Blue sky, white cloud, sweet depth of southern air,
What shaded, pansy-sprinkled grove is this?
What lovers trembling on the verge of bliss,
She passion-warm, — he pale and drooping with despair?
Her throbbing brows, with yellow hair upbound,
She leans upon her sister's cooler breast;
There soothes her soft cheek, flush'd with sweet unrest,
And from her parted lips breaths fragrance all around.
With him 'tis ebb-tide of the golden flood;
His hand rests idly on the cittern-wires,
And as the beating of his heart inspires,
He strikes sad chords, and sings in melancholy mood,
Bowing his face, — "Dear love, this heart forlorn,
A crazèd tenement on a river's brink,
Haunted by shapes of care, save, ere it sink,
And be in death's chill waters whelm'd and overborne."
Fair lady seated with the enthrallèd twain,
Thy beaming eyes with no wild passion glow.
No touch of the sweet sorrow clouds thy brow;
Smiling, thou feel'st her joy, and smiling see'st his pain.
Then rise, nor longer the fond lovers sever;
Bid her to fill his heart, give passion sway,
And flush his cheek with kisses. Ah, no, stay,
Nor break the spell that holds the poet's dream forever!