When mists are white and the dew lies pearly

Cold and cold on every meadow,

To take his joy of the season early,

The opening flower and the westward shadow,

And scarcely can he dream of laughter and love,

They lie so many leaden years behind.

Such eyes are dim and blind,

And the sad, aching head that nods above

His monstrous books can never know

The secret we would find.

But let our seer be young and kind

And fresh and beautiful of show,

And taken ere the lustyhead

And rapture of his youth be dead;

Ere the gnawing, peasant reason

School him over-deep in treason

To the ancient high estate

Of his fancy's principate,

That he may live a perfect whole,

A mask of the eternal soul,

And cross at last the shadowy bar

To where the ever-living are.

XVII. The Ocean Strand

O leave the labouring roadways of the town,

The shifting faces and the changeful hue

Of markets, and broad echoing streets that drown

The heart's own silent music. Though they too

Sing in their proper rhythm, and still delight

The friendly ear that loves warm human kind,

Yet it is good to leave them all behind,

Now when from lily dawn to purple night

Summer is queen,

Summer is queen in all the happy land.

Far, far away among the valleys green

Let us go forth and wander hand in hand

Beyond those solemn hills that we have seen

So often welcome home the falling sun

Into their cloudy peaks when day was done--

Beyond them till we find the ocean strand

And hear the great waves run,

With the waste song whose melodies I'd follow

And weary not for many a summer day,

Born of the vaulted breakers arching hollow

Before they flash and scatter into spray,

On, if we should be weary of their play

Then I would lead you further into land

Where, with their ragged walls, the stately rocks

Shunt in smooth courts and paved with quiet sand

To silence dedicate. The sea-god's flocks

Have rested here, and mortal eyes have seen

By great adventure at the dead of noon

A lonely nereid drowsing half a-swoon

Buried beneath her dark and dripping locks.


Noon! and in the garden bower

The hot air quivers o'er the grass,

The little lake is smooth as glass

And still so heavily the hour

Drags, that scarce the proudest flower

Pressed upon its burning bed

Has strength to lift a languid head:--

Rose and fainting violet

By the water's margin set

Swoon and sink as they were dead

Though their weary leaves be fed

With the foam-drops of the pool

Where it trembles dark and cool

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