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The Cloud

Josephine Preston Peabody

The islands called me far away,
 The valleys called me home.
The rivers with a silver voice
 Drew on my heart to come.
The paths reached tendrils to my hair
 From every vine and tree.
There was no refuge anywhere
 Until I came to thee.
There is a northern cloud I know,
 Along a mountain crest;
And as she folds her wings of mist,
 So I could make my rest.
There is no chain to bind her so
 Unto that purple height;
And she will shine and wander, slow,
 Slow, with a cloud's delight.
Would she begone?  She melts away,
 A heavenly joyous thing.
Yet day will find the mountain white,
 White-folded with her wing.
As you may see, but half aware
 If it be late or soon,
Soft breathing on the day-time air,
 The fair forgotten Moon.
And though love cannot bind me, Love,
 — Ah no! — yet I could stay
Maybe, with wings forever spread,
 — Forever, and a day.

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