Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RHAPSODY, by MARTIN DONISTHORPE ARMSTRONG

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RHAPSODY, by            
First Line: As when trees are shrouded in december
Last Line: Ancient visions of remote crusades.

As when trees are shrouded in December,
Men recall the perfumes of the flower-time;
So we sing a life we half remember:
How we heard in some primeval shower-time
Liquid song of rain upon blue rivers;
Dreamed on isles, in windless oceans planted,
Where a dim-green twilight, bird enchanted,
Under domes of drooping leafage quivers;
How we climbed on many a hidden planet
Eagle heights stirred by a starry breeze;
Watched by coffined kings in tombs of granite,
Where the darkness hangs like boughs of trees,
Glimpsing in the reddening light of torches
Ghosts of somber vaults and looming porches,
Cyclopean faces, giant knees;
How we anchored in a violet haven,
Seeking under light of unknown stars
Mountains paler than the moonlight, graven
Into shapes of pinnacles and scars;
Where our boat set all the lilies swinging,
Sailed up rivers hushed and leafy-arbored,
And, in caves of hanging blossom harbored,
Heard the sound of an immortal singing.

As when breathed upon, the ashen ember
Blossoms into fire again and fades,
So bright Junes flame up through our December,
And at random whiles we half remember
Sudden gusts of an immortal singing,
Ancient visions of remote crusades.

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