The Voice Of The Dove

By George Sterling

 Hear I the mourning-dove,
   As now the swallow floats
   Low o'er the shadowed oats?
 Soft as the voice of love,
Hear I her slow and supplicating notes?

 O fugitive! O lone!
   O burden pure and strong
   That summer noons prolong!
 O link in music shown
Between the silence and an angel's song!

 The dulcimer and lute
   Hoard not so swoonless woe.
   What grief of long ago
 Would now thy tones transmute
To what we sought afar and could not know?

 Thy yearnings yet elude
   Our quest and scrutiny,
   Tho mortals echo thee
 Thy moan in solitude
For dreams that are not nor shall ever be.

 So broken waters hold
   A voice to sorrow set—
   A world's foreknown regret,
 Immutable, untold.
So seas remember, tho our souls forget.

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