Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886)
I stood beside a pool, from whence ascended,
Mounting the cloudy platforms of the wind,
A stately heron; its soaring I attended,
Till it grew dim, and I with watching blind--
When lo! a shaft of arrowy light descended
Upon its darkness and its dim attire;
It straightway kindled them, and was afire,
And with the unconsuming radiance blended.
And bird, a cloud, flecking the sunny air,
It had its golden dwelling 'mid the lightning
Of those empyreal domes, and it might there
Have dwelt for ever, glorified and bright'ning,
But that its wings were weak--so it became
A dusky speck again, that was a winged flame.
The Onward Course
Our course is onward, onward into light:
What though the darkness gathereth amain,
Yet to return or tarry both are vain.
How tarry, when around us is thick night?
Whither return? what flower yet ever might,
In days of gloom and cold and stormy rain,
Enclose itself in its green bud again,
Hiding from wrath of tempest out of sight?
Courage--we travel through a darksome cave;
But still as nearer to the light we draw,
Fresh gales will reach us from the upper air
And wholesome dews of heaven our foreheads lave,
The darkness lighten more, till full of awe
We stand in the open sunshine unaware.
In a Pass of Bavaria between the Walchen and the Waldensee
"His voice was as the sound
of many waters."
A sound of many waters!--now I know
To what was likened the large utterance sent
By Him who mid the golden lampads went:
Innumerable streams, above, below,
Some seen, some heard alone, with headlong flow
Come rushing; some with smooth and sheer descent,
Some dashed to foam and whiteness, but all blent
Into one mighty music.
As I go,
The tumult of a boundless gladness fills
My bosom, and my spirit leaps and sings:
Sounds and sights are there of the ancient hills,
The eagle's cry, the mountain when it flings
Mists from its brow, but none of all these things
Like the one voice of multitudinous rills.