Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Irwin Russell (1853–1879)

NOT long ago—perhaps—not long—

My soul heard no discordant tone,

For love and youth’s sweet matin song

It hearkened to, and that alone;

But now the song is hushed,—it hears

Strange music, in a harsher key,

For every sound a dirge appears

Since Nelly died, who lived for me.

The summer of my life is past;

Eternal winter reigns instead;

For how, for me, could summer last,

When she, my only rose, is dead?

Sweet Nelly! would thou couldst be yet,

As once, my day, my only light!

But thou art gone—the sun has set—

And every day, to me, is night.

Yet, be the darkness e’er so deep,

Let no more suns arise for me:

For night can soothe my heart to sleep,

And, Nelly, then I’ll dream of thee!