When the long twilight waned upon the rim
Of the earth and sky, a voice within me cried,
"Yonder thy way lies, o'er yon opal tide,
--Forth to the west before thine eyes grow dim!"
So forth I fared unwearying, till the slim
Boughs of an unknown islet I descried,
Pencilled against the horizon, waving wide
And many hued, like wings of cherubim.
Aye, there it was, the dream of many a year.
The vision vanishing through dark and day,
The lost isle veiled in world-old mystery,
Sought and not found, green while the earth turns grey.
Strange blossoms fluttered down to welcome me,
And whispering in strange tongues, the waves drew near.
Asleep it lies,--the jealous seas seclude
Its splendour for themselves, in wreaths and rings
Of liquid light; no languid echo brings
The slenderest sound, save that when hushed winds brood
Over the tide that ebbs out sunset-hued,--
High in the rose-hung rocks, a strange bird sings
Decrescent through the sweet diminishings
Of gradual light o'er each shore-solitude.
The sunrise kisses its unpastured hills,
The sunset throbs above its valleys deep,
The pensive twilight folds its daffodils;
The pearly pillars, its foundations, glow
With shafts of light, what time the moon lies low,
Upon the dawn's gold threshold fallen asleep.