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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.



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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