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The Bower

Among our recent accessions is the poem here presented, written with pencil in an elegant hand. It bears no date but is signed ‘Lincoln Swan.’ There were two of the name—cousins. Their grandfather, Samuel Swan, Jr., who lived at ‘Furness' corner’ named one of his sons for his old Revolutionary commander, Benjamin Lincoln. There were six of them and a daughter, but none other had middle names. He abbreviated them all, saying:

There are Sam, Dan——Jo, Han——Lin, Tim, Ca.

Sam (uel) and Lin (coln) each had an eldest son, Benjamin Lincoln. One of these must have been the author of the poem, and along with our Mr. Hooper one of the schoolboys he tells of in his writing of the ‘bower’ on p. 13, Vol. XXII, of the Register. We incline to the thought that he was son of the Benjamin Lincoln Swan who moved to New York.

Lines on Revisiting a favorite spot

Called the Bower, in the Woods of Medford, after several years' absence

Beautiful Bower! my long-loved spot,
In boyhood's sunny days,
Happy and rare has been thy lot,
For finger of change has marr'd thee not,
Or spirit of cold decay.

[p. 60] Touchingly true thy features look
To memory's glistening eye;
It knoweth them all—the shady nook—
The dark grey rock and the little brook
So merrily whirling by.

The sinuous path with leaves bestrew'd,
The bank with moss o'ergrown,
The sunless gloom of the hemlock wood
And that old sycamore tree that stood
Just down by the stream alone.

The leafless oak by the hillock's brink,
That scath'd and splintering thing,
With a mark on its trunk like a line of ink,
And last, not least (as we used to think)
The limb that upheld our swing.

And here's the old stump of a hollow tree,
With squirrels in it still,
And here again as it used to be,
A woodchuck burrowing his gallery
At the foot of yonder hill.

And again I hear in the forest's hush,
The chewink's plaintive cry,
And hear as of old, a mocking-thrush,
Perch'd over his nest in yonder bush,
Whistling melodiously.

How strangely like! and Memory's light
Plays softly o'er the scene.
The visions of youth come fresh to sight
As if they were but yesternight,
Though years have rolled between.

Yet mournfully has my spirit mov'd
Among these scenes today.
They are unchanged: but those who rov'd
Beside me once, those forms beloved,
I see not—where are they?

[p. 61]

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