Oh happy youth! season of life most lovely!
Fair as the lily! sweeter than the rose!
Buoyant and gay as the light cloud of morning,
When over it the sun its glory throws!
Earth in its rich attire alone is like it,
When spring has decked it with its floral wealth,
Who thinks of winter as he feels its gladness?
Who but delights to quaff its streams of health?
Care is a phantom then--a mere delusion--
A thorn that's seen not in the thickest wood;
Hope, the magician, charms the distant prospect,
And fancy pictures all the world as good!
Lightly its steps ascend the highest mountain;
Fearless contemplates the abyss below;
Now o'er the billows, stirred with wild commotion,
Spreads its white sails with spirits all aglow.
Nor heeds the danger of the rock that threatens;
Nor knows the quicksand through which it has passed;
But steers, with reckless courage, onward--onward,
Bold to encounter every adverse blast!
This is the time when hearts are pure and tender,
And with love's first emotions heedless melt;
When the mind shrinks not at the boldest venture,
And nature's gen'rous impulses are felt!
This is the time the soul needs no allurement--
No madd'ning influence t' excite its powers;
For, as the lark, that soars to heav'nly regions,
The spirit warbles through life's morning hours.
Oh happy youth! life's oasis of beauty!
What time in after years so pure and sweet?
Free from the lab'ring progress of great manhood,
It treads life's pathway with elastic feet!