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James Russell Lowell (Джеймс Расселл Лоуэлл)

The Serenade

    Gentle, Lady, be thy sleeping,
  Peaceful may thy dreamings be,
  While around thy soul is sweeping,
  Dreamy-winged, our melody;
  Chant we, Brothers, sad and slow,
  Let our song be soft and low
  As the voice of other years,
  Let our hearts within us melt,
  To gentleness, as if we felt
  The dropping of our mother's tears.

    Lady! now our song is bringing
  Back again thy childhood's hours--
  Hearest thou the humbee singing
  Drowsily among the flowers?
  Sleepily, sleepily
  In the noontide swayeth he,
  Half rested on the slender stalks
  That edge those well-known garden walks;
  Hearest thou the fitful whirring
  Of the humbird's viewless wings--
  Feel'st not round thy heart the stirring
  Of childhood's half-forgotten things?

    Seest thou the dear old dwelling
  With the woodbine round the door?
  Brothers, soft! her breast is swelling
  With the busy thoughts of yore;
  Lowly sing ye, sing ye mildly,
  House her spirit not so wildly,
  Lest she sleep not any more.
  'Tis the pleasant summertide,
  Open stands the window wide--
  Whose voices, Lady, art thou drinking?
  Who sings the best belovèd tune
  In a clear note, rising, sinking,
  Like a thrush's song in June?
  Whose laugh is that which rings so clear
  And joyous in thine eager ear?

    Lower, Brothers, yet more low
  Weave the song in mazy twines;
  She heareth now the west wind blow
  At evening through the clump of pines;
  O! mournful is their tune,
  As of a crazèd thing
  Who, to herself alone,
  Is ever murmuring,
  Through the night and through the day,
  For something that hath passed away.
  Often, Lady, hast thou listened,
  Often have thy blue eyes glistened,
  Where the summer evening breeze
  Moaned sadly through those lonely trees,
  Or with the fierce wind from the north
  Wrung their mournful music forth.
  Ever the river floweth
  In an unbroken stream,
  Ever the west wind bloweth,
  Murmuring as he goeth,
  And mingling with her dream;
  Onward still the river sweepeth
  With a sound of long-agone;
  Lowly, Brothers, lo! she weepeth,
  She is now no more alone;
  Long-loved forms and long-loved faces
  Round about her pillow throng,
  Through her memory's desert places
  Flow the waters of our song.
  Lady! if thy life be holy
  As when thou wert yet a child,
  Though our song be melancholy,
  It will stir no anguish wild;
  For the soul that hath lived well,
  For the soul that child-like is,
  There is quiet in the spell
  That brings back early memories.

James Russell Lowell's other poems:
  1. The Lost Child
  2. The Lover
  3. “Goe, Little Booke!“
  4. To E. W. G.
  5. Song (O! I must look on that sweet face once more before I die)

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