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To their everlasting tune,
When the sun is high at noon,
The little billows, quick and quicker,
Weave their mazes, thick and thicker,
And beneath in dazzling glances,
Labyrinthine lightning dances,
Snaky network intertwining,
With thousand molten colours shining :
Mosaic rich with living light,
With rainbow jewels gaily dight-
Such pavement never, well I ween,
Was made, by monarch or magician,
For Arab, or Egyptian queen;
'Tis gorgeous as a prophet's vision ;
And I ken the brook, how sweet it tinkles,
As cross the moonlight green it twinkles,
Or heard, not seen, ʼmid tangled wood,
Where the soft stock-dove lulls her brood,
With her one note of all most dear-
More soothing to the heart than ear.
And well I know the smother'd moan,
Of that low breeze, so small and brief,
It seems a very sigh, whose tone,
Has much of love, but more of grief.
I know the sound of distant bells,
Their dying falls and lusty swells ;
That music which the wild gale seizes,
And fashions howsoe'er it pleases.
And I love the shrill November blast,
That through the brown wood hurries fast,
And strips its old limbs bare at last,
Then whirls the leaves in circling error,
As if instinct with life and terror-
Now bursting out enough to deafen,
The very thunder in the heaven;
Now sinking dolefully and dreary,
Weak as a child with sport a weary.
And after a long night of rain,
When the warm sun comes out again,
I've heard the myriad-voiced rills,
The many tongues, of many hills-
All gushing forth in new-born glory,
Striving each to tell its story-
Yet every little brook is known,
By a voice that is its own,
Each exulting in the glee,
Of its new prosperity.
All Nature ministers to Hope. The snow
Of sluggard Winter, bedded on the hill,
And the small tinkle of the frozen rill-
The swoln flood's sullen roar, the storms that go
With crash, and howl, and horrid voice of woe,
Making swift passage for their lawless will —
All prophecy of good. The hungry trill
Of the lone birdie, cowering close below
The dripping eaves—it hath a kindly feeling,
And cheers the life that lives for milder hours.
Why, then, since Nature still is busy healing,
And Time, the waster, his own work concealing,
Decks every grave with verdure and with flowers,
Why should Despair oppress immortal powers ?
I have heard thy sweet voice in the song,
And listened with delight-
I've seen thee in the glittering throng,
The fairest mid'st the bright-
I've mark'd thee smile on gallants gay,
And envied them the lot,
While from the crowd I turn'd away,
Alone regarded not.
Oh, Lady! it were vain, I own,
To hope for charms like thine !
The brow that would beseem a crown
Will frown on love like mine :
That form of light—that heavenly face,
Those eyes of sweetest hue, Were form’d some kingly throne to grace,
And not for me to sue.
Yet, though forbidden by despair
The dream of happier hoursAs once I wreath'd thy sunny hair
With Summer's brightest flowers,
I'll follow still, with love unseen,
Thy smile, thy voice's tone ;
My heart shall own no other queen,
But worship thee alone.
No hope have I to live a deathless name,
A power immortal in the world of mind, A sun to light with intellectual flame,
The universal soul of human kind.
Not mine the skill in memorable phrase,
The hidden truths of passion to reveal, To bring to light the intermingling ways,
By which unconscious motives darkling steal.
To show how forms the sentient heart affect,
How thoughts and feelings mutually combine, How oft the pure, impassive intellect
Shares the mischances of his mortal shrine.
Nor can I summons from the dark abyss
Of time, the spirit of forgotten things, Bestow unfading life on transient bliss
Bid memory live with “ healing on its wings.”
Oh give a substance to the haunting shades,
Whose visitation shames the vulgar earth, Before whose light the ray of morning fades,
And hollow yearning chills the soul of mirth.