OLD friend, that with a pale and pensile grace
Climbest the lush hedgerows, art thou back again,
Marking the slow round of the wond'rous years?
His mate the blackbird calling,
While through the sheen of the garden green
O CHRIST-CHILD, Everlasting, Holy One,
Sufferer of all the sorrow of this world,
HEAVEN rest thee!
We shall go about today
In our festal garlands gay;
LACK-LUSTRE eye, and idle wing,
And smirchèd breast that skims no more,
White as the foam itself, the wave--
Hast thou not even a grave
WE never had believed, I wis,
At primrose time when west winds stole
Like thoughts of youth across the soul,
In such an altered time as this,
O HOW beautiful is Morning!
How the sunbeams strike the daisies,
And the kingcups fill the meadow
Like a golden-shielded army
SOUL, spirit, genius--which thou art--that whence
I know not, rose upon this mortal frame
SO heavenly beautiful it lay,
It was less like a human corse
Than that fair shape in which perforce
A lost hope clothes itself alway.