By the Aurelian Wall and Other Elegies

by Bliss Carman


 

THE AFTERWORD

To G.B.R.


 

BROTHER, the world above you
Is very fair to-day,
And all things seem to love you
The old accustomed way.

Here in the heavenly weather

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In June's white arms you sleep,
Where once on the hills together
Your haunts you used to keep.

The idling sun that lazes
Along the open field

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And gossips to the daisies
Of secrets unrevealed;

The wind that stirs the grasses
A moment, and then stills
Their trouble as he passes

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Up to the darkling hills,—

And to the breezy clover
Has many things to say
Of that unwearied rover
Who once went by this way;

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The miles of elm-treed meadows;
The clouds that voyage on,
Streeling their noiseless shadows
From countries of the sun;

The tranquil river reaches

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And the pale stars of dawn;
The thrushes in their beeches
For reverie withdrawn;

With all your forest fellows
In whom the blind heart calls,

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For whom the green leaf yellows,
On whom the red leaf falls;

The dumb and tiny creatures
Of flower and blade and sod,
That dimly wear the features

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And attributes of God;

The airy migrant comers
On gauzy wings of fire,
Those wanderers and roamers
Of indefinite desire;

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The rainbirds and all dwellers
In solitude and peace,
Those lingerers and foretellers
Of infinite release;

Yea, all the dear things living

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That rove or bask or swim,
Remembering and misgiving,
Have felt the day grow dim.

Even the glad things growing,
Blossom and fruit and stem,

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Are poorer for your going
Because you were of them.

Yet since you loved to cherish
Their pleading beauty here,
Your heart shall not quite perish

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In all the golden year;

But God's great dream above them
Must be a tinge less pale,
Because you lived to love them
And make their joy prevail.

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