John Banister Tabb



The Swallow

by John Banister Tabb

Skim o'er the tide,
And from thy pinions fling
The sparkling water-drops,
Sweet child of spring!
Bathe in the dying sunshine warm and bright,
Till ebbs the last receding wave of light.

Swift glides the hour,
But what its flight to thee?
Thine own is fleeter far;
E'en now to me
Thou seem'st upon futurity anon
To beckon thence the tardy present on.

The eye in vain
Pursues, with subtle glance,
Thy dim, delirious course
Through heaven's expanse:
Vanished thy form upon the wings of thought,
Ere yet its place the lagging vision caught.

Again thou'rt here,
A slanting arrow sent
From yon fair-tinted bow,
In promise bent;
As when, erewhile, the gentle bird of love
Poised her white wing the new-born land above.

A seeming shade,
Scarce palpable in form,
Yet thine, alas, the change
Of calm and storm!
The veering passions of my stronger soul
Alike the throbbings of thy heart control.

For day is done,
And cloyed of long delight,
Like me thou welcomest
The sober night;
Like me, aweary, sinkest on that breast,
That woos all nature to her silent rest.


Copyright 1894
John Lane, LondonCopeland and Day, Boston