet-bed to rest.
- The soft winds go and come
- With low and drowsy hum,
- And ope for him the ivory gate of dreams.
- Beneath the forest-shade
- There trips a woodland maid,
- And marks with startled eye the sleeping youth.
- At first she thought to fly,
- Then, timid, drawing nigh,
- She gazed in wonder on his fair young face.
- When swiftly stooping down
- Upon his locks so brown
- She lightly pressed her lips, and blushing fled.
- When Colin woke from sleep,
- From slumbers calm and deep,
- He felt--he knew not how--his heart had flown.
- And so, with anxious care,
- He wandered here and there,
- But could not find his lost heart anywhere.
- Then he, with air distraught,
- And brow of anxious thought,
- Went out into the world beyond the wood.
- Of each that passed him by,
- He queried anxiously,
- "I prithee, hast thou seen a heart astray?"
- Some stared and hurried on,
- While others said in scorn,
- "Your heart has gone in search of your lost wits."
- The day is wearing fast,
- Young Colin comes at last
- To where a cottage stood embowered in trees.
- He looks within, and there
- He sees a maiden fair,
- Who sings low songs the while she plies her wheel.
- "I prithee, maiden bright,"--
- She turns as quick as light,
- And straight a warm flush crimsons all her face.
- She, much abashed, looks down,
- For on his locks so brown
- She seems to see the marks her lips have made.
- Whereby she stands confest;
- What need to tell the rest?
- He said, "I think, fair maid, you have my heart.
- "Nay, do not give it back,
- I shall not feel the lack,
- If thou wilt give to me thine own therefor."
MORE POEMS BY HORATIO ALGER
|"The Lost Heart" is reprinted from Grand'ther Baldwin's Thanksgiving. Horatio Alger. Boston: Loring, 1875.