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O'flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
Linger to kiss thy feet ! O flower of song, bloom on, and make for ever
The world more fair and sweet,
LAY upon the headland-height, and listened
In caverns under me,
and glistened, Until the rolling meadows of amethyst
Melted away in mist.
Then suddenly, as one from sleep, I started ;
Seemed peopled with the shapes
On faces seen in dreams.
A moment only, and the light and glory
Stood lonely as before;
Their petals of pale red.
There was an old belief that in the embers Of all things t eir primordial form exists,
And cunning alchemists Could re-create the rose with all its members From its own ashes, but without the bloom,
Without the lost perfume.
Ah me! what wonder-working, occult science Can from the ashes in our hearts once more
The rose of youth restore ? What craft of alchemy can bid defiance To time and change, and for a single hour
Renew this phantom-flower ?
“O, give me back!” I cried, “the vanished
When the swift eam of life
Into the unknown deep!”
And the sea answered, with a lamentation,
“Alas ! thy youth is dead ! It breathes no more, its heart has no pulsa
In the dark places with the dead of old
It lies for ever cold!”
Then said I, “From its consecrated cerements I will not drag this sacred dust again,
Only to give me pain ;
But, still remembering all the lost endearments, Go on my way, like one who looks before,
And turns to weep no more.”
Into what land of harvests, what plantations
Of sunsets burning low;
lations Light up the spacious avenues between
This world and the unseen!
Amid what friendly greetings and caresses, What households, though not alien, yet not mine,
What bowers of rest divine;