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Poem by Matthew Arnold
Was it a dream? We sail'd, I thought we sail'd, Martin and I, down the green Alpine stream, Border'd, each bank, with pines; the morning sun, On the wet umbrage of their glossy tops, On the red pinings of their forest-floor, Drew a warm scent abroad; behind the pines The mountain-skirts, with all their sylvan change Of bright-leaf'd chestnuts and moss'd walnut-trees And the frail scarlet-berried ash, began. Swiss chalets glitter'd on the dewy slopes, And from some swarded shelf, high up, there came Notes of wild pastoral music--over all Ranged, diamond-bright, the eternal wall of snow. Upon the mossy rocks at the stream's edge, Back'd by the pines, a plank-built cottage stood, Bright in the sun; the climbing gourd-plant's leaves Muffled its walls, and on the stone-strewn roof Lay the warm golden gourds; golden, within, Under the eaves, peer'd rows of Indian corn. We shot beneath the cottage with the stream. On the brown, rude-carved balcony, two forms Came forth--Olivia's, Marguerite! and thine. Clad were they both in white, flowers in their breast; Straw hats bedeck'd their heads, with ribbons blue, Which danced, and on their shoulders, fluttering, play'd. They saw us, they conferred; their bosoms heaved, And more than mortal impulse fill'd their eyes. Their lips moved; their white arms, waved eagerly, Flash'd once, like falling streams; we rose, we gazed. One moment, on the rapid's top, our boat Hung poised--and then the darting river of Life (Such now, methought, it was), the river of Life, Loud thundering, bore us by; swift, swift it foam'd, Black under cliffs it raced, round headlands shone. Soon the plank'd cottage by the sun-warm'd pines Faded--the moss--the rocks; us burning plains, Bristled with cities, us the sea received.
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