by Robert Laurence Binyon
O hush, sweet birds, that linger in lonely song!
Hold in your evening fragrance, wet May--bloom!
But drooping branches and leaves that greenly throng,
Darken and cover me over in tenderer gloom.
As a water--lily unclosing on some shy pool,
Filled with rain, upon tremulous water lying,
With joy afraid to speak, yet fain to be sighing
Its riches out, my heart is full, too full.
Votaries that have veiled their secret shrine
In veils of incense falteringly that rise,
And stealing in milky clouds of wavering line
Round soaring pillars hang like adoring sighs,
They watch the smoke ascending soft as thought,
Till wide in the fragrant dimness peace is shed,
And out of their perfect vision the world is fled,
Because the heart sees pure when the eye sees not.
I too will veil my joy that is too divine
For my heart to comprehend or tongue to speak.
The whole earth is my temple, and Love the shrine
That all the hearts of the world worship and seek.
But the incense cloud I burn to veil my bliss
Is woven of air and waters and living sun,
Colour and odour and music and light made one.
Come down, O night, and take from me all but this!
I dreamed of wonders strange in a strange air;
But this my joy, my dream, my wonder, is near
As grass to the earth, that clings so close and fair,
Nourished by all it nourishes. O most dear,
I dreamed of beauty pacing enchanted ground,
But you with beauty over my waiting soul,
As the blood steals over the cheek at a heart--throb, stole!
In the beating of my heart I have known you, I have found.
Incredulous world, be far, and tongues profane!
For now in my spirit there burns a steadfast faith.
No longer I fear you, earth's sad bondage vain,
Nor prison walls of Time, nor the gates of Death.
For the marvel that was most marvellous is most true;
To the music that moves the universe moves my heart,
And the song of the starry worlds I sing apart
In the night and shadow and stillness, Love, for you.
Last updated January 14, 2019