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Poem by Sidney Lanier
In the heart of the Hills of Life, I know Two springs that with unbroken flow Forever pour their lucent streams Into my soul’s far Lake of Dreams. Not larger than two eyes, they lie Beneath the many-changing sky And mirror all of life and time, -- Serene and dainty pantomime. Shot through with lights of stars and dawns, And shadowed sweet by ferns and fawns, -- Thus heaven and earth together vie Their shining depths to sanctify. Always when the large Form of Love Is hid by storms that rage above, I gaze in my two springs and see Love in his very verity. Always when Faith with stifling stress Of grief hath died in bitterness, I gaze in my two springs and see A Faith that smiles immortally. Always when Charity and Hope, In darkness bounden, feebly grope, I gaze in my two springs and see A Light that sets my captives free. Always, when Art on perverse wing Flies where I cannot hear him sing, I gaze in my two springs and see A charm that brings him back to me. When Labor faints, and Glory fails, And coy Reward in sighs exhales, I gaze in my two springs and see Attainment full and heavenly. O Love, O Wife, thine eyes are they, -- My springs from out whose shining gray Issue the sweet celestial streams That feed my life’s bright Lake of Dreams. Oval and large and passion-pure And gray and wise and honor-sure; Soft as a dying violet-breath Yet calmly unafraid of death; Thronged, like two dove-cotes of gray doves, With wife’s and mother’s and poor-folk’s loves, And home-loves and high glory-loves And science-loves and story-loves, And loves for all that God and man In art and nature make or plan, And lady-loves for spidery lace And broideries and supple grace And diamonds and the whole sweet round Of littles that large life compound, And loves for God and God’s bare truth, And loves for Magdalen and Ruth, Dear eyes, dear eyes and rare complete -- Being heavenly-sweet and earthly-sweet, -- I marvel that God made you mine, For when He frowns, ’tis then ye shine!
Sidney Lanier's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org