A Night in Cumberland.

In silence slept the mossy ground,1
Forgetting bird and breeze ;2
In towering silence slept around3
The Spanish chesnut-trees ;4
Their trailing blossom, feathery-fair,5
Made heavy sweetness in the air.6
All night she pondered, long and long,7
Alone with lake and lawn ;8
She heard a soft untimely song,9
But slept before the dawn :10
When eyes no more can wake and weep,11
A pensive wisdom comes with sleep.12
O love,” she said, “ O man of men,13
O passionate and true !14
Not once in all the years again15
As once we did we do ;16
What need the dreadful end to tell ?17
We know it and we knew it well.”18
O love,” she said, “ O king of kings,19
My master and my joy,20
Are we too young for bitter things21
Who still are girl and boy ?22
Too young we won, we cherish yet23
That dolorous treasure of regret.”24
Then while so late the heavens delayed25
Their solemn trance to break,26
Her sad desiring eyes were stayed27
Beyond the lucid lake ;28
She saw the grey-blue mountains stand,29
Great guardians of the charmed land.30
Above her brows she wove and wound31
Her gold hellenic hair ;32
She stood like one whom kings have crowned33
And God has fashioned fair ;—34
So sweet on wakened eyes will gleam35
The flying phantom of a dream.36
Or so, inarched in veiling vine,37
The Syran priestess sees38
Those amethystine straits enshrine39
The sleeping Cyclades ;40
For Delos’ height is purple still,41
The old unshaken holy hill.42
O love,” she said, “ tho’ sin be sin,43
And woe be bitter woe,44
Short-lived the hearts they house within,45
And they like those will go ;—46
The primal Beauty, firet and fair,47
Is evermore and everywhere.48
And when the faint and fading star49
In early skies is sweet,50
In silence thither from afar51
Thy heart and mine shall meet ;52
Deep seas our winged desire shall know,53
And lovely summer, lovely snow.54
And whensoever bards shall sing55
However saints shall pray56
Whatever sweet and happy thing57
The painter brings to day,—58
Their heavenly souls in heaven shall be,59
And thou with these, and I with thee.60
And God,”—she said, and hushed a while,61
And God ”—— but, half begun,62
Thro’ tears serener than a smile,63
Her song beheld the sun :—64
When souls no more can dream and pray,65
Celestial hope will dawn with day.66