WEEKS and months have rolled along
Like the surges of the sea,
Thoughts and feelings sweet and deep
Have been guests with me;
But my heart hath only sung
By the spreading wing of thought
Poet-dreams lay shaded;
As the flower-buds in the dawn,
Ere the stars have faded,
Till refreshed they rise again,
Pure and undegraded.
Covered by the veil of Truth,
Beauty in my soul but slept:
She hath woke at times and seen
The guard her sister kept;
Still she murmured in her dreams,
Still she smiled or wept.
Many a lay I left unsung,
Or but sung where none may hear,
In the bowers far within,
To the spirit’s ear;
Thoughts and words but tell thee half
Of the secrets there;
Of the memories of the past,
Of the world that round thee lies,
Of that flowery wilderness
Where thy dreams arise
Night and day, and wing their way
To their native skies;
These, and all the thousand hues
Which thy inner life assumes,
From the flashes of its joys
To its deepest glooms,
Are a world of mystery
No vulgar light illumes.
Wonder not then that my lyre
Hung by me with slackened strings;
O, it was too weak to bear
Thought’s fresh sweeping wings;
Yet within there long have been
Cherished, hidden things.
Beauty is a blossom rare;
We may smell it on the tree,
But if we should pluck it thence,
We no fruit should see;
Beauty is the blossom sweet,
Truth the fruit, to me.
Thou, sweet Poesy, hast given
Many a thought of rarest worth,
Though thy spring-like flush should fade
Dropping to the earth,
Truth like autumn-fruit shall come
With a second birth.
All Sub-Works of Poems (1844):
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