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Lewis Morris (Льюис Моррис)


MY soul is as a bird
Singing in fair weather,
Deep in shady woodlands through the evening's dewy calm;
Every glossy feather
On her full throat stirred,
As she pours out, rapt, unconscious, all the sweetness of her psalm;
Mounting high, and higher, higher,
Soaring now, now falling, dying;
Now through silvery pauses sighing;
Throbbing now with joyous strife,
And rushing tides of love and life,
Till some ray of heavenly fire
Shot obliquely through the shade,
Pierces her; and lo ! the strain
Of the music she has made
Fills her with a sudden pain.

Then she forgets to sing
Her former songs of gladness;
Sitting mute in silence sweeter than the old forgotten lays;
Till anon some note of sadness,
Long-drawn, languishing,
Faint at first, swells onward slowly to a subtler depth of praise,
As the low, wild, minor, broken
By the ghosts of gayer fancies,
Like a rippling stream advances,
Till the full tide grown too deep,
Whispers first, then falls asleep.
Then, as souls with no word spoken
Grow together, she, mute and still,
Thrills through with a secret voice,
Which the farthest heaven can fill,
And constrains her to rejoice.

And the passer-by who hears,
Not the burst of pleasure,
Swelling upward, sweet, spontaneous, to the portals of the sky,
But a chastened measure,
Low and full of tears;
And anon the voiceless silence, when the last notes sink and die,
Deems some influence malign,
Checks the current of her song;
For that none are happy long.
Nay; but to the rapt soul come
Sounds that strike the singer dumb,
And the silence is Divine;
For when heaven gives back the strain,
All its joyous tones are o'er;
First the low sweet notes of pain,
Then, the singer sings no more. 

Lewis Morris's other poems:
  1. Waking
  2. The Apology
  3. A Yorkshire River
  4. A Hymn in Time of Idols
  5. A Cynic's Day-Dream

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