Thou, in the glory of cloudless noon,
The God revealing,
Turning thy face from the boundless boon,
Or in thy chamber’s still solitude,
Bending thy head o’er the legend rude.
I, in a cool and lonely nook,
Poring over some musty book,
Or on the parchment margin unrolled,
Painting quaint pictures in purple and gold.
Perchance in slow procession to meet,
In an antique, narrow, high-gabled street,
Thy dark eyes lifted to mine, and then
Heavily sinking to earth again.
Sunshine and air! warmness and spring!
Back to its cell each weary thing,
And the heart so withered, and dry, and old,
Most at home in the cloister cold.
Thou on thy knees at the vespers’ call,
I looking up on the darkening wall,
The chime so sweet to the boat at sea,
Listless and dead to thee and me!
Then to the lone couch at death of day,
Rising at midnight again to pray,
And if through the dark those eyes looked in,
Sending them far as a thought of sin.
And then, when thy spirit was passing away,
The earth-born dwelling returning to clay,
Over thee held the crucified Best,
But no warm face to thy cold cheek pressed.
And when my spirit was passing away,
The grey head lying ’mong ashes grey,
No hovering angel-woman above,
Waiting to clasp me in deathless love.
But now, beloved, thy hand in mine,
My arm around thee, my lips on thine,
Oh! is not a better thing to us given
Than wearily going alone to heaven?
A quiet heart, submissive, meek,
Father do thou bestow;
Which more than granted will not seek
To have, or give, or know.
Each green hill then will hold its gift
Forth to my joying eyes;
The mountains blue will then uplift
My spirit to the skies.
The falling water then will sound
As if for me alone;
Nay, will not blessing more abound
That many hear its tone?
The trees their murmuring forth will send,
The birds send forth their song;
The waving grass its tribute lend,
Sweet music to prolong.
The water-lily’s shining cup,
The trumpet of the bee,
The thousand odours floating up,
The many-shaded sea;
The rising sun’s imprinted tread
Upon the eastward waves;
The gold and blue clouds over head;
The weed from far sea-caves;