“O little cloud,” the virgin said, “I charge thee tell to me”

"O little Cloud,' the virgin said, "I charge thee tell to me'
Why thou complainest not, when in one hour thou fad'st away:
Then we shall seek thee, but not find. Ah! Thel is like to thee--
I pass away; yet I complain, and no one hears my voice.'

". . . O maid, I tell thee, when I pass away,
It is to tenfold life, to love, to peace, and raptures holy.
Unseen descending, weigh my light wings upon balmy flowers,
And court the fair-eyed dew to take me to her shining tent:
The weeping virgin, trembling, kneels before the risen sun,
Till we arise, linked in a golden band, and never part,
But walk united, bearing food to all our tender flowers.'

"Dost thou, O little Cloud? I fear that I am not like thee,
For I walk through the vales of Har, and smell the sweetest flowers,
But I feed not the little flowers. I hear the warbling birds,
But I feed not the warbling birds: they fly and seek their food.
But Thel delights in these no more, because I fade away,
And all shall say: "Without a use this shining woman lived;
Or did she only live to be at death the food of worms?" '

The Cloud reclined upon his airy throne, and answered thus:
"Then if thou art the food of worms, O virgin of the skies,
How great thy use, how great thy blessing! Everything that lives
Lives not alone, nor for itself . . .'
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