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Ah! when I thither go
I know that my joy-emptied eyes shall see
A white Ghost wandering where the lilies blow,
A Sorrow sitting by the trysting tree.
I kiss this soft curl of her living hair,
'Tis full of light as when she did unbind
Her sudden ringlets, making bright the wind:
'Tis here, but she is-where?
Why do I, like a child impatient, weep?
Delight dies like a wreath of frosted breath;
Though here I toil upon the barren deep,
God knows; my icy wisdom and my sneers
Are frozen tears!
The day wears, and I go.
Farewell, Elijah! may you heartily dine!
I cannot, David, see your fingers twine
In the long hair of your foe.
Housewife, adieu, Heaven keep your ample form,
May custom never fail
And may your heart, as sound as your own ale,
Be soured by never a storm!
Though I have travelled now for twice an hour,
I have not heard a bird or seen a flower.
This wild road has a little mountain rill
To sing to it, ah! happier than I.
And through the midnight of the pines I hear
At last I've reached the summit high and bare;
I fling myself on heather dry and brown:
As silent as a picture lies the town,
Its peaceful smokes are curling in the air;
And round the far point of the tinted cliffs
I see the long strings of the fishing skiffs
I can be idle only one day more
As the nets drying on the sunny shore;
Thereafter, chambers, still 'mid thronged resorts,
Strewn books and littered parchments, nought to see, Save a charwoman's face, a dingy tree,
A fountain plashing in the empty courts.
But let me hasten down this shepherd's track, The Night is at my back.