Avalon

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I Dreamed my soul went wandering in
An island dim with mystery;
An island that, because of sin,
No mortal eye shall ever see.

And while I walked, one came, unseen,
And gazed into my eyes: ah me!
Her presence was a rose between
The wind and me, blown dreamily.

The lily, that lifts up its dome,
A tabernacle for the bee,
A faery chapel fair as foam,
Had not her absolute purity.

The bird, that hymns the falling leaf,
That breaks its heart in melody,
Says to the soul no raptured grief
Such as her presence said to me.

That moment when I felt her eyes,
Their starry transport, instantly
I felt the indomitable skies,
With all their worlds, were less to me.

And when her hand lay in my own,
Far intimations flashed through me
Of all the loves the world has known
And given to immortality.

A look, a touch and she was gone:
And somewhere near, but shadowy,
A voice said, "This is Avalon,
And she, they soul's old tragedy."

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