The Bird In The Valley

A poem by Violet Jacob

Above the darkened house the night is spread,
The hidden valley holds
Vapour and dew and silence in its folds,
And waters sighing on the river-bed.
No wandering wind there is
To swing the star-wreaths of the clematis
Against the stone;
Out of the hanging woods, above the shores,
One liquid voice of throbbing crystal pours,
Singing alone.

A stream of magic through the heart of night
Its unseen passage cleaves;
Into the darkened room below the eaves
It falls from out the woods upon the height,
A strain of ecstasy
Wrought on the confines of eternity,
Glamour and pain,
And echoes gathered from a world of years,
Old phantoms, dim like mirage seen through tears,
But young again.

"Peace, peace," the bird sings on amid the woods,
"Peace, from the land that is the spirit's goal, -
The land that nonce may see but with his soul, -
Peace on the darkened house above the floods."
Pale constellations of the clematis,
Hark to that voice of his
That will not cease,
Swing low, droop low your spray,
Light with your white stars all the shadowed way
To peace, peace!

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