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  Loved And Lost, Or, The Sky-Lark And The Violet  




        Come down from thy dazzling sphere,
            Bird of the gushing song!
Come down where the young leaves whisper low,
While the breeze steals in with a murmurous flow,
And the tender branches wave to and fro
            In the soft air all day long!

        I have watched thy daring wing
            Cleaving the sun-bright air,
Where the snowy cloud is asleep in light,
Or dreamily floating in robes of white,
While thy soul gushed forth in its song's free might,
            Till my spirit is dim with care.

        For oh, I have loved thee well,
            Thou of the soaring wing!--
And I fear lest the angels that sit on high,
In the calm, still depths of the upper sky,
Will love with a tenderer love than I,
            As they stoop to hear thee sing

        Come down from the heights, my bird,
            And warble thy lays to me!
I shall pine and droop in my grassy nook
For the passionate song that my spirit shook,
And the low, sad voice of the grieving brook
            Will murmur all night of thee!

        I shall sit alone--alone,
            While the noontide hour steals by;
And mournful the woodland's music will be,--
Mournful the blue, calm heavens to me,--
Mournful the glory on earth and sea,--
            And mournful the sunset sky!

        O voice of exulting song!--
            O bright, unwavering eye!--
O free wing soaring in fetterless flight
Up to the Fountain of quenchless Light!--
O, Earth that darken'st in sudden night,
            I shudder, and faint, and die!



From the dewy grass upspringing--
From my wing the pearl-drops flinging--
Upward, with exultant singing,
             Let me--let me fly!
Sun, with gemmed and flashing banners,
List my rapturous hosannas--
             As I mount, on circling wing,
Higher, o'er the fragrant meadow,--
O'er the forest's broken shadow,--
O'er the hill-tops green and golden,--
Where the ivied ruins olden
Echo out with sudden gladness
As I break their brooding sadness
             With the lays I sing!

Joy, joy!--I have caught the song
             Of the angels that sit above!--
And warble in musical chorus alway
Those notes that oftentimes earthward stray
So tenderly sweet at the fall of day,
What time the rose-bud's trembling spray
             Thrills with their lays of love!--
Joy, joy!--I have caught the song
             Of bright ones that sit above!--
And the far-off Earth's a forgotten thing,
As I mount on free and fetterless wing,
Up to the sun-fields where they sing,
             Drawn on by their soul of love!

                 Hush! is it a voice of Earth--
                 Of the far-away Earth, I hear?
             Breathing of the fragrant meadow,--
             Of the drooping willow's shadow,--
             Of the breezes' gentle sighing,--
             Of the brooklet's low replying,--
             Of the blue, o'er-arching heaven,--
             Of the violet-curtained even,--
             Of the tender, dreamy starlight,--
             Of the hushed, majestic midnight?--
And through all that murmur so sad and low,
Meanings of passionate anguish flow,
Till I feel a weight on my glancing wing
Bearing me earthward while yet I sing,
             With its burden of heavy woe.



    Bird, I am drooping in tears alone,
Pressing my cheek 'gainst the cold, grey stone,
And looking upward with aching eye,
Through the tender depths of the morning sky;--
But thy form fades out in that glorious sea
That lieth so calmly 'twixt thee and me;
A speck--it is lost in the azure deep!
And I droop in the deepening gloom, and weep
             My sorrowful life away!

             O voice of passionate song!--
             O bright, unwavering eye!--
O free wing soaring in limitless flight
Beyond the stretch of my aching sight!
How the cold earth darkens in sudden night!
             How I shudder, and faint, and die!



Fainter and fainter--'tis heard no more--
That plaintive strain from Earth's lessening shore--
And I fling its weight from my fetterless wing,
Higher and higher in heaven to sing,
        Afar from Earth's faded shore!
    I shall take my seat in the clouds,
    I shall sit beside the Sun,--
I shall gaze with calm, unfaltering eye
    On the face of the radiant one!
    O glorious, kingly Sun!--
    O brightly beautiful one!--
O Monarch, sitting serenely bright,
In thy quenchless glory on heaven's height,
    I am upward drawn to thee!--
And thy fiery spirit's ardent flame
Is downward-drawn to me!
Sun, with gemmed and flashing banners,
List my rapturous hosannas,
As I circle nearer,--nearer,--
Where your rays burn brighter, clearer,--
Up, on wings of strong desire,
Higher still, and ever higher!



    I droop by the cold, grey stone!--
        I faint in the smitten day!--
I hear not the song of my own free bird
Whose joyous music my glad heart stirred
But yester-morn! I can see no more
The humming-bird's wing as it flutters o'er
            The fragrant clover-bloom!
The brook, with a far-off, sorrowful tone,
Seemeth in measureless grief to moan
        As it hurrieth on its way--
            The breath of my lost perfume
        Floats on the wandering breeze,
    Over the meadow's perishing bloom,
        Over the cold, blue seas!
    I would not gather it back,
        I would not fill anew
With love's pure incense my broken urn,
For the lost can never more return
    From the sky's encompassing blue!

    It is well!--I would not hang
        A weight on his fetterless wing;
For was he not make for the sun-bright sky?--
To face the glories that burn on high?--
And I, to sit 'mid Earth's fading bloom,
And waste my life in the faint perfume
            I fling to the thankless breeze?--
Let him cleave the azure infinite!--
Let him pour his soul out in song's free might!--
Till the white-robed seraphs that dwell in light
            Shall stoop to hear him sing!--
Be it mine to fade ere the day-beams die,
And alone in the sighing grass to lie,
With my dull face turned to the tearless sky,
            A faded, forgotten thing!

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule

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