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Poem by Sidney Lanier


My Springs


In the heart of the Hills of Life, I know
Two springs that with unbroken flow
Forever pour their lucent streams
Into my souls far Lake of Dreams.

Not larger than two eyes, they lie
Beneath the many-changing sky
And mirror all of life and time,
-- Serene and dainty pantomime.

Shot through with lights of stars and dawns,
And shadowed sweet by ferns and fawns,
-- Thus heaven and earth together vie
Their shining depths to sanctify.

Always when the large Form of Love
Is hid by storms that rage above,
I gaze in my two springs and see
Love in his very verity.

Always when Faith with stifling stress
Of grief hath died in bitterness,
I gaze in my two springs and see
A Faith that smiles immortally.

Always when Charity and Hope,
In darkness bounden, feebly grope,
I gaze in my two springs and see
A Light that sets my captives free.

Always, when Art on perverse wing
Flies where I cannot hear him sing,
I gaze in my two springs and see
A charm that brings him back to me.

When Labor faints, and Glory fails,
And coy Reward in sighs exhales,
I gaze in my two springs and see
Attainment full and heavenly.

O Love, O Wife, thine eyes are they,
-- My springs from out whose shining gray
Issue the sweet celestial streams
That feed my lifes bright Lake of Dreams.

Oval and large and passion-pure
And gray and wise and honor-sure;
Soft as a dying violet-breath
Yet calmly unafraid of death;

Thronged, like two dove-cotes of gray doves,
With wifes and mothers and poor-folks loves,
And home-loves and high glory-loves
And science-loves and story-loves,

And loves for all that God and man
In art and nature make or plan,
And lady-loves for spidery lace
And broideries and supple grace

And diamonds and the whole sweet round
Of littles that large life compound,
And loves for God and Gods bare truth,
And loves for Magdalen and Ruth,

Dear eyes, dear eyes and rare complete --
Being heavenly-sweet and earthly-sweet,
-- I marvel that God made you mine,
For when He frowns, tis then ye shine!



Sidney Lanier


Sidney Lanier's other poems:
  1. On Huntingdons "Miranda"
  2. Marsh Hymns
  3. To Charlotte Cushman
  4. Nirvana
  5. Laus Mariae


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