John Bannister Tabb

(1845-1909 / the United States)

Echoes - Poem by John Bannister Tabb

Where of old, responsive
As the wind and foam,
Rose the joyous echoes,
Desolate I roam,
Nor find one lingering sound to hail the wanderer home.


Silence, long unbroken,
Break thy rigid spell!
Free the fairy captives
Of the mountain dell,
If yet in veiling mist the mimic minions dwell.


Children of the distance,
Shall I call in vain?
From your slumbers waking,
Speak to me again
As erst in childhood woke your soft Æolian strain!


Hark! the wavy chorus,
Faint and far away,
Like a dream returning
In the light of day,-
Too fond to flee; alas! too timorous to stay!


Hints of heavenly voices,
Tone for silvery tone,
Move in rarer measures
Than to us are known,
Still wooing hence to worlds beyond the shadowy zone.


Pausing, still they linger
As in love's delay,
With sibyllic omen
Seeming thus to say;
'Of all the vanished Past, we Echoes only stay!'


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010



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