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O my songs ! whose winsome measures Filled


heart with secret rapture ! Children of my golden leisures ! Must even your delights and pleasures

Fade and perish with the capture ?

Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,

When they came to me unbidden;
Voices single, and in chorus,
Like the wild birds singing o'er us

In the dark of branches hidden.

Disenchantment! Disillusion !

Must each noble aspiration Come at last to this conclusion, Jarring discord, wild confusion,

Lassitude, renunciation ?

Not with steeper fall nor faster,

From the sun's serene dominions, Not through brighter realms nor vaster, In swift ruin and disaster,

Icarus fell with shattered pinions !

Sweet Pandora ! dear Pandora !

Why did mighty Jove create thee Coy as Thetis, fair as Flora, Beautiful as young Aurora,

If to win thee is to hate thee?

No, not hate thee! for this feeling

Of unrest and long resistance
Is but passionate appealing,
A prophetic whisper stealing

O'er the chords of our existence.

Him whom thou dost once enamour,

Thou, beloved, never leavest;
In life's discord, strife, and clamor,
Still he feels thy spell of glamour;

Him of Hope thou ne'er bereavest.

Weary hearts by thee are lifted,

Struggling souls by thee are strengthened, Clouds of fear asunder rifted, Truth from falsehood cleansed and sifted,

Lives, like days in summer, lengthened!

Therefore art thou ever dearer,

O my Sibyl, my deceiver ! For thou makest each mystery clearer, And the unattained seems nearer,

When thou fillest my heart with fever!

Muse of all the Gifts and Graces !

Though the fields around us wither, There are ampler realms and spaces, Where no foot has left its traces :

Let us turn and wander thither!


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