Lost Angel Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

Lost Angel

LOST angel of a holier youth,
O maiden fair beyond compare!
Young dream of joy, return for ruth,
Dawn, breathe around a holier air!
Evanished where?
Dear naiad, in a shadowy grot,
Fair nymph, who lave within the cave,
I yearn for you, and find you not,
O freshness of the early wave!
The river rolleth broad and strong,
Great vessels glide upon the tide,
High storied tower and temple throng
With human toil, and pain, and pride.
But where the purple light of morn,
And thou, fair queen of what hath been?
Ah! holy land where Hope was born,
Ah! freshness of the early green!
O shrined within the lucent air,
Where Youth hath birth with morning mirth,
Clear-welling crystal blithe and fair,
Leaf-mirror from the loins of earth!
But I am drifting far away,
With many a stain, with mainy a pain,
I near the shadowy death of day,
And youth may never dawn again.
O grand cathedral where you prayed,
Divinely dight with jewelled light,
Soft woodland water where we played,
Low music in the summer night!
Melodiously flowing river!
Ah! blithe sunshine upon the Rhine,
We would have leaned, and looked for ever,
Your eyes more luminous, lady mine!
Dark as a russet forest pool,
With many a dream within their gleam,
Now glancing mirth, now veiled and full;
Were they, or did they only seem? . . .
There is no grove like yonder grove,
No water clear as our mild mere,
No dawn is like the dawn of love,
Nor any later flower so dear
As are the earliest of the year . . .
Evanished where? . . .
Holds life, or death, immense and still,
Thee darkly fair beyond compare?
May Love her silver orb fulfil
Unhindered there,
Where Honour may not fetter will,
Nor Love himself bid love despair?
And you were one long vernal kiss,
Immingling glows of lovelit rose,
Perfume, rare amber, ambergris,
And all the fervid Orient knows!
Ah! mellow-ripe-of-autumn hue,
Young, willowy, warm, impassioned form,
Tone gentler than the turle-coo,
Brown eyes that took the heart by storm,
And lovelier inward grace that drew
My soul with all-compelling charm!

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