Fair Eve

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Fair Eve, as fair and still
As fairest thought, climbs the high sheltering hill;
As still and fair
As the white cloud asleep in the deep air.

As cool, as fair and cool,
As starlight swimming in a lonely pool;
Subtle and mild
As through her eyes the soul looks of a child.

A linnet sings and sings,
A shrill swift cleaves the air with blackest wings;
White twinkletails
Run frankly in their meadow as day fails.

On such a night, a night
That seems but the full sleep of tired light,
I look and wait
For what I know not, looking long and late.

Is it for a dream I look,
A vision from the Tree of Heaven shook,
As sweetness shaken
From the fresh limes on lonely ways forsaken?

A dream of one, maybe,
Who comes like sudden wind from oversea?
Or most loved swallow
Whom all fair days and golden musics follow?--

More sudden yet, more strange
Than magic airs on magic hills that range:--
Of one who'll steep
The soul in soft forgetfulness ere it sleep.

Yes, down the hillside road,
Where Eve's unhasty feet so gently trod,
Follow His feet
Whose leaf-like echoes make even spring more sweet.

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