Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"The Laughing Girls" by Frank Fletcher (1840)



        One fine morning last summer, while seated under a tree on the banks of the Poestenkill, I was suddenly aroused from a revery into which I had fallen, by merry and repeated peals of laughter.—On starting up, I was not a little surprised to see one of the neighboring hills literally covered with the fairer portion of creation. Whether they had suddenly sprung up by some enchantment, or had come from the TROY FEMALE SEMINARY, I know not: but this much I do know, that their merry laugh, as it rang through the grove, and was echoed back from hill to hill, made such music as would put to shame the most skillful performances of art. And I could not help exclaiming—

Laugh on, laugh on, ye merry girls,

        I love your laugh to hear,

As mingling with the song of birds

        It falls upon my ear.

Full often in these forest shades,

        A lonely wight I stray,

To listen to the wild bird's song,

        Or dream the hours away.

And ne'er from birds, did melody

        So sweet, my ears assail,

As that your merry voices send,

        Upon the gentle gale.

I love the voice of merriment—

        I love the voice of glee—

That speaks the light and buoyant heart,

        From earthly sorrow free.

And why to grief's heart-rending tones,

        Should voices e'er be strung,

Of those so innocent and pure,

        So lovely, and so young?

Laugh on, laugh on, ye merry ones,

        I love you laugh to hear,

As mingling with the song of birds,

        It falls upon my ear.

Laugh on, laugh on, ye merry ones,

        Long may ye thus be gay,

Life's happy hours are few at best,

        Enjoy them while ye may.

Troy Budget. January 24, 1840: 2 col 6.

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