I heard the swallow sing in the eaves and rose

All in a strange delight while others slept,

And down the creaking stair, alone, tip-toes,

So carefully I crept.

The house was dark with silly blinds yet drawn,

But outside the clean air was filled with light,

And underneath my feet the cold, wet lawn

With dew was twinkling bright.

The cobwebs hung from every branch and spray

Gleaming with pearly strands of laden thread,

And long and still the morning shadows lay

Across the meadows spread.

At that pure hour when yet no sound of man,

Stirs in the whiteness of the wakening earth,

Alone through innocent solitudes I ran

Singing aloud for mirth.

Till I had found the open mountain heath

Yellow with gorse, and rested there and stood

To gaze upon the misty sea beneath,

Or on the neighbouring wood,

--That little wood of hazel and tall pine

And youngling fir, where oft we have loved to see

The level beams of early morning shine

Freshly from tree to tree.

Through the denser wood there's many a pool

Of deep and night-born shadow lingers yet

Where the new-wakened flowers are damp and cool

And the long grass is wet.

In the sweet heather long I rested there

Looking upon the dappled, early sky,

When suddenly, from out the shining air

A god came flashing by.

Swift, naked, eager, pitilessly fair,

With a live crown of birds about his head,

Singing and fluttering, and his fiery hair,

Far out behind him spread,

Streamed like a rippling torch upon the breeze

Of his own glorious swiftness: in the grass

He bruised no feathery stalk, and through the trees

I saw his whiteness pass.

But when I followed him beyond the wood,

Lo! He was changed into a solemn bull

That there upon the open pasture stood

And browsed his lazy full.

XXXIV. The Roads

I stand on the windy uplands among the hills of Down

With all the world spread out beneath, meadow and sea and town,

And ploughlands on the far-off hills that glow with friendly brown.

And ever across the rolling land to the far horizon line,

Where the blue hills border the misty west, I see the white roads twine,

The rare roads and the fair roads that call this heart of mine.

I see them dip in the valleys and vanish and rise and bend

From shadowy dell to windswept fell, and still to the West they wend,

And over the cold blue ridge at last to the great world's uttermost end.

And the call of the roads is upon me, a desire in my spirit has grown

To wander forth in the highways, 'twixt earth and sky alone,

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