Everlasting flowers


WHO do you think stands watching
  The snow-tops shining rosy
In heaven, now that the darkness
  Takes all but the tallest posy?
Who then sees the two-winged
  Boat down there, all alone
And asleep on the snow's last shadow,
  Like a moth on a stone?
The olive-leaves, light as gad-flies,
  Have all gone dark, gone black.
And now in the dark my soul to you
  Turns back.
To you, my little darling,
  To you, out of Italy.
For what is loveliness, my love,
  Save you have it with me!
So, there's an oxen wagon
  Comes darkly into sight:
A man with a lantern, swinging
  A little light.
What does he see, my darling
  Here by the darkened lake?
Here, in the sloping shadow
  The mountains make?
He says not a word, but passes,
  Staring at what he sees.
What ghost of us both do you think he saw
  Under the olive trees?
All the things that are lovely—
  The things you never knew—
I wanted to gather them one by one
  And bring them to you.
But never now, my darling
  Can I gather the mountain-tips
From the twilight like half-shut lilies
  To hold to your lips.
And never the two-winged vessel
  That sleeps below on the lake
Can I catch like a moth between my hands
  For you to take.
But hush, I am not regretting:
  It is far more perfect now.
I'll whisper the ghostly truth to the world
  And tell them how
I know you here in the darkness,
  How you sit in the throne of my eyes
At peace, and look out of the windows
  In glad surprise.


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