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Dress category in Jollychic

AT BELVOIR


BY JAMES THOMSON

Sunday, July 3, 1881.
A BALLAD, HISTORICAL AND PROPHETIC.
(“In maiden meditation, fancy free.”)

My thoughts go back to last July,
   Sweet happy thoughts and tender;–
“The bridal of the earth and sky,”
   A day of noble splendour;
A day to make the saddest heart
   In joy a true believer;
When two good friends we roamed apart
   The shady walks of Belvoir.

A maiden like a budding rose,
   Unconscious of the golden
And fragrant bliss of love that glows
   Deep in her heart infolden;
A Poet old in years and thought,
   Yet not too old for pleasance,
Made young again and fancy-fraught
   By such a sweet friend's presence.

The other two beyond our ken
   Most shamefully deserted,
And far from all the ways of men
   Their stealthy steps averted:
Of course our Jack would go astray,
   Erotic and erratic;
But Mary!—well, I own the day
   Was really too ecstatic.

We roamed with many a merry jest
   And many a ringing laughter;
The slow calm hours too rich in zest
   To heed before and after:
Yet lingering down the lovely walks
   Soft strains anon came stealing,
A finer music through our talks
   Of sweeter, deeper feeling:

Yes, now and then a quiet word
   Of seriousness dissembling
In smiles would touch some hidden chord
   And set it all a-trembling:
I trembled too, and felt it strange;–
   Could I be in possession
Of music richer in its range
   Than yet had found expression?

The cattle standing in the mere,
   The swans upon it gliding,
The sunlight on the waters clear,
   The radiant clouds dividing;
The solemn sapphire sky above,
   The foliage lightly waving,
The soft air's Sabbath peace and love
   To satisfy all craving.

We mapped the whole fair region out
   As Country of the Tender,
From first pursuit in fear and doubt
   To final glad surrender:
Each knoll and arbour got its name,
   Each vista, covert, dingle;–
No young pair now may track the same
   And long continue single!

And in the spot most thrilling-sweet
   Of all this Love-Realm rosy
Our truant pair had found retreat,
   Unblushing, calm and cosy:
Where seats too wide for one are placed,
   And yet for two but narrow,
It's “Let my arm steal round your waist,
   And be my winsome marrow!”

Reclining on a pleasant lea
   Such tender scenes rehearsing,
A freakish fit seized him and me
   For wildly foolish versing:
We versed of this, we versed of that,
   A pair of mocking sinners,
While our lost couple strayed or sat
   Oblivious of their dinners.

But what was strange, our maddest rhymes
   In all their divagations
Were charged and over-charged at times
   With deep vaticinations:
I yearn with wonder at the power
   Of Poetry prophetic
Which in my soul made that blithe hour
   With this hour sympathetic.

For though we are in winter now,
   My heart is full of summer:
Old Year, old Wish, have made their bow;
   I welcome each new-comer.
“The King is dead, long live the King!
   The throne is vacant never!”
Is true, I read, of everything,
   So of my heart forever!

My thoughts go on to next July,
   More happy thoughts, more tender;
“The bridal of the earth and sky,”
   A day of perfect splendour;
A day to make the saddest heart
   In bliss a firm believer;
When two True Loves may roam apart
   The shadiest walks of Belvoir.

There may be less of merry jest
   And less of ringing laughter,
Yet life be much more rich in zest
   And richer still thereafter;
The love-scenes of that region fair
   Have very real rehearsing,
And tremulous kisses thrill the air
   Far sweetlier than sweet versing;

The bud full blown at length reveal
   Its deepest golden burning;
The heart inspired with love unseal
   Its inmost passionate yearning:
The music of the hidden chord
   At length find full expression;
The Seraph of the Flaming Sword
   Assume divine possession.

This poem was transcribed and proofread by George Jelliss of Leicester, England, U.K.

Notes by GPJ:
Belvoir pronounced ‘beaver’
marrow: mate or companion
divagations: wanderings
vaticinations: prophecies

This poem was added to this site March 14, 2006.

This page last changed February 9, 2017 8:40 PM

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