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In the bright land of song,
The labourer at his toil
The aromatic spoil
The bursting buds look up
Opens its azure cup
The reptile that hath lain
Up to the light again;
Continual songs arise
A second Paradise !
Thrice-blessed Spring! thou bearest gifts divine !
Nor unto earth alone-
Telling of Winter flown,
Cold as thou liest there,
That ever drew the air,
And yet so gently kind,
A breath of summer wind.
Into the eternal shadow
That girds our life around,
Wherewith Death's shore is bound,
And I were mean to weep,
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:
Thy spirit to the sky,
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 ;
The silence bursts apart,
Is present in my heart.
In the twilight deep and silent
Comes thy spirit unto mine,
Over cliff and woodland shine,
Seems a thrill of joy benign.
Then I rise and go in fancy
To the headland by the sea,
Through the dusky cedar-tree;
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,
Sway and bend, till, by degrees,