Poem by John Frederick Freeman (1880-1929)

Vision and Echo


    I have seen that which sweeter is
    Than happy dreams come true.
    I have heard that which echo is
    Of speech past all I ever knew.
    Vision and echo, come again,
    Nor let me grieve in easeless pain!

    It was a hill I saw, that rose
    Like smoke over the street,
    Whose greening rampires were upreared
    Suddenly almost at my feet;
    And tall trees nodded tremblingly
    Making the plain day visionary.

    But ah, the song, the song I heard
    And grieve to hear no more!
    It was not angel-voice, nor child's
    Singing alone and happy, nor
    Note of the wise prophetic thrush
    As lonely in the leafless bush.

    It was not these, and yet I knew
    That song; but now, alas,
    My unpurged ears prove all too gross
    To keep the nameless air that was
    And is not; and my eyes forget
    The vision that I follow yet.

    Yet though forgetful I did see.
    And heard, but cannot tell,
    And on my forehead felt an air
    Unearthly, on my heart a spell.
    I have seen that which deathless is,
    And heard--what I for ever miss!



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Written on 2022-08-22 at 00:00

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