What have we done to you? How have we sinned

Wandering the Earth from Orkney unto Ind?

With many deaths our fellowship is thinned,

Our flesh is withered in the parching wind,

Wandering the earth from Orkney unto Ind.

We have no rest. We cannot turn again

Back to the world and all her fruitless pain,

Having once sought the land where ye remain.

Some say ye are not. But, ah God! we know

That somewhere, somewhere past the Northern snow

Waiting for us the red-rose gardens blow:

--The red-rose and the white-rose gardens blow

In the green Northern land to which we go,

Surely the ways are long and the years are slow.

We have forsaken all things sweet and fair,

We have found nothing worth a moment's care

Because the real flowers are blowing there.

Land of the Lotus fallen from the sun,

Land of the Lake from whence all rivers run,

Land where the hope of all our dreams is won!

Shall we not somewhere see at close of day

The green walls of that country far away,

And hear the music of her fountains play?

So long we have been wandering all this while

By many a perilous sea and drifting isle,

We scarce shall dare to look thereon and smile.

Yea, when we are drawing very near to thee,

And when at last the ivory port we see

Our hearts will faint with mere felicity:

But we shall wake again in gardens bright

Of green and gold for infinite delight,

Sleeping beneath the solemn mountains white,

While from the flowery copses still unseen

Sing out the crooning birds that ne'er have been

Touched by the hand of winter frore and lean;

And ever living queens that grow not old

And poets wise in robes of faerie gold

Whisper a wild, sweet song that first was told

Ere God sat down to make the Milky Way.

And in those gardens we shall sleep and play

For ever and for ever and a day.

Ah, Dwellers at the back of the North Wind,

What have we done to you? How have we sinned,

That yes should hide beyond the Northern wind?

Land of the Lotus, fallen from the Sun,

When shall your hidden, flowery vales be won

And all the travail of our way be done?

Very far we have searched; we have even seen

The Scythian waste that bears no soft nor green,

And near the Hideous Pass our feet have been.

We have heard Syrens singing all night long

Beneath the unknown stars their lonely song

In friendless seas beyond the Pillars strong.

Nor by the dragon-daughter of Hypocras

Nor the vale of the Devil's head we have feared to pass,

Yet is our labour lost and vain, alas!

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