O full-voiced herald of immaculate Spring,
With clarion gladness striking every
To answering raptures, as a resonant sea
Fills rock-bound shores with thunders echoing--
O thou, each beat of whose tempestuous wing
Shakes the long winter-sleep from hill and lea,
And rouses with loud reckless jubilant glee
The birds that have not dared as yet to sing:
O Wind that comest with prophetic cries,
Hast thou indeed beheld the face that is
The joy of poets and the glory of birds--
Spring's face itself: hast thou 'neath bluer skies
Met the warm lips that are the gates of bliss,
And heard June's leaf-like murmur of
A MIDSUMMER HOUR
There comes not through the o'erarching cloud of green
A harsh, an envious sound to jar the ear:
But vaguely swells a hum, now far, now near,
Where the wild honey-bee beyond the screen
Of beech-leaves haunts thefield of flowering bean.
Far, far away the low voice of the weir
Dies into silence. Hush'd now is the clear
Sweet song down-circling from the lark unseen.
Beyond me, where I lie, the shrew-mice run
A-patter where of late the streamlet's tones
Made music: on a branch a drowsy bird
Sways by the webs that midst dry pools are spun--
Yet lives the streamlet still, for o'er flat stones
The slow lapse of the gradual wave is heard.
I am God's eldest:---I and Love are twin;
We look for ever in the other's face;
Together our flight wings throughout all space---
Sun, Star, Man, God, alike we dwell therein;
Some far-off goal together strive to win.
But here on earth I leave the mightier trace,
Clasp hands more close with all the human race,
And weave the shadow-webs of joy and sin.
And most I dwell in the clear skies at dawn,
In marvellous eves when all the stars are bright,
In music ere the sweetest chord is gone,
In woman's beauty still unsoiled and white,
In children's slumber in the morning wan,
And lovers' vows and yearnings in !he night.
As day doth live beyond the sunset skies
So life may wait us at the silent grave:
Not windless is the sea because there rave
Not always the great storm-wind's harmonies.
There may be light too strong for earthly eyes;
There may be hands to succour and to save
From Death's indifferent overwhelming wave;
Nay, Death may lift to some divine surprise!
There may be music beyond instruments,
And Spring for ev'ry frost-nipt shapeless clod,
There may be mightier love sacraments
Than e'er were seen on consecrated sod
A man there may be with Christ's lineaments
And 'mid the wheels of Fate a living God.
TO D. G. ROSSETTI
From out the darkness cometh never a sound:
No voice doth reach us from the silent place:
There is one goal beyond life's blindfold race,
For victor and for victim---burial-ground.
O friend, revered, belov'd, mayst thou have found
Beyond the shadowy gates a yearning face,
A beckoning hand to guide thee with swift pace
From the dull wave Lethean gliding round.
Hope dwelt with thee, not Fear; Faith, not Despair:
But little heed thou hadst of the grave's gloom.
What though thy body lies so deeply there
Where the land throbs with tidal surge and boom,
Thy soul doth breathe some Paradisal air
And Rest long sought thou hast where amaranths bloom.
TO D. G. ROSSETTI
Yet even if Death indeed with pitiful sign
Bade us drink deep of some oblivious draught,
Is it not well to know, ere we have quaffed
The soul-deceiving poppied anodyne,
That not in vain erewhile we drink the wine
Of life---that not all blankly or in craft
Of evil went the days wherein we laughed
And joyed i' the sun unknowing aught divine?
Not so thy doom whatever fate betide
Not so for thee O poet-heart and true.
Who fearless watched, as evermore it grew,
The shadow of Death creep closer to thy side.
A glory with thy ebbing life withdrew
And we inherit now its deathless Pride.