Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FAREWELLS FROM PARADISE, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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FAREWELLS FROM PARADISE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hark! The flow of the four rivers
Last Line: Ye shall hear nevermore!
Subject(s): Farewell; Parting


Hark! the flow of the four rivers --
Hark the flow!
How the silence round you shivers,
While our voices through it go,
Cold and clear.
Think a little, while ye hear,
Of the banks
Where the willows and the deer
Crowd in intermingled ranks,
As if all would drink at once
Where the living water runs! --
Of the fishes' golden edges
Flashing in and out the sedges;
Of the swans on silver thrones,
Floating down the winding streams
With impassive eyes turned shoreward
And a chant of undertones, --
And the lotus leaning forward
To help them into dreams.
Fare ye well, farewell!
The river-sounds, no longer audible,
Expire at Eden's door.
Each footstep of your treading
Treads out some murmur which ye heard before.
Farewell! the streams of Eden
Ye shall hear nevermore!
I am the nearest nightingale
That singeth in Eden after you;
And I am singing loud and true,
And sweet, --I do not fail.
I sit upon a cypress bough,
Close to the gate, and I fling my song
Over the gate and through the mail
Of the warden angels marshall'd strong, --
Over the gate and after you!
And the warden angels let it pass,
Because the poor brown bird, alas,
Sings in the garden, sweet and true.
And I build my song of high pure notes,
Note over note, height over height,
Till I strike the arch of the Infinite,
And I bridge abysmal agonies
With strong, clear calms of harmonies, --
And something abides, and something floats,
In the song which I sing after you.
Fare ye well, farewell!
The creature-sounds, no longer audible,
Expire at Eden's door.
Each footstep of your treading
Treads out some cadence which ye heard before
Farewell! the birds of Eden
Ye shall hear nevermore!








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