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Before the Breath of Storm

by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

Before the breath of storm.
While yet the long, bright afternoons are warm,
Under this stainless arch of azure sky
The air is filled with gathering wings for flight;
Yet with the shrill mirth and the loud delight
Comes the foreboding sorrow of this cry—
"Till the storm scatter and the gloom dispel,
Farewell! Farewell!
Farewell!"

Why will ye go so soon,
In these soft hours, this sweeter month than June?
The liquid air floats over field and tree
A veil of dreams;—where do ye find the sting?
A gold enchantment sleeps upon the sea
And purple hills;—why have ye taken wing?
But faint, far-heard, the answers fall and swell—
"Farewell! Farewell!
Farewell!"