Seaward, at morn, my doves flew free;
At eve they circled back to me.
The first was Faith; the second, Hope;
The third - the whitest - Charity.
Above the plunging surge's play
Dream-like they hovered, day by day.
At last they turned, and bore to me
Green signs of peace thro' nightfall gray.
No shore forlorn, no loveliest land
Their gentle eyes had left unscanned,
'Mid hues of twilight-heliotrope
Or daybreak fires by heaven-breath fanned.
Quick visions of celestial grace, -
Hither they waft, from earth's broad space,
Kind thoughts for all humanity.
They shine with radiance from God's face.
Ah, since my heart they choose for home,
Why loose them, - forth again to roam?
Yet look: they rise! with loftier scope
They wheel in flight toward heaven's pure dome.
Fly, messengers that find no rest
Save in such toil as makes man blest!
Your home is God's immensity:
We hold you but at his behest.