Thee whom I shall never find;
Though thy shadow lean before,
Thou thyself return'st no more--
All the world's woods, tree o'er tree,
Come to nought.
Birds, flowers, beasts, how transient they,
Angels of a flying day.
Love is quenched; dreams drown in sleep;
Ruin nods along the deep:
Only thou immortally
This poor earth in Time's flux caught;
Hauntest on, pursued, unwon,
Phantom child of memory,
Who is it calling by the darkened river
Where the moss lies smooth and deep,
And the dark trees lean unmoving arms,
Silent and vague in sleep,
And the bright-heeled constellations pass
In splendour through the gloom;
Who is it calling o'er the darkened river
In music, "Come!"?
Who is it wandering in the summer meadows
Where the children stoop and play
In the green faint-scented flowers, spinning
The guileless hours away?
Who touches their bright hair? who puts
A wind-shell to each cheek,
Whispering betwixt its breathing silences,
Who is it watching in the gathering twilight
When the curfew bird hath flown
On eager wings, from song to silence,
To its darkened nest alone?
Who takes for brightening eyes the stars,
For locks the still moonbeam,
Sighs through the dews of evening peacefully
If thou art sweet as they are sad
Who on the shores of Time's salt sea
Watch on the dim horizon fade
Ships bearing love to night and thee;
If past all beacons Hope hath lit
In the dark wanderings of the deep
They who unwilling traverse it
Dream not till dawn unseal their sleep;
Ah, cease not in thy winds to mock
Us, who yet wake, but cannot see
Thy distant shores; who at each shock
Of the waves' onset faint for thee!