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There, while they stood in a green wood And marvelled still on Ill and Good,
Came suddenly Minister Mind.
'I saw a man sit by a corse;
"T is fixed in the ever-damnèd soul'.
Fast chained to his corse,' quoth
Full soon they passed, for they rode fast,
Hell,' quoth Love.
In my sleep I was fain of their fellowship,
Of the live-oak, the marsh, and the main.
The little green leaves would not let me alone in my sleep;
Up-breathed from the marshes, a message of range and of sweep,
Interwoven with waftures of wild sealiberties, drifting,
Came through the lapped leaves sifting, sifting,
Came to the gates of sleep.
Then my thoughts, in the dark of the dungeon-keep
Of the Castle of Captives hid in the City of Sleep,
Upstarted, by twos and by threes assembling:
From what fount are these tears at thy feet which flow?
They rise not from reason, but deeper inconsequent deeps.
Reason 's not one that weeps.
1 Sunrise,' Mr. Lanier's latest completed poem, was written while his sun of life seemed fairly at the setting, and the hand which first pencilled its lines had not strength to carry nourishment to the lips.
'Sunrise,' the culminating poem, the highest vision of Sidney Lanier, was dedicated through his latest request to that friend who indeed came into his life only near its close, yet was at first meeting recognized by the poet as the father of his spirit,' George Westfeldt. When words were very few and the poem was unread, even by any friend, the earnest bidding came: Send him my Sunrise," that he may know how entirely we are one in thought.' (Poems, 1884.)
But a bubble that broke in a dream,
If a bound of degree to this grace be laid,
Or a sound or a motion made.
But no: it is made: list! somewhere, — mystery, where?
In the leaves? in the air? In my heart? is a motion made: 'Tis a motion of dawn, like a flicker of shade on shade.
In the leaves 't is palpable: low multitudinous stirring the little ones,
Upwinds through the woods; softly conferring,
Have settled my lord's to be looked for; so; they are still;
But the air and my heart and the earth are a-thrill,
And look where the wild duck sails round the bend of the river,
And look where a passionate shiver
Of the marsh-grass in serial shimmers and shades,
And invisible wings, fast fleeting, fast fleeting,
The dark overhead as my heart beats,and steady and free
Is the ebb-tide flowing from marsh to sea (Run home, little streams,
With your lapfulls of stars and dreams), And a sailor unseen is hoisting a-peak, For list, down the inshore curve of the creek How merrily flutters the sail, And lo, in the East! Will the East unveil? The East is unveiled, the East hath confessed
A flush: 't is dead; 't is alive: 't is dead, ere the West
Was aware of it: nay, 't is abiding, 't is unwithdrawn:
Have a care, sweet Heaven! "Tis Dawn.
Now a dream of a flame through that dream of a flush is uprolled.