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Music and Other Poems

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I. PRELUDE Daughter of Psyche, pledge of that last nightWhen, pierced with pain and bitter-sweet delight,She knew her Love and saw her Lord depart,Then breathed her wonder and her woe forlornInto a single cry, and thou wast born?Thou flower of rapture and thou fruit of grief;Invisible enchantress of the heart;Mistress of charms that bring reliefTo sorrow, and to joy impartA heavenly tone that keeps it undefiled,—Thou art the childOf Amor, and by right divineA throne of love is thine,Thou flower-folded, golden-girdled, star-crowned Queen,Whose bridal beauty mortal eyes have never seen! IIThou art the Angel of the pool that sleeps,While peace and joy lie hidden in its deeps,Waiting thy touch to make the waters rollIn healing murmurs round the weary soul.Ah, when wilt thou draw near,Thou messenger of mercy robed in song?My lonely heart has listened for thee long;And now I seem to hearAcross the crowded market-place of life,Thy measured foot-fall, ringing light and clearAbove the unmeaning noises and the unruly strife;In quiet cadence, sweet and slow,Serenely pacing to and fro,Thy far-off steps are magical and dear.Ah, turn this way, come close and speak to me!From this dull bed of languor set my spirit free,And bid me rise, and let me walk awhile with thee IIIWhere wilt thou lead me first?In what still regionOf thy domain,Whose provinces are legion,Wilt thou restore me to myself again,And quench my heart's long thirst?I pray thee lay thy golden girdle down,And put away thy starry crown:For one dear restful hourAssume a state more mild.Clad only in thy blossom-broidered gownThat breathes familiar scent of many a flower,Take the low path that leads thro' pastures green;And though thou art a Queen,Be Rosamund awhile, and in thy bower,By tranquil love and simple joy beguiled,Sing to my soul, as mother to her child. IVO lead me by the hand,And let my heart have rest,And bring me back to childhood land,To find again the long-lost bandOf playmates blithe and blest.Some quaint, old-fashioned air,That all the children knew,Shall run before us everywhere,Like a little maid with flying hair,To guide the merry crew.Along the garden waysWe chase the light-foot tune,And in and out the flowery maze,With eager haste and fond delays,In pleasant paths of June.For us the fields are new,For us the woods are rifeWith fairy secrets, deep and true,And heaven is but a tent of blueAbove the game of life.The world is far away:The fever and the fret,And all that makes the heart grow gray,Is out of sight and far away,Dear Music, while I hear thee playThat olden, golden roundelay,"Remember and forget!"

V. SLEEP SONG Forget, forget!The tide of life is turning;The waves of light ebb slowly down the west:Along the edge of dark some stars are burningTo guide thy spirit safely to an isle of rest.A little rocking on the tranquil deepOf song, to soothe thy yearning,A little slumber and a little sleep,And so, forget, forget...!