Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Greek Idyl / Mortimer Collins


He sat the quiet stream beside –
His white feet laving in the tide –
And watched the pleasant waters glide
     Beneath the skies of summer.
She singing came from mound to mound,
Her footfall on the thymy ground
Unheard; his traquil haunt she found –
     That beautiful new comer.


He said – "My own Glycerium!
The pulses of the wood are dumb,
How well I knew that thou wouldst come,
     Beneath the branches gliding."
The dreamer fancied he had heard
Her footstep, whensoever stirred
The summer wind, or languid bird
     Amid the boughs abiding.


She dipped her fingers in the brook,
And gazed awhile with happy look
Upon the windings of a book
     Of Cyprian hymnings tender.
The ripples to the ocean raced –
The flying minutes passed in haste;
Hid arm was round the maiden't waste –
     That waist so very slender.


O cruel Time! O tyrant Time!
Whose winter all the streams of rhyme,
The flowing waves of love sublime,
     In bitter passage freezes.
I only see the scrambling goat,
The lotos on the waters float,
While an old shepherd with an oat
     Pipes to the autumn breezes.

Mortimer Collins
from Idyls and Rhymes, 1855

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Mortimer Collins biography

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