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James Russell Lowell (Джеймс Расселл Лоуэлл)

To E. W. G.

  "Dear Child! dear happy Girl! if thou appear
  Heedless--untouched with awe or serious thought,
  Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
  Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
  And worship'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
  God being with thee when we know it not."

    As through a strip of sunny light
  A white dove flashes swiftly on,
  So suddenly before my sight
  Thou gleamed'st a moment and wert gone;
  And yet I long shall bear in mind
  The pleasant thoughts thou left'st behind.

    Thou mad'st me happy with thine eyes,
  And happy with thine open smile,
  And, as I write, sweet memories
  Come thronging round me all the while;
  Thou mad'st me happy with thine eyes--
  And gentle feelings long forgot
  Looked up and oped their eyes,
  Like violets when they see a spot
  Of summer in the skies.

    Around thy playful lips did glitter
  Heat-lightnings of a girlish scorn;
  Harmless they were, for nothing bitter
  In thy dear heart was ever born--
  That merry heart that could not lie
  Within its warm nest quietly,
  But ever from each full, dark eye
  Was looking kindly night and morn.

    There was an archness in thine eyes,
  Born of the gentlest mockeries,
  And thy light laughter rang as clear
  As water-drops I loved to hear
  In days of boyhood, as they fell
  Tinkling far down the dim, still well;
  And with its sound come back once more
  The feelings of my early years,
  And half aloud I murmured o'er--
  "Sure I have heard that sound before,
  It is so pleasant in mine ears."

    Whenever thou didst look on me
  I thought of merry birds,
  And something of spring's melody
  Came to me in thy words;
  Thy thoughts did dance and bound along
  Like happy children in their play,
  Whose hearts run over into song
  For gladness of the summer's day;
  And mine grew dizzy with the sight,
  Still feeling lighter and more light,
  Till, joining hands, they whirled away,
  As blithe and merrily as they.

    I bound a larch-twig round with flowers,
  Which thou didst twine among thy hair,
  And gladsome were the few, short hours
  When I was with thee there;
  So now that thou art far away,
  Safe-nestled in thy warmer clime,
  In memory of a happier day
  I twine this simple wreath of rhyme.

    Dost mind how she, whom thou dost love
  More than in light words may be said,
  A coronal of amaranth wove
  About thy duly-sobered head,
  Which kept itself a moment still
  That she might have her gentle will?
  Thy childlike grace and purity
  O keep forevermore,
  And as thou art, still strive to be,
  That on the farther shore
  Of Time's dark waters ye may meet,
  And she may twine around thy brow
  A wreath of those bright flowers that grow
  Where blessèd angels set their feet!

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

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