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Just to be by Mooni's springs!
There to stand, the shining sharer Of that larger life, and rarer Beauty caught from beauty fairer Than the human face of things!
Soul of mine from sin abhorrent Fain would hide by flashing current, Like a sister of the torrent, Far away by Mooni's springs.
He that is by Mooni now Sees the water-sapphires gleaming Where the River Spirit, dreaming, Sleeps by fall and fountain streaming Under lute of leaf and bough-- Hears, where stamp of storm with stress is, Psalms from unseen wildernesses Deep amongst far hill-recesses-- He that is by Mooni now.
Yea, for him by Mooni's marge Sings the yellow-haired September, With the face the gods remember When the ridge is burnt to ember, And the dumb sea chains the barge!
Where the mount like molten brass is, Down beneath fern-feathered passes, Noonday dew in cool green grasses Gleams on him by Mooni's marge.
Who that dwells by Mooni yet, Feels, in flowerful forest arches, Smiting wings and breath that parches Where strong Summer's path of march is, And the suns in thunder set?
Housed beneath the gracious kirtle Of the shadowy water myrtle, Winds may hiss with heat, and hurtle-- He is safe by Mooni yet!
Days there were when he who sings (Dumb so long through passion's losses) Stood where Mooni's water crosses Shining tracts of green-haired mosses, Like a soul with radiant wings; Then the psalm the wind rehearses-- Then the song the stream disperses Lent a beauty to his verses, Who to-night of Mooni sings.
Ah, the theme--the sad, grey theme!
Certain days are not above me, Certain hearts have ceased to love me, Certain fancies fail to move me Like the affluent morning dream.
Head whereon the white is stealing, Heart whose hurts are past all healing, Where is now the first pure feeling?
Ah, the theme--the sad, grey theme!
Sin and shame have left their trace!
He who mocks the mighty, gracious Love of Christ, with eyes audacious, Hunting after fires fallacious, Wears the issue in his face.
Soul that flouted gift and Giver, Like the broken Persian river, Thou hast lost thy strength for ever!
Sin and shame have left their trace.
In the years that used to be, When the large, supreme occasion Brought the life of inspiration, Like a god's transfiguration Was the shining change in me.
Then, where Mooni's glory glances, Clear, diviner countenances Beamed on me like blessed chances, In the years that used to be.
Ah, the beauty of old ways!
Then the man who so resembled Lords of light unstained, unhumbled, Touched the skirts of Christ, nor trembled At the grand benignant gaze!
Now he shrinks before the splendid Face of Deity offended, All the loveliness is ended!
All the beauty of old ways!
Still to be by Mooni cool-- Where the water-blossoms glister, And, by gleaming vale and vista, Sits the English April's sister Soft and sweet and wonderful.
Just to rest beyond the burning Outer world--its sneers and spurning-- Ah! my heart--my heart is yearning Still to be by Mooni cool!
Now, by Mooni's fair hill heads, Lo, the gold green lights are glowing, Where, because no wind is blowing, Fancy hears the flowers growing In the herby watersheds!
Faint it is--the sound of thunder From the torrents far thereunder, Where the meeting mountains ponder-- Now, by Mooni's fair hill heads.
Just to be where Mooni is, Even where the fierce fall races Down august, unfathomed places, Where of sun or moon no trace is, And the streams of shadows hiss!
Have I not an ample reason So to long for--sick of treason-- Something of the grand old season, Just to be where Mooni is?
Gaul whose keel in far, dim ages ploughed wan widths of polar sea-- Gray old sailor of Massilia, who hath woven wreath for thee?
Who amongst the world's high singers ever breathed the tale sublime Of the man who coasted England in the misty dawn of time?
Leaves of laurel, lights of music--these and these have never shed Glory on the name unheard of, lustre on the vanished head.
Lords of song, and these are many, never yet have raised the lay For the white, wind-beaten seaman of a wild, forgotten day.
Harp of shining son of Godhead still is as a voice august; But the man who first saw Britain sleeps beneath unnoticed dust.
