- rainbow-wave o'erflowed her, A glory that deepened and grew,
- song of colour and odour
That thrilled her through and through:
'Twas a dream of too much gladness
Ever to see the light;
They are only dreams of sadness
That weary out the night.
Slow darkness began to rifle
The nest of the sunset fair;
Dank vapour began to stifle
The scents that enriched the air;
The flowers paled fast and faster,
They crumbled, leaf and crown,
Till they looked like the stained plaster
Of a cornice fallen down.
And the change crept nigh and nigher,
Inward and closer stole,
Till the flameless, blasting fire
Entered and withered her soul.--
But the fiends had only flouted
Her vision of the night;
Up came the morn and routed
The darksome things with light.
Wide awake I have often been in it--
The dream that all is none;
It will come in the gladdest minute
And wither the very sun.
Two moments of sad commotion,
One more of doubt's palsied rule--
And the great wave-pulsing ocean
Is only a gathered pool;
- flower is a spot of painting, A lifeless, loveless hue;
Though your heart be sick to fainting
It says not a word to you;
- bird knows nothing of gladness, Is only a song-machine;
- man is a reasoning madness, A woman a pictured queen!
Then fiercely we dig the fountain:
Oh! whence do the waters rise?
Then panting we climb the mountain:
Oh! are there indeed blue skies?
We dig till the soul is weary,
Nor find the water-nest out;
We climb to the stone-crest dreary,
And still the sky is a doubt!
Let alone the roots of the fountain;
Drink of the water bright;
Leave the sky at rest on the mountain,
Walk in its torrent of light;
Although thou seest no beauty,
Though widowed thy heart yet cries,
With thy hands go and do thy duty,
And thy work will clear thine eyes.