Once it smiled a silent dell1
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure2 towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the Midst of which all day
The red sun-light lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley's restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless--
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate3 like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides4!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Uneasily, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye--
Over the lilies there that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
The wave:--from off their delicate stems
Perennial5 tears descend in gems.
1Dell:(n) A small wooded valley.
2Azure:(n)/(adj) A light purplish blue.
3Palpitate:(v) To Beat with excessive rapidity or to tremble.
4Hebrides:(n) An island group of W and NW Scoutland in the Atlantic.
5Perennial:(adj) Lasting forever.