O BEAUTY! vision of forgotten gladness!
Fulfillment of a dream that ne'er betrays!
O miracle of hope, and balm of sadness!
Creative ecstasy and fount of praise!
I lay upon the ground and gave no token,
I hid my face mid sodden leaves and sere,
My languid pulses chill, my spirit broken,—
I knew not, O divine one! you were near;
For snows and frosts of winter, new-departed,
Still held my will in thrall and weighed me down;
And I forgot—forlorn and heavy-hearted—
Your promise, goddess of the violet crown!
But soft as music in remembrance sighing,
You fanned me with your wooing breath, and I
Who shed no tears when lone I seemed and dying
Wept at your touch, and knew I should not die.
Now by my banks are tender blossoms blowing:
In fragrant loveliness they smile on me,—
But I must hasten to the river, knowing
The river will lead onward to the sea.
High over me the budding branches quiver
With songs that swell in happy harmony;
But sweeter is the murmur of the river,—
The river that leads onward to the sea!