From the fair, calm bays Hellenic, from the crescents and the bends, Round the wall of crystal Athens, glowing in gold evening-ends, Sailed abroad the grand, strong father, with his face towards the snow Of the awful northern mountains, twenty centuries ago.
On the seas that none had heard of, by the shores where none had furled Wing of canvas, passed this elder to the limits of the world.
Lurid limits, loud with thunder and the roar of flaming cone, Ghastly tracts of ice and whirlwind lying in a dim, blind zone, Bitter belts of naked region, girt about by cliffs of fear, Where the Spirit of the Darkness dwells in heaven half the year.
Yea, against the wild, weird Thule, steered the stranger through the gates Opened by a fire eternal, into tempest-trampled straits-- Thule, lying like a nightmare on the borders of the Pole: Neither land, nor air, nor water, but a mixture of the whole!
Dumb, dead chaos, grey as spectre, now a mist and now a cloud, Where the winds cry out for ever, and the wave is always loud.
Here the lord of many waters, in the great exalted years, Saw the sight that no man knows of--heard the sound that no man hears-- Felt that God was in the Shadow ere he turned his prow and sped To the sweet green fields of England with the sunshine overhead.
In the day when pallid Persia fled before the Thracian steel, By the land that now is London passed the strange Hellenic keel.
Up the bends of quiet river, hard by banks of grove and flower, Sailed the father through a silence in the old majestic hour.
Not a sound of fin or feather, not a note of wave or breeze, Vext the face of sleeping streamlets, broke the rest of stirless trees.
Not a foot was in the forest, not a voice was in the wood, When the elder from Massilia over English waters stood.
All was new, and hushed, and holy--all was pure untrodden space, When the lord of many oceans turned to it a reverent face.
Man who knew resplendent Athens, set and framed in silver sea, Did not dream a dream of England--England of the years to be!
Friend of fathers like to Plato--bards august and hallowed seers-- Did not see that tenfold glory, Britain of the future years!
Spirit filled with Grecian music, songs that charm the dark away, On that large, supreme occasion, did not note diviner lay-- Did not hear the voice of Shakespeare--all the mighty life was still, Down the slopes that dipped to seaward, on the shoulders of the hill; But the gold and green were brighter than the bloom of Thracian springs, And a strange, surpassing beauty shone upon the face of things.
In a grave that no man thinks of--back from far-forgotten bays-- Sleeps the grey, wind-beaten sailor of the old exalted days.
He that coasted Wales and Dover, he that first saw Sussex plains, Passed away with head unlaurelled in the wild Thessalian rains.
In a space by hand untended, by a fen of vapours blind, Lies the king of many waters--out of sight and out of mind!
No one brings the yearly blossom--no one culls the flower of grace, For the shell of mighty father buried in that lonely place; But the winds are low and holy, and the songs of sweetness flow, Where he fell asleep for ever, twenty centuries ago.
Bill the Bullock-Driver
The leaders of millions, the lords of the lands, Who sway the wide world with their will And shake the great globe with the strength of their hands, Flash past us--unnoticed by Bill.
The elders of science who measure the spheres And weigh the vast bulk of the sun-- Who see the grand lights beyond aeons of years, Are less than a bullock to _one_.
The singers that sweeten all time with their song-- Pure voices that make us forget Humanity's drama of marvellous wrong-- To Bill are as mysteries yet.
By thunders of battle and nations uphurled, Bill's sympathies never were stirred: The helmsmen who stand at the wheel of the world By him are unknown and unheard.
What trouble has Bill for the ruin of lands, Or the quarrels of temple and throne, So long as the whip that he holds in his hands And the team that he drives are his own?
As straight and as sound as a slab without crack, Our Bill is a king in his way; Though he camps by the side of a shingle track, And sleeps on the bed of his dray.
A whip-lash to him is as dear as a rose Would be to a delicate maid; He carries his darlings wherever he goes, In a pocket-book tattered and frayed.
The joy of a bard when he happens to write A song like the song of his dream Is nothing at all to our hero's delight In the pluck and the strength of his team.