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Just as though it loved to linger Round the rushes' feet. As they stooped to meet
Their clear images below,
Broken by the ripples' flow.

Purple Willow-herb bent over

To her shadow fair; Meadow-sweet, in feathery clusters,

Perfumed all the air;

Silver-weed was there,
And in one calm, grassy spot,
Starry, blue Forget-me-not.

Tangled weeds, below the waters,
Still seemed drawn away;

Yet the current, floating onward,
Was less strong than they ;—
Sunbeams watched their play,

With a flickering light and shade,

Through the screen the Alders made.

Broader grew the flowing River;
To its grassy brink;

Slowly, in the slanting sun-rays,

Cattle trooped to drink:

The blue sky, I think,
Was no bluer than that stream,
Slipping onward, like a dream.

Quicker, deeper then it hurried,

Rushing fierce and free; But I said, "It should grow calmer

Ere it meets the Sea,

The wide purple Sea,
Which I weary for in vain,
Wasting all my toil and pain."

But it rushed still quicker, fiercer,

In its rocky bed,
Hard and stony was the pathway

To my tired tread;

"I despair," I said,
"Of that wide and glorious Sea
That was promised unto me."

So I turned aside, and wandered
Through green meadows near,

Far away, among the daisies,

Far away, for fear

Lest I still should hear The loud murmur of its song, As the River flowed along.

Now I hear it not:—I loiter

Gaily as before; Yet I sometimes think,—and thinking

Makes my heart so sore,—

Just a few steps more, And there might have shone for me, Blue and infinite, the Sea.

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IF THOU COULDST KNOW.

THINK if thou couldst know, Oh soul that will complain, What lies concealed below Our burden and our pain; How just our anguish brings Nearer those longed-for things We seek for now in vain,— I think thou wouldst rejoice, and not complain.

I think if thou couldst see,

With thy dim mortal sight, How meanings, dark to thee, Are shadows hiding light; Truth's efforts crossed and vexed, Life's purpose all perplexed,— If thou couldst see them right, I think that they would seem all clear, and wise, and bright.

And yet thou canst not know,
And yet thou canst not see;
Wisdom and sight are slow

In poor humanity.
If thou couldst trust, poor soul,
In Him who rules the whole,
Thou wouldst find peace and rest:
Wisdom and sight are well, but Trust is best.

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