To A Greek Girl

 

With breath of thyme and bees that hum, 
Across the years you seem to come,— 
Across the years with nymph-like head, 
And wind-blown brows unfilleted; 
A girlish shape that slips the bud 
In lines of unspoiled symmetry; 
A girlish shape that stirs the blood 
With pulse of Spring, Autonoe!

Where’er you pass,—where’er you go, 
I hear the pebbly rillet flow; 
Where’er you go,—where’er you pass, 
There comes a gladness on the grass; 
You bring blithe airs where’er you tread,— 
Blithe airs that blow from down and sea; 
You wake in me a Pan not dead,— 
Not wholly dead!—Autonoe!

How sweet with you on some green sod 
To wreathe the rustic garden-god; 

How sweet beneath the chestnut’s shade 
With you to weave a basket-braid; 
To watch across the stricken chords 
Your rosy-twinkling fingers flee; 
To woo you in soft woodland words, 

With woodland pipe, Autonoe!

In vain,—in vain! The years divide: 
Where Thames rolls a murky tide, 
I sit and fill my painful reams, 
And see you only in my dreams;— 
A vision, like Alcestis, brought 
From under-lands of Memory,— 
A dream of Form in days of Thought,— 
A dream,—a dream, Autonoe!

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