There is no peace beneath the moon,-
Ah! in those meadows is there peace
Where, girdled with a silver fleece,
As a bright shepherd, strays the moon?
Queen of the gardens of the sky,
Where stars like lilies, white and fair,
Shine through the mists of frosty air,
Oh, tarry, for the dawn is nigh!
Oh, tarry, for the envious day
Stretches long hands to catch thy feet.
Alas! but thou art overfleet,
Alas! I know thou wilt not stay.
Eastward the dawn has broken red,
The circling mists and shadows flee;
Aurora rises from the sea,
And leaves the crocus-flowered bed.
Eastward the silver arrows fall,
Splintering the veil of holy night:
And a long wave of yellow light
Breaks silently on tower and hall.
And speeding wide across the wold
Wakes into flight some fluttering bird;
And all the chestnut tops are stirred,
And all the branches streaked with gold.
To outer senses there is peace,
A dream-like peace on either hand,
Deep silence in the shadowy land,
Deep silence where the shadows cease,
Save for a cry that echoes shrill
From some lone bird disconsolate;
A curlew calling to its mate;
The answer from the distant hill.
And, herald of my love to Him
Who, waiting for the dawn, doth lie,
The orbed maiden leaves the sky,
And the white firs grow more dim.
Up sprang the sun to run his race,
The breeze blew fair on meadow and lea,
But in the west I seemed to see
The likeness of a human face.
A linnet on the hawthorn spray
Sang of the glories of the spring,
And made the flow’ring copses ring
With gladness for the new-born day.
A lark from out the grass I trod
Flew wildly, and was lost to view
In the great seamless veil of blue
That hangs before the face of God.
The willow whispered overhead
That death is but a newer life
And that with idle words of strife
We bring dishonour on the dead.
I took a branch from off the tree,
And hawthorn branches drenched with dew,
I bound them with a sprig of yew,
And made a garland fair to see.
I laid the flowers where He lies
(Warm leaves and flowers on the stones):
What joy I had to sit alone
Till evening broke on tired eyes:
Till all the shifting clouds had spun
A robe of gold for God to wear
And into seas of purple air
Sank the bright galley of the sun.
Shall I be gladdened for the day,
And let my inner heart be stirred
By murmuring tree or song of bird,
And sorrow at the wild winds’ play?
Not so, such idle dreams belong
To souls of lesser depth than mine;
I feel that I am half divine;
I know that I am great and strong.
I know that every forest tree
By labour rises from the root
I know that none shall gather fruit
By sailing on the barren sea.