A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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And the gusts of wind, sad Autumn's sighs,
Mournfully swept through their families ;
Casting away with a helpless moan
All that he yet might call his own,
As the child, when his bird is gone for ever,
Flingeth the cage on the wandering river.
And the giant trees, as bare as Death,
Slowly bowed to the great Wind's breath ;
And groaned with trying to keep from groaning
Amidst the young trees bending and moaning.
And the ancient planet's mighty sea
Was heaving and falling most restlessly,
And the tops of the waves were broken and white,
Tossing about to ease their might;
And the river was striving to reach the main,
And the ripple was hurrying back again.
Nature lived in sadness now ;
Sadness lived on the maiden's brow,
As she watched, with a fixed, half-conscious eye,
One lonely leaf that trembled on high,
Till it dropped at last from the desolate bough—
Sorrow, oh, sorrow ! 'tis winter now.
And her tears gushed forth, though it was but a leaf,
Eor little will loose the swollen fountain of grief:
When up to the lip the water goes,
It needs but a drop, and it overflows.
Oh ! many and many a dreary year Must pass away ere the buds appear ; Many a night of darksome sorrow Yield to the light of a joyless morrow, Ere birds again, on the clothed trees, Shall fill the branches with melodies. She will dream of meadows with wakeful streams *9 Of wavy grass in the sunny beams ; Of hidden wells that soundless spring, Hoarding their joy as a holy thing ; Of founts that tell it all day long To the listening woods, with exultant song ; She will dream of evenings that die into nights, Where each sense is filled with its own delights,
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