A Promise

By the pure spring, whose haunted waters flow
Through thy sequestered dell unto the sea,
At sunny noon, I will appear to thee:
Not troubling the still fount with drops of woe,
As when I last took leave of it, and thee,
But gazing up at thee with tranquil brow,
And eyes full of life's early happiness,
Of strength, of hope, of joy, and tenderness.
Beneath the shadowy tree, where thou and I
Were wont to sit, studying the harmony
Of gentle Shakspeare, and of Milton high,
At sunny noon I will be heard by thee;
Not sobbing forth each oft-repeated sound,
As when I last faltered them o'er to thee,
But uttering them in the air around,
With youth's clear, laughing voice of melody.
On the wild shore of the eternal deep,
Where we have strayed so oft, and stood so long
Watching the mighty waters' conquering sweep,
And listening to their loud triumphant song,
At sunny noon, dearest! I'll be with thee:
Not as when last I lingered on the strand,
Tracing our names on the inconstant sand;
But in each bright thing that around shall be:
My voice shall call thee from the ocean's breast,
Thou'lt see my hair in its bright, showery crest,
In its dark, rocky depths, thou'lt see my eyes,
My form shall be the light cloud in the skies,
My spirit shall be with thee, warm and bright,
And flood thee o'er with love, and life, and light.

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