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The Mocking-Bird by Paul H. Hayne


A golden pallor of voluptuous light
Filled the warm Southern night:
The moon, clear orbed, above the sylvan scene
Moved like a stately queen.
So rife with conscious beauty all the while,
What could she do but smile
At her own perfect loveliness below,
Glassed in the tranquil flow
Of crystal fountains and unruffled streams?
Half lost in waking dreams,
As down the loneliest forest-dell I strayed,
Lo! from a neighboring glade,
Flashed through the drifts of moonshine, swiftly came
A fairy shape of flame.
It rose in dazzling spirals overhead,
Whence, to wild sweetness wed,
Poured marvellous melodies, silvery trill on trill:
The very leaves grew still
On the charmed trees to hearken; while for me,
Heart-thrilled to ecstasy,
I followed—followed the bright shape that flew,
Still circling up the blue,
Till as a fountain that has reached its height
Falls back, in sprays of light
Slowly dissolved, so that enrapturing lay
Divinely melts away
Through tremulous spaces to a music-mist,
Soon by the fitful breeze
How gently kissed
Into remote and tender silences.

Paul H. Hayne.