A Poet's Love

I can remember well
My very early youth,
My sumptuous Isabel,
Who was a girl of truth;
Of golden truth; — we do not often see
Those whose whole lives have only known to be.

So sunlight, very warm,
On harvest fields and trees,
Could not more sweetly form
Rejoicing melodies
For these deep things, than Isabel for me;
I lay beneath her soul as a lit tree.

That cottage where she dwelt
Was all o'er mosses green;
I still forever felt
How nothing stands between
The soul and truth; why starving poverty
Was nothing — nothing, Isabel, to thee.
Grass beneath her faint tread
Bent pleasantly away;
From her ne'er small birds fled,
But kept at their bright play,
Not fearing her; it was her endless motion,
Just a true swell upon a summer ocean.
They who conveyed her home, —
I mean who led her where
The spirit does not roam, —
Had such small weight to bear,
They scarcely felt. How softly was thy knell
Rung for thee that soft day, girl Isabel!
I am no more below,
My life is raised on high;
My fantasy was slow
Ere Isabel could die,
It pressed me down; but now I sail away
Into the regions of exceeding day.
And Isabel and I
Float on the red-brown clouds,
That amply multiply
The very constant crowds
Of serene shapes. Play on mortality!
Thy happiest hour is that when thou may'st die.
The running winds are not more fleet
That pace along the blue sea's floor,
Than are thy tender childhood's feet,
O girl, the best that nature bore.
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