The gale hath blown itself to rest,
The sun turns all to gold,
Once more the crystal mountain-sides
A waveless plain enfold;
And some will laugh, and lightly say
The storm hath left no stain,
But in my park one perfect rose
Will never bloom again!
Beyond the blue-robed, sleeping lake,
I watch the flush of morning rise,
While birds and flowers once more wake,
To share with me my paradise.
Within this waveless bay of rest
The Alpine winds contend no more,
But skim, like gulls, its dimpled breast,
And sink to silence on its shore.
The breath of dawn descends the hills,
And round me, as I greet the day,
I hear the lilt of laughing rills
And songs of fountains at their play.
Tall, whispering trees their shadows fling
Athwart the trellised path I tread,
And incense-breathing roses swing
Their pendent censers o’er my head.
What Moorish ceiling e’er excelled
This arbor, roofed with cups of gold?
What Eastern casket ever held
The perfume which their leaves unfold?
Fair chalices of bloom, swing low,
And touch my lips with odors sweet!
Enfold me in your ardent glow,
While petals flutter to my feet!
Let, for to-day, the dream remain
That life is rose-hued, like this aisle,—
A fragrant pathway, free from pain,
With every sun-kissed flower a smile!
Passing ships! Passing ships!
The white foam sparkling at your lips
And countless jewels in your wake
Proclaim your progress o’er the lake,
While on your decks a smiling throng
Surveys this realm of sun and song.
Slipping by! Slipping by!
O’er waves that duplicate the sky
I watch you daily come and go,
But rarely is there one I know
Of all who at your railings stand,
To view with joy this storied land.
On ye pass! On ye pass!
At times I follow through my glass
Your silent course from sunset light
To meet the dusky veil of night,
As swiftly round the curving shore
Glide faces I shall see no more.
Sailing on! Sailing on!
The transient voyagers now are gone;
Yet though the hills their features hide,
One memory of them will abide,—
The thought of their enraptured gaze
In this the gem of Larian bays.
Gliding by! Gliding by!
Why is it that I look, ... and sigh?
What makes my heart thus vaguely yearn
For strangers who will ne’er return?
I would not really have them stay,
Yet grieve to see them fade away.
Those passing steamers seem to tell
That all ships, whether slow or fast,
Will cross life’s little bay at last,
While we who linger on the strand
Must daily mourn some vanished hand.