I saunter all about the pleasant place
You made thrice pleasant, O my friends, to me;
But you are gone where laughs in radiant grace
That thousand-memoried unimpulsive sea.
To storied precincts of the southern foam,
Dear birds of passage, ye have taken wing,
And ah! for me, when April wafts you home,
The spring will more than ever be the spring
Still lovely, as of old, this haunted ground;
Tenderly, still, the autumn sunshine falls;
And gorgeously the woodlands tower around,
Freak'd with wild light at golden intervals:
Yet, for the ache your absence leaves, O friends,
Earth's lifeless pageantries are poor amends.
~ Empty Nest, William Watson