What?

Strengthening as secret manna,
Fostering as clouds above,
Kind as a hovering dove,
Full as a plenteous river,
Our glory and our banner
For ever and for ever.

Dear as a dying cadence
Of music in the drowsy night;
Fair as the flowers which maidens
Pluck for an hour's delight,
And then forget them quite.

Gay as a cowslip meadow
Fresh opening to the sun
When new day is begun;
Soft as a sunny shadow
When day is almost done.

Glorious as purple twilight,
Pleasant as budding tree,
Untouched as any islet
Shrined in an unknown sea;
Sweet as a fragrant rose amid the dew;—
As sweet, as fruitless too.

A bitter dream to wake from,
But oh how pleasant while we dream;
A poisoned fount to take from,
But oh how sweet the stream.
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