Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/59

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49
THE READING-CLUB.

As if some unseen visitant from heaven
Touched the calm lake, and wreathed its images
In sparkling waves ; recall the dallying hope
That on the margin of assurance trembled,
As loath to lose in certainty too blest
Its happy being ; taste in thought again
Of the stolen sweetness of those evening walks,
When pansied turf was air to winged feet,
And circling forests, by ethereal touch
Enchanted, wore the livery of the sky,
As if about to melt in golden light,
Shapes of one heavenly vision ; and thy heart,
Enlarged by its new sympathy with one,
Grew bountiful to all!
Ad. That tone! that tone!
Whence came it? from thy lips? It cannot be
The long-hushed music of the only voice
That ever spake unbought affection to me,
And waked my soul to blessing. O sweet hours
Of golden joy, ye come! your glories break
Through my pavilion'd spirit's sable folds.
Roll on! roll on! — Stranger, thou dost enforce me
To speak of things unbreathed by lip of mine
To human ear: wilt listen?
Ion. As a child.
Ad. Again! that voice again ! Thou hast seen me moved
As never mortal saw me, by a tone
Which some light breeze, enamoured of the sound,
Hath wafted through the woods, till thy young voice
Caught it to rive and melt me. At my birth
This city, which, expectant of its prince,
Lay hushed, broke out in clamorous ecstasies;
Yet, in that moment, while the uplifted cups
Foamed with the choicest product of the sun,
And welcome thundered from a thousand throats,
My doom was sealed. From the hearth's vacant space,
In the dark chamber where my mother lay,
Faint with the sense of pain-bought happiness,
Came forth in heart-appalling tone, these words
Of me, the nursling: "Woe unto the babe!
Against the life which now begins shall life,
Lighted from thence, be armed, and, both soon quenched,