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VOICES OF THE NIGHT.

1839.

PRELUDE.

Pleasant it was, when woods were green,

And winds were soft and low, To lie amid some sylvan scene, Where, the long drooping boughs between, Shadows dark and sunlight sheen

Alternate come and go ;

Or where the denser grove receives

No sunlight from above,
But the dark foliage interweaves
In one unbroken roof of leaves,
Underneath whose sloping eaves

The shadows hardly move.

Beneath some patriarchal tree

I lay upon the ground;
His hoary arms uplifted he,
And all the broad leaves over me
Clapped their little hands in glee,

With one continuous sound ; –

A slumberous sound, a sound that brings

The feelings of a dream, -
As of innumerable wings,
As, when a bell no longer swings,
Faint the hollow murmur rings

O'er meadow, lake, and stream.

And dreams of that which cannot die,

Bright visions, came to me,
As lapped in thought I used to lie,
And
gaze

into the summer sky, Where the sailing clouds went by,

Like ships upon the sea ;

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