Beyond the Hills of Dream

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

The Wayfarer


 

HE woke with the dawning
     Met eyes with the sun,
And drank the wild rapture
     Of living begun.
 
But he went with the moment
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     To follow the clue,
Ere the first red of dawning
     Had drunk the blue dew.
 
Follow him, follow him,
     Where the world will,
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Under the sunlight
     By meadow and hill.
 
Down the blue distance,
     Round the world’s rim,
Where the hosts of the future
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     Are horning for him.
 
Follow him, call to him,
     Pray to him, Sweet,
Tell him the morning
     Is fresh for his feet;
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Sing him the rapture,
     The glamour, the gleam
Of pearly dew-azure
     That curtains the stream;
 
Sing the glad thrushnote
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     That never knew pain,
But sing him and call him
     And pray him in vain.
 
For ere the red dewdrop
     In sunlight was pearled,
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He heard that mad ocean
     That whelms the world.
 
Yea, heard that voice calling
     Past sunlight and dew,
That rarest, alluringest,
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     Ever heart knew.
 
That siren of sunrise,
     That weaver of songs,
Till the heart of man hearkens
     And gladdens and longs,
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Till o’er the blue distance,
     As opens the rose,
The yearning impulsion
     Of all his life goes;
 
And many a dragon
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     Chimera so grim,
Down the dream of the morning
     Is vanquished by him.
 
Yea, sing to him, call him through
     Heartache in vain.
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But the gladdest day wakened
     To glory, must wane;
 
And the noonday he longed for
     To fierce light will burn,
And the battles he wages
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     Grow bitter and stern;
 
And the surge of life sink
     To the moan of a bar;
And the hopes of the morning
     Grow hollow and far;
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And the road that he follows
     Less luring and true,
Till he longs for a whiff
     Of the morning he knew.
 
For he hears thy far singing,
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     That lures not in vain,
Till he comes to thy beauty
     Of dawning again.
 
But the roads of returning
     Are never the same
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As the sweet dewy meadows
     Of morning we came.
 
But the song of alluring
     Is ever as true,
To lead the heart back
     To the beauty it knew;
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And vain the mad magic
     Where life’s glories burn,
For the heart of the yearner
     Who longs to return:
 
For he hears that voice calling,
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     Voiced never in vain,
To world-heart aweary
     For all dreamings fain;
 
And he hears the low grasses,
     The green tents of sod,
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From roof-trees of slumber,
     As voices of God;
 
And the spinning and turning,
     Of madness amain
Fade out from his dreaming
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     As night from the pane,
 
When the rosy-red splendor
     In dewdreams impearled,
From ashes of slumber,
     Lifts over the world.
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Yea, back from those echoes
     Of bugles that blew,
Heart-weary, life-broken,
     He wanders to you; 
 
Yea, back to his truest,
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     Those far broken gleams
Of that rosy-red, morning lit
     House of his dreams.
 
Where all hours were splendid,
     And all hearts held true,
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In those glory-lit visions
     Of beauty and you.
 
Yea, call to him, cry to him,
     Mother of all;
You lit his youth’s torches,
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     You saw their flames fall.
 
You loved him, upheld him,
     This child of thy breast,
And now give him surcease
     In dreamings and rest.
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Thy note was the one note
     He heard in the fray,
That bore him far out
     In the heat of the day;
 
Thy call is the one call
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     That beckons him home,
When day-fires darken
     By forest and foam.
 
When o’er all the heartache,
     The visions untrue,
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Love draws her dim curtains
     Of duskfire and dew.
 
While the bells ring for slumber
     As out of the deep,
Come pleading those velvet-winged
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     Spirits of sleep.
 
And there at thy doorways
     Of slumber he stands,
Like him of old Horeb,
     And sees his heart’s lands;
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And under the white awe
     Of planets that swim,
Knows dawning and even
     As one world to him.