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James Lionel Michael

(October 1824 – 26 April 1868 / London, England)

`Through Pleasant Paths'


Through pleasant paths, through dainty ways,
   Love leads my feet;
Where beauty shines with living rays,
   Soft, gentle, sweet;
The placid heart at random strays,
And sings, and smiles, and laughs and plays,
And gathers from the summer days
   Their light and heat,
That in its chambers burn and blaze
   And beam and beat.

I throw myself among the ferns
   Under the shade,
And watch the summer sun that burns
   On dell and glade;
To thee, my dear, my fancy turns,
In thee its Paradise discerns,
For thee it sighs, for thee it yearns,
   My chosen maid;
And that still depth of passion learns
   Which cannot fade.

The wind that whispers in the night,
   Subtle and free,
The gorgeous noonday's blinding light,
   On hill and tree,
All lovely things that meet my sight,
All shifting lovelinesses bright,
Speak to my heart with calm delight,
   Seeming to be
Cloth'd with enchantment, robed in white,
   To sing of thee.

The ways of life are hard and cold
   To one alone;
Bitter the strife for place and gold --
   We weep and groan:
But when love warms the heart grows bold;
And when our arms the prize enfold,
Dearest! the heart can hardly hold
   The bliss unknown,
Unspoken, never to be told --
   My own, my own!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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