The moan of a wintry soul
Melted into a summer-song,
And the words, like the wavelet's roll,
Moved murmuringly along.

And the song flowed far and away,
Like the voice of a half-sleeping rill —
Each wave of it lit by a ray —
But the sound was so soft and so still,

And the tone was so gentle and low,
None heard the song till it had passed;
Till the echo that followed its flow
Came dreamingly back from the past.

'Twas too late! — a song never returns
That passes our pathway unheard;
As dust lying dreaming in urns
Is the song lying dead in a word.

For the birds of the skies have a nest,
And the winds have a home where they sleep,
And songs, like our souls, need a rest,
Where they murmur the while we may weep.

But songs — like the birds o'er the foam,
Where the storm wind is beating their breast,
Fly shoreward — and oft find a home
In the shelter of words where they rest.

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