I more than once have heard at night
A song like those thy lip hath given,
And it was sung by shapes of light,
Who looked and breathed, like thee, of heaven.
But this was all a dream of sleep.
And I have said when morning shone:--
"Why should the night-witch, Fancy, keep
"These wonders for herself alone?"
I knew not then that fate had lent
Such tones to one of mortal birth;
I knew not then that Heaven had sent
A voice, a form like thine on earth.
And yet, in all that flowery maze
Through which my path of life has led,
When I have heard the sweetest lays
From lips of rosiest lustre shed;
When I have felt the warbled word
From Beauty's lip, in sweetness vying
With music's own melodious bird;
When on the rose's bosom lying
Though form and song at once combined
Their loveliest bloom and softest thrill,
My heart hath sighed, my ear hath pined
For something lovelier, softer still:--
Oh, I have found it all, at last,
In thee, thou sweetest living lyre,
Through which the soul of song e'er past,
Or feeling breathed its sacred fire.
All that I e'er, in wildest flight
Of fancy's dreams could hear or see
Of music's sigh or beauty's light
Is realized, at once, in thee!