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IN A CORNFIELD.

O VOICE of sightless magic

Clear through day’s crystal sky,

Blithe, contemplative, tragic,

As men may laugh or sigh;

As men may love or sorrow,

Their moods thy music borrow

To bid them live or die.

So sweet, so sad, so lonely,

In silent noontide only

Thy song-wings float and lie

On cloud-foam scarred and riven,

By God’s red lightnings shriven,

And quiet hours are given

To him that lingers nigh.

Fain would I linger near thee

Amid the poppies red,

Forget this world, and hear thee

As one among the dead;

Amid the daffadillies,

Red tulips and white lilies,

Where daisies’ tears are shed;

Where larkspur and cornflower

Are blue with sunlight’s hour,

And all the earth is spread

As in a dream before me;

While steals divinely o’er me

Love’s scented spring to draw me

From moods of dreamy dread.

O winged passion! traveller

Too near to God to see!

O lyrical unraveller

Of knotted life to me!

O song! O shining river

Of thought and sound! O giver

Of goodly words of glee!

Like to a star that singeth,

A flower that incense bringeth,

A love-song of the free!

Oh! let me sing thy glories

While spring winds whisper stories

Of winter past, whose shore is

Beyond a shoreless sea. {103A}

Sing on, thou lyric lover!

Sing on, and thrill me long

With such delights as cover

The days and deeds of wrong!

Live lyre of songs immortal

That pierce Heaven’s fiery portal

With shafts of splendour strong,

Winged with thought’s sharpest fires,

Arrowed with soul’s desires

And sped from thunder’s thong;

Heaven’s gates rock, rage, and quiver,

Earth’s walls gape wide and shiver,

While Freedom doth deliver

Men’s spirits with thy song.

Ah, chainless, distant, fleeting,

To lands that know no sea,

Where ocean’s stormy greeting

Fills no man’s heart with glee;

Where lovers die or sever,

And death destroys for ever,

And God bears slavery: –

Fly thither, so thou leave us

That no man’s hand may reave us

Of this – that we are free.

Free all men that may heed thee,

On freemen’s praises feed thee,

Who chorus full, “God speed thee,

Live lyre of Liberty!”

 

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