Now in the lower reflected gulf of blue
A swan sails tranquil with a stately neck
Arched long, with orange beak, and lifted wing
Sail-like on either side, how soft and pure!
Have they not fallen these wings from yonder blue,
Out of the soft white cloud there, so akin
They seem to it? And O the tenderness
Of the blue shadow, scarcely shadow or blue,
Haunting yon dells of down behind the wing!
Surely the white cloud when it fell from heaven
Fell with the heavenly motion lingering in it,
For do but note how tranquil and how still
The cloud sails yonder and the swan sails here!
Yet lo! a sudden impulse of the bosom
Thrills all the placid water feeling it
To dimpling smiles that waft luxurious light
Into the pendulous faces of sweet flowers,
Lush grasses, harebell, eyebright, sorrel leaves
That fringe the flood whose heart enshrines them all.
While his dim double the swan floats upon
Flickers beneath him with the twin-born ripple
From his breast sloping either side away,
Melts like snow dropped in water, yet remains.
He ruffles yielding wavering images
Of church and tree, and of the sky above,
But all the fragments gather as he goes.
Thus if a dream, a passing fancy, glide
And mar thine image for a moment, Love,
Within my heart, it glides and passes by;
But thou art, Love, mine own abiding sky,
More undisturbed nor faithfuller than I.