Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON LISNADARA, by JANE BARLOW



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ON LISNADARA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: On lisnadara soft, full soft, falls sleep
Last Line: When dreams are done.
Subject(s): Landscape


ON Lisnadara soft, full soft, falls sleep
Ere dreams begin,
When down the fading hills slow shadows creep
To shut them in,
With all their fields enfolden, hushed and stilled
From steep to steep,
Whose secret, till the east shine amber-silled,
Grey mists shall keep.

For blithe the morn with flower of flame would break,
And radiance spilled,
That round a shimmering shore flushed all the lake
Rose-red, and filled
The glen with latticed lights, while strange soothsay
The breezes spake:
How sure our morrow young as yesterday
Should yonder wake,
And, kindling crystal-clear across the dew
A wonder-way,
Lead forth thereon old joyance wrought anew
In faery ray.
Nor need a whit to fear when dusk bereaves
Of form and hue
The drowsy world, and builds dim walls and eaves
Our sight to mew,
Bound with most gentle spell, whose magic shed
White slumber weaves,
Careless as laps a feather-fended head
Among close leaves.

Yet if the years at last teach bitter lore
In sweet joy's stead,
Each glad hour grown a pearl, with grudging sore
Slipped from the thread;
Yea, when long slopes of fiery-fronded fern
Thrill to heart's core
Grief for the day whose embers withering burn
To bloom no more;
And footsteps, strayed on lonely paths afar,
No more shall turn,
Beyond the faint blue heights that hope debar
And patience spurn;
And streams, sped by with many a chiming leap,
But silence mar,
Where listeners fain would hear athwart night's deep
Some echoing star --
So wild the cry that answer ne'er hath won
From Fate's stern keep:
Yet, yet a peace shall be indeed begun
With shadows' sweep,
And rest for hearts worn wearier than to weep
Bring set of sun;
For soft on Lisnadara, soft falls sleep,
When dreams are done.





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