They both were husht, the voice, the chords,--
I heard but once that witching lay;
And few the notes, and few the words.
My spell-bound memory brought away;
Traces, remembered here and there,
Like echoes of some broken strain;--
Links of a sweetness lost in air,
That nothing now could join again.
Even these, too, ere the morning, fled;
And, tho' the charm still lingered on,
That o'er each sense her song had shed,
The song itself was faded, gone;--
Gone, like the thoughts that once were ours,
On summer days, ere youth had set;
Thoughts bright, we know, as summer flowers,
Tho' what they were we now forget.
In vain with hints from other strains
I wooed this truant air to come--
As birds are taught on eastern plains
To lure their wilder kindred home.
In vain:--the song that Sappho gave,
In dying, to the mournful sea,
Not muter slept beneath the wave
Than this within my memory.
At length, one morning, as I lay
In that half-waking mood when dreams
Unwillingly at last gave way
To the full truth of daylight's beams,
A face--the very face, methought,
From which had breathed, as from a shrine
Of song and soul, the notes I sought--
Came with its music close to mine;
And sung the long-lost measure o'er,--
Each note and word, with every tone
And look, that lent it life before,--
All perfect, all again my own!
Like parted souls, when, mid the Blest
They meet again, each widowed sound
Thro' memory's realm had winged in quest
Of its sweet mate, till all were found.
Nor even in waking did the clew,
Thus strangely caught, escape again;
For never lark its matins knew
So well as now I knew this strain.
And oft when memory's wondrous spell
Is talked of in our tranquil bower,
I sing this lady's song, and tell
The vision of that morning hour.