To a Sea Shell
Friend of my chamber--O thou spiral shell
That murmurest of the ever-murmuring sea!
Repeating with eternal constancy
Whatever memories the wave can tell;
Whatever harmonies may rise and swell,
Whatever sadness in the deep may be--
They are the ocean's, and desired of thee;
Thou treasurest what thou dost love so well.
So all my heart is one voluted fold,
Shielding one face, and evermore it seems
Upon the threshold of the prying day,
Hid in the tangle of reluctant dreams;
And in the noontide, and the evening grey,
Its light illumines secrecies untold
I am not here alone. A hidden throng
Is round me in the vesper of the sky.
Dead Babylon and Nineveh are nigh;
Rome, Antioch; the slave who felt the thong;
The lord that slew him when the day was long
And the soul heavy with satiety.
And some are near who saw the Christ go by;
While Pilate shut aloof, at gaze with wrong.
And what are they these ministers surround?
The cliff, the sand, the island at my feet
Reef-scattered far below all human ken.
Lo! God hath made a mighty angel beat
His wings, a benediction in their sound,
Above the roof of the most forlorn of men
Spring in New Zealand
Thou wilt come with suddenness,
Like a gull between the waves,
Or a snowdrop that doth press
Through the white shroud on the graves;
Like a love too long withheld,
That at last has over-welled.
What if we have waited long,
Brooding by the Southern Pole,
Where the towering icebergs throng,
And the inky surges roll:
What can all their terror be
When thy fond winds compass thee?
They shall blow through all the land
Fragrance of thy cloudy throne,
Underneath the rainbow spanned
Thou wilt enter in thine own,
And the glittering earth shall shine
Where thy footstep is divine
Rosalind has come to town!
All the street’s a meadow,
Balconies are beeches brown
With a drowsy shadow,
And the long-drawn window panes
Are the foliage of her lanes.
Rosalind about me brings
Sunny brooks that quiver
Unto palpitating wings
Ere they kiss the river,
And her eyes are trusting birds
That do nestle without words.
Rosalind! to me you bear
Memories of a meeting
When the love-star smote the air
With a pulse’s beating:
Does your spirit love to pace
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