BESIDE the dusty road of life, Deflower'd with toil and foul with strife, Lie hid within a charm of dew Pure harbours made for me and you. In such a shadowy nook is set Rest's purple-winged violet; It nods upon the fitful breeze Born in the fount's interstices;-- That fount of joy for travellers made, Ensconc'd within a dappled shade, Where still its wings our violet lifts Beneath the pulsing air that shifts;-- The little fount that bubbles there Under a veil of maiden-hair, And coils through many a liquid fold Its crystal waters dusk and cold. So small the fount, a hidden thing,-- So weak the violet's throbbing wing,-- The haughty world in dust rides by, Without a thought, without a sigh. Loud, in a riot of speed and glare, About their noisy work men fare; With shriek of engine, yell of horn, They glorify a world new-born. We love the old, the timid ways, The loose bough shutting out the blaze, The murmur of an ancient rhyme, Heard faintly in the ear of Time. And spirits, here and there, who still Prefer the mill-stream to the mill, To riot, quiet, and to speed The dance of rooted water-weed. Across a rood or two of grass, Unseen, into our realm will pass, Will lean above the whispering spring, And hear the hidden runnel sing. And then the crimson cheek will choose The rainbow of the pulsing dews; Then silence calm the 'wilder'd brain, And life grow sanctified again.
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