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  ― 187 ―

Heimweh

THE silver sea creeps in to kiss
The harbour's wooded edges,
And bears to ocean's wilderness
The scent of may-sweet hedges.
The white-winged boats glide gently in,
With scarce a breeze to guide them;
While shyly-peeping stars begin
And gem the waves beside them.

The fairy-petalled daisies close
And on their stems lie sleeping;
The perfume of a climbing rose
Upon the night is creeping.
The music of a distant oar
In rhythm soft is falling,
And from some tree-top on the shore
A nightingale is calling.

'Tis sweet, and in my native land
'Twould fill my heart with gladness;
But here, upon an alien strand,
Its sweetness breathes of sadness.



  ― 188 ―
If I could hear the bell-bird's song
Through this calm scene come ringing,
Awaking echoes all along
In that divinest singing.

If I could hear the hushed, deep beat
Of waves on lonely shorelands,
Or watch the red sun rise to greet
The towering rugged forelands;
If I could roam the fern-clad creek
And lie in knee-deep grasses,
Where happy birds their loved ones seek
In seldom-trodden passes.

If one wee branch of ti-tree bloom,
Or wattle light and golden
Appeared to me in the gloom
With baby buds enfolden:
Such sweet and well-loved scenes would wake
Now half forgot and sleeping
That oh! my very heart would break
With longing, love, and weeping.

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