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O my lost Beauty! — hast thou folded quite
Thy wings of morning light
Beyond those iron gates
To chill our fiery dreams,
Leave me not fading in these weeds of care,
Whose flowers are silvered hair !
Have I not loved thee long, Though my young lips have often done thee wrong, And vexed thy heaven-tuned ear with careless song?
Ah, wilt thou yet return, Bearing thy rose-hued torch, and bid thine altar burn?
Come to me! — I will flood thy silent shrine
With my soul's sacred wine,
And heap thy marble floors
And lapped in Orient seas,
Come to me !- thou shalt feed on honeyed words,
Sweeter than song of birds ;
No wailing bulbul's throat, No melting dulcimer's melodious note, When o'er the midnight wave its murmurs float, • Thy ravished sense might soothe With flow so liquid-soft, with strain so velvet-smooth.
Thou shalt be decked with jewels, like a queen,
Sought in those bowers of green
Where loop the clustered vines And the close-clinging dulcamara * twines, — Pure pearls of Maydew where the moonlight shines,
* The “bitter-sweet” of New England is the Celastrus scandens, — “Bourreau des arbres” of the Canadian French.
And Summer's fruited gems, And coral pendants shorn from
Sit by me drifting on the sleepy waves, –
Or stretched by grass-grown graves,
Whose gray, high-shouldered stones, Carved with old names Life's time-worn roll disowns, Lean, lichen-spotted, o'er the crumbled bones
Still slumbering where they lay While the sad Pilgrim watched to scare the wolf away.
Spread o'er my couch thy visionary wing!
Still let me dream and sing, —
Dream of that winding shore
And clustering nenuphars
Come while their balms the linden-blossoms shed !
Come while the rose is red,
While blue-eyed Summer smiles
And on the sultry air The chestnuts spread their palms like holy men in
O for thy burning lips to fire my brain
With thrills of wild, sweet pain !
On life's autumnal blast, Like shrivelled leaves, youth's passion-flowers are cast, Once loving thee, we love thee to the last !
Behold thy new-decked shrine, And hear once more the voice that breathed “Forever THE VOICELESS.
We count the broken lyres that rest
Where the sweet wailing singers slumber, But o'er their silent sisters breast
The wild-flowers who will stoop to number? A few can touch the magic string,
And noisy Fame is proud to win them ;Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!
Nay, grieve not for the dead alone
Whose song has told their hearts' sad story, Weep for the voiceless, who have known
The cross without the crown of glory! Not where Leucadian breezes sweep
O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow, But where the glistening night-dews weep
On nameless sorrow's churchyard pillow.