'I Loved Thee, Atthis, Long Ago!'

By George Sterling

Like sonic new star upon the blue,
    That lyric lips should sing and name—
A soul of mingled fire and dew,
The young auroral goddess came.

Her voice in music had I heard,—
    Ever in beauty seen her face,
Till now fulfilled the vision stirred
    In wild and hesitating grace.

Her like was not in all the lands
    Nor all the purple seas that roll;
The vestal lily in her hands
    Was darker than her maiden soul.

And I, a faun beside the stream,
    Stood suddenly amazed and mute,
The god of an enchanted dream,
    And dropped the reed that was my flute,

And said: 'Farewell, O golden reed
    Whose murmur mocked the wooing dove!
For love lacks art to cry its need,
    And music speech to tell my love.'

Bibliography Entry