Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A FINE DAY ON LOUGH SWILLY, by WILLIAM ALEXANDER (1824-1911)



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A FINE DAY ON LOUGH SWILLY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Soft slept the beautiful autumn
Last Line: And lost its way in the heaven.
Subject(s): Nature


Soft slept the beautiful autumn
In the heart, on the face of the Lough--
Its heart, whose pulses were hush'd
Till you knew the life of the tide
But by a wash on the shore.
A whisper like whispering leaves
In green abysses of forest--
Its face, whose violet melted,
Melted in roseate gold--
Roses and violets dying
Into a tender mystery
Of soft impalpable haze.

Calm lay the woodlands of Fahan;
The summer was gone, yet it lay
On the gently yellowing leaves,
Like the beautiful poem, whose tones
Are mute, whose words are forgot,
But its music sleepeth for ever
Within the music of thought.
The robin sang from the ash,
The sunset's pencils of gold
No longer wrote their great lines
On the boles of the odorous limes,
Or bathed the tree-tops in glory,
But a soft strange radiance there hung
In splinters of tenderest light.
And those who look'd from Glengollen
Saw the purple wall of the Scalp,
As if through an old church window
Stain'd with a marvellous blue.

From the snow-white shell strand of Inch
You could not behold the white horses
Lifting their glittering backs,
Tossing their manes on Dunree,
And the battle boom of Macammish
Was lull'd in the delicate air.
As in old pictures the smoke
Goes up from Abraham's pyre,
So the smoke went up from Rathmullen;
And beyond the trail of the smoke
Was a great, deep, fiery abyss
Of molten gold in the sky,
And it set a far track up the waters
Ablaze with gold like its own.
Over the fire of the sea,
Over the chasm in the sky,
My spirit, as by a bridge
Of wonder, went wandering on,
And lost its way in the heaven.





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