1 Sunrise

Ages and ages since my boyhood woke from slumber
And all the hills grew bright
And flowers no man can name, nor mortal heart can number,
Gleamed in the gorgeous morning light.

The sunrise shone around. And thou the spirit of morning,
O sweet first love, wast there:
And thou and I alone watched the green hills adorning
Their fresh robes and their sun-kissed hair.

The first sweet light of dawn fell o'er the ocean hollows
And gilded the waves way:
And o'er the water danced and glanced the white sea-swallows,
And our hearts were as winged as they.

All things were then in front. Life's golden gateway glittered
In the dawn's golden rays.
Ah! one could never have dreamed that woodland paths were littered
Ever with damp autumnal strays!

I thought that I would sing thy beauty and thy glory,
O far first love of mine!
I knew not what snowfields, waste, trackless, sunless, hoary,
Lay on the wild horizon-line!

And now that I have sung, and thirteen years have fluttered
Their weary wings away,
Is there one soft look gained through all that I have uttered,—
Hast thou one word of love to say?

Have thirteen years of song no voices and no pinions
To reach and cry to thee?
Hast thou no yearning still for our old royal dominions
Of deep-blue sky and bluer sea?

Is love of nothing worth now that the love is longer
And of more passionate might?
Now that the mounting sun of riper age flames stronger,
Are the old sun-kissed hills less bright?

If I have crowned thy brow with leaves time may not wither
For all his wayward will,
Wilt thou not, once at least, for old love's sake turn hither,
Thy singer's heart once more to thrill?

Wilt thou not look this way, that once again the splendour
Of morning over me
May flash?—as ever it flashed when thou, first love, wast tender
By the old ever-tender sea.
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