(William Ernest Henley)

Echoes. 28. Blithe Dreams Arise to Greet Us

        To S. C.

Blithe dreams arise to greet us,
   And life feels clean and new,
For the old love comes to meet us
   In the dawning and the dew.
Oerblown with sunny shadows,
   Oersped with winds at play,
The woodlands and the meadows
   Are keeping holiday.
Wild foals are scampering, neighing,
   Brave merles their hautboys blow:
Come! let us go a-maying
   As in the Long-Ago.

Here we but peak and dwindle:
   The clank of chain and crane,
The whir of crank and spindle
   Bewilder heart and brain;
The ends of our endeavour
   Are merely wealth and fame,
Yet in the still Forever
   Were one and all the same;
Delaying, still delaying,
   We watch the fading west:
Come! let us go a-maying,
   Nor fear to take the best.

Yet beautiful and spacious
   The wise, old world appears.
Yet frank and fair and gracious
   Outlaugh the jocund years.
Our arguments disputing,
   The universal Pan
Still wanders flutingfluting
   Fluting to maid and man.
Our weary well-a-waying
   His music cannot still:
Come! let us go a-maying,
   And pipe with him our fill.

When wanton winds are flowing
   Among the gladdening glass;
Where hawthorn brakes are blowing,
   And meadow perfumes pass;
Where mornings grace is greenest,
   And fullest noons of pride;
Where sunset spreads serenest,
   And sacred nights most wide;
Where nests are swaying, swaying,
   And springs fresh voices call,
Come! let us go a-maying,
   And bless the God of all!


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