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Eleanor Farjeon (Элинор Фарджон)

Dream-Songs for the Belovèd


They said it was a lone land, a land of many sorrows,
  Grey weeping waters and a strip of golden sand,
Loss and desolation and the washing out of footsteps
  That dare to treat the narrow golden peril of the sand.

They said it was a fire-land, a land of flaming passions,
  The sun like a molten rose in burning sapphire skies,
And never sound nor stir save of hearts that beat their way there
  Like southron birds whose wings seek the blue of burning skies.

But I have found a still land of neither pain nor passion,
  No loss because no giving there, no gain since no desire,
And the great silent light of the Belovèd's spirit brooding
  With the soul of all time there, made empty of desire.


Even as between the silence of the sea
And rounded silver miracle of the moon
A little dew is drawn upon the night
  To dwell there like the image of a cloud:

So from the silence of the darkest hour
The light that is a miracle in my soul
Distils the presence of the Well-Belov'd
  And I possess the image in him of God.


  I seem to walk as a shadow in Love's shadow,
  I seem to have always known what love might be
And beyond knowledge passed to the great tranquillity.

  I seem to have gained the light without the longing,
  For lo! even as the smoking rose-torch came
Within my hands, red flame turned smokeless silver flame.

  Now in my dreams I tread an asphodel meadow
  Where move the lovers out of the dreamful past.
"Dead lovers, how is it with you?"

"It is well at last,
  Sister," reply their eyes about me thronging,
  And all the phantoms of that immortal flight
Carry their torches still, and all the flames are white.


Often, so often, you walk in the cool dim thoughts of me,
  Though you may never know how often and where,
And a dream like a little lantern unknowing have given to me--
  Between my two hands as I sit I hold it there
And never will let it again go out of the hands of me.

For it may be that once you will let me wander the thoughts of you
  By a chance, for a moment, and then you will see me bear
The fast-held lantern-light of the dream that was given by you
  Since I never will let it go ... will you know? will you care
That the light I bear in my hands came out of the hands of you?


If by the Messengers of Sleep
  I should be told that you had died
I do not think that I would weep.--
  For you it only were to glide
Out of the shallows into the deep;

For me--how could such tidings shake
  The thin clear crystal of my dream,
Mine past the breath of the earth to break?

    Till some bright breath from the Supreme
Keen-singing shatters it awake,
Whether you linger here or there
    Still in the groves of trance I lean,
While on the hushed and heavenly air
    The moon of your spirit floats serene
And makes my twilight softly fair.

  For from the shallows or the deep
    Beyond the ports of tranquil death
  I know some word of you will creep
    Nightly on the mysterious breath
  Of the white Messengers of Sleep.

Eleanor Farjeon's other poems:
  1. Three Miles to Penn
  2. Sonnets. 12. I hear love answer: Since within the mesh
  3. Two Choruses from “Merlin in Broceliande”
  4. Sonnets. 4. Wilt thou put seals on love because men say
  5. Sonnets. 15. Farewell, you children that I might have borne

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