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The sweet south wind, so long
Sleeping in other climes, on sunny seas,
Or dallying gaily with the orange-trees

In the bright land of song,
Wakes unto us, and laughingly sweeps by,
Like a glad spirit of the sunlit sky.

The labourer at his toil
Feels on his cheek its dewy kiss, and lifts
His open brow to catch its fragrant gifts-

The aromatic spoil
Borne from the blossoming gardens of the south-
While its faint sweetness lingers round his mouth.

The bursting buds look up
To greet the sunlight, while it lingers yet
On the warm hill-side ; and the violet

Opens its azure cup
Meekly, and countless wild-flowers wake to fling
Their earliest incenso on the gales of spring.

The reptile that hath lain
Torpid so long within his wintry tomb,
Pierces the mould, ascending from its gloom

Up to the light again;
And the lithe snake crawls forth from caverns chill,
To bask as erst upon the sunny hill.

Continual songs arise
From universal nature; birds and streams
Mingle their voices, and the glad earth scems

A second Paradise !

Thrice-blessed Spring! thou bearest gifts divine !
Sunshine, and song, and fragrance—all are thine.

Nor unto earth alone-
Thou hast a blessing for the human heart,
Balm for its wounds and healing for its smart,

Telling of Winter flown,
And bringing hope upon thy rainbow wing,
Type of eternal life-thrice-blessed Spring !


Ay, pale and silent maiden,

Cold as thou liest there,
Thine was the sunniest nature

That ever drew the air,
The wildest and most wayward,

And yet so gently kind,
Thou seemedst but to body

A breath of summer wind.

Into the eternal shadow

That girds our life around,
Into the infinite silence

Wherewith Death's shore is bound,
Thou hast gone forth, beloved !

And I were mean to weep,
That thou hast left Life's shallows

And dost possess the deep.

Thou liest low and silent,

Thy heart is cold and still,

Thine eyes are shut for ever,

And Death hath had his will ; He loved and would have taken,

I loved and would have kept, We strove—and he was stronger,

And I have never wept.

Let him possess thy body,

Thy soul is still with me, More sunny and more gladsome

Than it was wont to be : Thy body was a fetter

That bound me to the flesh, Thank God that it is broken,

And now I live afresh!

Now I can see thee clearly ;

The dusky cloud of clay, That hid thy starry spirit,

Is rent and blown away:
To earth I give thy body,

Thy spirit to the sky,
I saw its bright wings growing,

And knew that thou must fly.

Now I can love thee truly,

For nothing comes between The senses and the spirit,

The seen and the unseen ;
Lifts the eternal shadow,

The silence bursts apart,
And the soul's boundless future

Is present in my heart.



In the twilight deep and silent

Comes thy spirit unto mine,
When the starlight and the moonlight,

Over cliff and woodland shine,
And the quiver of the river

Seems a thrill of joy benign.

Then I rise and go in fancy

To the headland by the sea,
When the evening-star throbs setting

Through the dusky cedar-tree;
And, from under low-voiced thunder,

From the surf swells fitfully.

Then within my soul I feel thee,

Like a dream of bygone years; Visions of my childhood murmur

Their old madness in mine ears, Till the pleasance of thy presence

Crowds my heart with blissful tears.

All the wondrous dreams of boyhood,

All youth’s fiery thirst of praise, All the surer hopes of manhood

Blossoming in sadder days, Joys that bound me, griefs that crowned me,

With a better wreath than bays.

All the longings after freedom,

The vague love of human-kind,

Wandering far and near at random,

Like a dead leaf on the wind, Rousing only in the lonely

Twilight of an aimless mind.

All of these, O best-beloved !

Happiest present dreams and past, In thy love find safe fulfilment,

Ripened into truth at last; Faith and beauty, hope and duty,

To one centre gather fast.

How my spirit, like an ocean,

At the breath of thine awakes, Leaps its shores in mad exulting,

And in foamy music breaks, Then, down sinking, lieth shrinking

From the tumult that it makes !

Blazing Hesperus hath sunken

Low adown the pale blue west, And with blazing splendour crowneth

The horizon's piny crest; Thoughtful quiet stills the riot

Of wild longing in my breast.

Home I loiter through the moonlight

Underneath the quivering trees,
Which, as if a spirit stirred them,

Sway and bend, till, by degrees,
The faint surge's murmur merges
In the rustle of the breeze.


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