The Earthly Paradise, by William Morris

July.

FAIR was the morn to-day, the blossom’s scent
Floated across the fresh grass, and the bees
With low vexed song from rose to lily went,
A gentle wind was in the heavy trees,
And thine eyes shone with joyous memories;
Fair was the early morn, and fair wert thou,
And I was happy — Ah, be happy now!

Peace and content without us, love within
That hour there was, now thunder and wild rain,
Have wrapped the cowering world, and foolish sin,
And nameless pride, have made us wise in vain;
Ah, love! although the morn shall come again,
And on new rose-buds the new sun shall smile,
Can we regain what we have lost meanwhile?

E’en now the west grows clear of storm and threat,
But midst the lightning did the fair sun die —
— Ah he shall rise again for ages yet,
He cannot waste his life — but thou and I—
Who knows if next morn this felicity
My lips may feel, or if thou still shalt live
This seal of love renewed once more to give?

WITHIN a lovely valley, watered well
With flowery streams, the July feast befell,
And there within the Chief-priest’s fair abode
They cast aside their trouble’s heavy load,
Scarce made aweary by the sultry day.
The earth no longer laboured; shaded lay
The sweet-breathed kine, across the sunny vale,
From hill to hill the wandering rook did sail,
Lazily croaking, midst his dreams of spring,
Nor more awake the pink-foot dove did cling
Unto the beech-bough, murmuring now and then;
All rested but the restless sons of men
And the great sun that wrought this happiness,
And all the vale with fruitful hopes did bless.

So in a marble chamber bright with flowers,
The old men feasted through the fresher hours,
And at the hottest time of all the day
When now the sun was on his downward way,
Sat listening to a tale an elder told,
New to his fathers while they yet did hold
The cities of some far-off Grecian isle,
Though in the heavens the cloud of force and guile
Was gathering dark that sent them o’er the sea
To win new lands for their posterity.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/morris/william/m87ea/chapter13.html

Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 22:07