Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONGS OF NIGHT TO MORNING: 4, by GEORGE BARLOW (1847-1913)

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SONGS OF NIGHT TO MORNING: 4, by            
First Line: Think what it is to me with life's black tempest blowing
Last Line: The chainless sight and touch and sound of thee.
Subject(s): Hearts; Love; Passion

Think what it is to me with life's black tempest blowing
Still through my hair, and still the weary rain-drops flowing
Adown my face and hands,
To meet thee full of summer,—and full of morning sweetness!
Think how it rounds my life to passionate completeness,
And brings me visions of green laughing lands!

And thou art linked to me,—for thou dost love the rivers,
And the deep woods wherein the chequered sunlight quivers
Through maze of leaf on leaf:
And thy feet have not feared the pathways of the mountains,
And thou hast caught the laugh of far-off silvery fountains;
Thou hast kissed pleasure,—as I have kissed grief.

Think what it is to me, after long years of bondage,
Again with thee to see the light wind kiss the frondage
And the free sunlight dance!
Think what it is to be in the green woods embowered,
And for a season short of risen life empowered
To watch thy sweet face smile, thy dark eyes glance.

My song,—I know it well,—hath death's wild wail within it:
It is not all a chant of lark or thrush or linnet—
(And thou dost linnets keep!)
It is not fit for thee: it is not bright or cheery;
But full of moorland sound, and sound of storm, and eerie,
And haunted by the moaning of the deep.

Yet have I loved thee so that if I sang hereafter
Never again, meseems one ripple of thy laughter
Through this my song would ring:
So I have poured my soul along the singing measure
That something in it of thee the singer's deathless treasure
May to the mortal notes, death-conquering, cling.

Just as a man imprisoned for years in dungeon gloomy
Plunges his every sense in rapture at the roomy
First large sight of the sea,
So I for years in chains and far from joy and daylight
Hail,—as he hails the sea's divine expanse of grey light,—
The chainless sight and touch and sound of thee.

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