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And deep into the dying day
"I'd sleep another hundred years,
"O love, 'twas such as this and this." And o'er them many a sliding star,
And many a merry wind was borne, And, streamed through many a golden bar, The twilight melted into morn.
"O eyes long laid in happy sleep!"
"O happy sleep, that lightly fled!” "O happy kiss, that woke thy sleep!"
"O love, thy kiss would wake the dead!" And o'er them many a flowing range
Of vapor buoyed the crescent-bark, And, rapt through many a rosy change, The twilight died into the dark.
“A hundred summers! can it be?
And whither goest thou, tell me where !" "O seek my father's court with me,
For there are greater wonders there." And o'er the hills, and far away
Beyond their utmost purple rim, Beyond the night, across the day, Through all the world she followed him.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
O, to what uses shall we put
The wildweed-flower that simply blows?
But any man that walks the mead
A meaning suited to his mind.
In Art like Nature, dearest friend;
You shake your head. A random string
To fall asleep with all one's friends;
To silence from the paths of men; And every hundred years to rise
And learn the world, and sleep again; To sleep through terms of mighty wars, And wake on science grown to more, On secrets of the brain, the stars,
As wild as aught of fairy lore; And all that else the years will show,
The Poet-forms of stronger hours, The vast Republics that may grow,
The Federations and the Powers; Titanic forces taking birth
In divers seasons, divers climes ; For we are Ancients of the earth,
And in the morning of the times.
So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
Ah, yet would I—and would I might!
So much your eyes my fancy takeBe still the first to leap to light,
That I might kiss those eyes awake! For, am I right or am I wrong,
To choose your own you did not care; You'd have my moral from the song,
And I will take my pleasure there : And, am I right or am I wrong,
My fancy, ranging through and through, To search a meaning for the song,
Perforce will still revert to you; Nor finds a closer truth than this
All-graceful head, so richly curled, And evermore a costly kiss,
The prelude to some brighter world.
For since the time when Adam first
In carol, every bud to flower,
The fulness of the pensive mind; Which all too dearly self-involved,
Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me; A sleep by kisses undissolved,
That lets thee neither hear nor see: But break it. In the name of wife,
And in the rights that name may give, Are clasped the moral of thy life,
And that for which I care to live.
So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
To shape the song for your delight, Like long-tailed birds of Paradise,
That float through Heaven, and cannot light? Or old-world trains, upheld at court
By Cupid-boys of blooming hueBut take it earnest wed with sport, And either sacred unto you.
My father left a park to me,
O had I lived when song was great
And ta'en my fiddle to the gate,
"Tis said he had a tuneful tongue, Such happy intonation,
Wherever he sat down and sung
He set up his forlorn pipes,
And flounder into hornpipes.
The mountain stirred its bushy crown,
Ran forward to his rhyming,
The linden broke her ranks and rent
The woodbine wreaths that bind her, And down the middle buzz! she went With all her bees behind her: The poplars, in long order due, With cypress promenaded, The shock-head willows two and two By rivers gallopaded.
Came wet-shod alder from the wave,
Old elms came breaking from the vine,
And wasn't it a sight to see,
And shepherds from the mountain-eaves