05. Sir Thomas Tryout

The autumn heart is strangely cold
Despite the leaping flame,
And all the cheer that shone of old
Seems lessen'd, dull'd, and tame.

For on the rug where lately doz'd
A small and furry form,
An empty space is now disclos'd,
That no mere blaze can warm.

The frosty plain and woodland walk
In equal sadness sigh
For one who may no longer stalk
With sylvan hunter's eye.

And if as olden Grecians tell,
Amidst the thickets deep
A host of fauns and dryads dwell,
I know that they must weep.

Must weep when autumn twilight brings
Its mem'ries quaint to view,
Of all the little playful things
That TOM was wont to do.

So tho' the busy world may pass
With ne'er a tearful sign
The tiny mound of struggling grass
Beneath the garden vine,

There's many an eye that fills tonight,
And many a pensive strain
That sounds for him who stole from sight
In the November rain.

No sage can trace his soul's advance,
Or say it lives at all,
For Death against our curious glance
Has rear'd a mighty wall.

Yet tender fancy fain would stray
To fair Hesperian bow'rs,
Where TOM may always purr and play
Amidst the sun and flow'rs.

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