The Lost Nymph

By George Sterling

Now whither hast thou flown?
    In what retreat art hid?—
Where falling waters moan
    In shadow, or amid
The rushes of the river, pebble-sown?

'Twas but a breath ago
    I held thy captive hands.
Clearly thy footprints show
    Along the final sands.
Almost I hear thy voice, divinely low.

I do but know thy feet
    Have gone from me—not why.
I do but know them fleet
    As clouds upon the sky.
Ah! gone so soon, whom love hath found so sweet!

Thy loveliness made sure
    Thou wouldst be fled ere long.
No beauty shall endure
    Beyond its shining song—
However close, however strange and pure.

Afar thy pathway leads,
    Yet will I follow fast,
Hoping, tho day recedes,
    To find thy home at last
And silver of thee 'mid the golden reeds.

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