The World’s Age.

Oh, never star
Was lost here, but it rose afar !
Robert Browning .
Low in the west burned day’s red line,1
And stretched across the broadening sea2
Dim loomed a sheltering island-shrine3
Where dreams could float, and peace must be,4
Such force of lonely calm it keeps,5
While round it fret the Atlantic deeps.6
We wandered down the fairy coast,7
By stony cape, leaf-mufiled lane ;8
Below, the clash of ocean’s host,9
And song of the moon-lifted main ;10
Above vague leagues of ghostly hill,11
And night’s far lights to raise and thrill.12
And the still air’s star-sprinkled height,13
And music of the plunging wave,14
To love’s charmed life a new delight,15
A note of loftier sweetness gave ;16
Ah ! will our vanished love live on,17
When we from the fair earth are gone ?18
No ! hope is faded like the leaf,19
And faith has perished like the flower,20
And disillusionment and grief21
Moan where strove patience, ardour, power !22
A glory lights the world,” they say ;23
’Tis autumn’s glory of decay.24
The eager thought, the generous haste,25
Bright castles of the building brow,26
Imagination’s noble waste,27
Love’s untired toils—what are they now ?28
The slain tones of a shattered lyre,29
Dead ashes of ideal fire.”30
Too true, I murmur, as I sit,31
In these forlorn and wistful years,32
While shapes familiar past me flit,33
Figures of beauty dashed with tears,34
Life’s morning stars, a thousand things35
That shone in unforgotten springs.36
And yet, so long as time shall be,37
The years will wake with bloom and mirth,38
Come singing bird to budding tree,39
Young splendour to the kindling earth,40
Undying lights of love arise41
On mortal hearts, in mortal eyes.42
And shall that realm of silence where43
We all our final harbour find,44
Be quite bereft of memories fair,45
Of answering throb and blended mind46
No tides of thought, of feeling roll47
Through the veiled kingdom of the soul ?48