Oh, how to describe what my rapt eyes descry!
For the blue of the sky is the blue of his eye;
And the white clouds, whose whiteness the snowflakes outvie,
Are the luminous pinions on which he doth fly!
And his garments of gold gleam at times like the pyre
Of the west, when the sun in a blaze doth expire;
Now tinged like the orange, now flaming with fire!
Half the crimson of roses and purple of Tyre.
And his voice, on whose accents the angels have hung,
He himself a bright angel, immortal and young,
Scatters melody sweeter the green buds among
Than the poet e’er wrote, or the nightingale sung.
It comes on the balm-bearing breath of the breeze,
And the odours that later will gladden the bees,
With a life and a freshness united to these,
From the rippling of waters and rustling of trees.
Like a swan to its young o’er the glass of a
So to earth comes the angel, as graceful and fond;
While a bright beam of sunshine—his magical wand,
Strikes the fields at my feet, and the mountains beyond.
They waken—they start into life at a bound—
Flowers climb the tall hillocks, and cover the ground
With a nimbus of glory the mountains are crown’d,
As the rivulets rush to the ocean profound.
There is life on the earth, there is calm on the sea,
And the rough waves are smoothed, and the frozen are free;
And they gambol and ramble like boys, in their glee,
Round the shell-shining strand or the grass-bearing lea.
There is love for the young, there is life for the
And wealth for the needy, and heat for the cold;
For the dew scatters, nightly, its diamonds untold,
And the snowdrop its silver, the crocus its gold!
God!—whose goodness and greatness we bless
Be Thou praised for this angel—the first of the four—
To whose charge Thou has given the world’s uttermost shore,
To guide it, and guard it, till time is no more!
There are voices, spirit voices,
Sweetly sounding everywhere,
At whose coming earth rejoices,
And the echoing realms of air,
And their joy and jubilation
Pierce the near and reach the far,
From the rapid world’s gyration
To the twinkling of the star.
One, a potent voice uplifting,
Stops the white cloud on its way,
As it drives with driftless drifting
O’er the vacant vault of day,
And in sounds of soft upbraiding
Calls it down the void inane
To the gilding and the shading
Of the mountain and the plain.
Airy offspring of the fountains,
To thy destined duty sail,
Seek it on the proudest mountains,
Seek it in the humblest vale;
Howsoever high thou fliest,
How so deep it bids thee go,
Be a beacon to the highest
And a blessing to the low.