Enchanting spirit! at thy votive shrine
I lowly bend one simple wreath to twine;
O come from thy ideal world and fling
Thy airy fingers o'er my rugged string;
Sweep the dark chords of thought and give to earth
The wild sweet song that tells thy heavenly birth--
Happiness, when from earth she fled,
I passed on her heaven-ward flight,--
"Take this wreath," the spirit said,
"And bathe it in floods of light;
To the sons of sorrow this token give,
And bid them follow my steps and live!"
I took the wreath from her radiant hand,
Each flower was a silver star;
I turned this dark earth to a fairy land,
When I hither drove my car;
But I wove the wreath round my tresses bright,
And man only saw its reflected light.
Many a lovely dream I've given,
And many a song divine,
But never--oh never!--that wreath from heaven
Shall mortal temples twine.
Hope and love in the chaplet glow:
'Tis all too bright for a world of woe!
Hist--Beautiful spirit! why silent so soon?
My soul drinks each word of thy magical tune;
My lyre owns thy touch, and its tremulous strings
Still vibrate beneath the soft play of thy wings!
Resume thy sweet lay, and reveal, ere we part,
Thy home, lovely spirit,--and say what thou art.
The gleam of a star which thou canst not see,
Or an eye 'neath its sleeping lid,
The tune of a far off melody,
The voice of a stream that's hid;
Such must I still remain to thee,
A wonder and a mystery.
I live in the poet's dream,
I flash on the painter's eye,
I dwell in the moon's pale beam,
In the depths of the star-lit sky;
I traverse the earth, the air, the main,
And bind young hearts in my golden chain.
I float on the crimson cloud,
My voice is in every breeze,
I speak in the tempest loud,
In the sigh of the wind-stirred trees;
To the sons of earth, in a magic tone,
I tell of a world more bright than their own!