No sound of wheels or hoof-beat breaks
The silence of the summer day,
As by the loveliest of all lakes
I while the idle hours away.
Two angels, one of Life and one of Death,
Passed o'er our village as the morning broke;
The dawn was on their faces, and beneath,
Slowly the hour-hand of the clock moves round;
So slowly that no human eye hath power
To see it move! Slowly in shine or shower
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! -
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Welcome, my old friend,
Welcome to a foreign fireside,
While the sullen gales of autumn
Shake the windows.
The panting City cried to the Sea,
'I am faint with heat,--O breathe on me!'
'E venni dal martirio a questa pace.'
These words the poet heard in Paradise,
Uttered by one who, bravely dying here,
What is this I read in history,
Full of marvel, full of mystery,
Difficult to understand?
Ah me! ah me! when thinking of the years,
The vanished years, alas, I do not find
Among them all one day that was my own!
'Tis late at night, and in the realm of sleep
My little lambs are folded like the flocks;
From room to room I hear the wakeful clocks