A Time Withdrawn


CAN I, with a wandering rhyme,
Bring again, in years to come,
This dear day, this precious time
Plucked from weariness and strife,
From the city’s pain and stress,
And heartbreak of the myriad life —
Autumn in this mountain home!
Strive, my Song! so to bring back
This dual joy down memory’s track —
Rest in Nature’s restlessness:
Roaring winds and rushing clouds;
Leaves that fly in circling crowds
From trees all silver, that no rays
Hide of moon, or star, or sun;
Golden tints and shadows dun;
The Dawn’s lily, Evening’s rose;
Starbright nights and dazzling days;
In nature’s restless heart repose; —
And, when tumult turns to calm,
For tired souls a deeper balm In that loveliest hour and best,
With its low light in the west.


Wandering Song! be eloquent
Of these browns and purples blent
Into one bewilderment
Of beauty, ever melting slowdy
To new beauty, hushed and holy;
And, to fix the flying year,
Song! remember, strangely near,
Ere the dawn, ringed Saturn came,
Tremblingly, with mystic flame,
Close to Jupiter’s large ray,
Making night a dream of day.


Wandering Song! record, I pray.
Not alone the outward day,
But the inward life and light
By the heartli-fire in the night.
Tell wThat sovereign spirits drew
Close to ours, with accents true;
How, in intercourse sublime,
Passed the consecrated time;
How of that endeared host
Two starry souls had welcome most —
He who, since Milton’s voice was still,
Highest climbed the sacred hill,
And he wdio to our new world came
To light and lift an equal flame.


Memorial Song! be this thy sign,
Bringing back, in sadder hour,
Perfume of one perfect flower
And memory of a day divine —
Happiness scarce hoped for in
Mid-life’s stress, and pain, and din:
A time withdrawn, a golden rest,
A low light in the purple west.