Softly sweet the song is stealing, softly through the night afar;
Faint and low the bell is pealing; dim, through haze, the light of star;
Hushed and still is all around me; cold and still my brooding heart:
Sure some magic spell hath bound me,—bid, O bid the spell depart!

O, that song, so softly breathing,—how it flows into my soul!
Memory then her twine unwreathing, tears of young emotion roll:
And, as far the knell is tolling, how my spirit floats away,
Over years, like billows, rolling, to the scenes where youth was gay!

But the night, so hushed around me, and the sky, so dim above,
In a lonely trance have bound me,—trance of mingled grief and love.
Still on early fondness dwelling, faded bloom of vernal years;
All I hear, the sigh faint swelling; all I feel, my trickling tears.


Maids are sitting by the fountain;
Bright the moon o'er yonder mountain
O'er her shepherd watching lonely,
On his sleep she looketh only.
Softly whispering by the fountain,
Oft they look unto the mountain,
Think how, through the midnight hours,
There the shepherd sleeps on flowers.

Clear the fountain wave is gleaming;
Still the happy youth is dreaming:
Chastest love is watching o'er him;
Crouched his faithful dog before him.
Now the bubbling wave is sparkling;
Now beneath a shadow darkling:
O'er the moon a cloud is stealing;
Passes now, her light revealing.

Night-winds o'er the fountain blowing,
Like Æolian music flowing,
Far their warbled breath is gliding,
Swelling, trembling, then subsiding.
Of the shepherd on the mountain
Sing the maids beside the fountain:
Each then seems in air to hover,
Watching o'er her sleeping lover.


See the bounding bark afloat!
 Steady blows the willing gale!
Joy, with merry, merry note,
 Hoists and spreads the purple sail.
Far away, O far away!
 I must cross the dashing sea;
So, my dearest, do not stay,—
 Boldly cross the wave with me.

To the far Elysian isles,
 'Mid the ocean, in the west,
Where the sky for ever smiles,
 All the year one halcyon rest,—
Shall we thither speed our flight?
 Only cross the wave with me,
I shall find, my love and light,
 All Elysian with thee.

On the dark Cimmerian strand,
 Where eternal shadows reign;
Where Caucasian summits stand,
 Towering o'er the untrodden plain;
Where, along the fatal shore,
 Music lulls the soul to death;
Wastes, that hear the lion's roar;
 Sands, where kills the dragon's breath:

Or in flowery gardens, where
 Bends the lotus; passing sweet;
Vales, where roses fill the air;
 Meads, where silent waters meet,
Lingering on through asphodel;—
 With thee, all alike would be:
If with me thou deign to dwell,
 All Elysian smiles to me.
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