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Ophelia

I

On the calm black water where the stars are sleeping, white Ophelia floats like a great lily; floats very slowly, lying in her long veils... -- In the far-off woods, you can hear them sound the mort.
For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia has passed, a white ghost, down the long black river. For more than a thousand years her sweet madness has murmured its ballad in the evening breeze.
The wind kisses her breats and unfolds ina wreath her great veils rocked gently by the waters; the shivering willows weep on her shoulder, the rushes lean over her wide, dreaming brow.
The ruffled water-lilies are sighing about her; at times, she rouses, in a slumbering alder, some nest from which escapes the small rustle of wings; -- A mysterious anthem falls from the golden stars.

II

O pale Ophelia! beautiful as snow! Yes, child, you died, carried off by a river! -- It was the winds falling from the great mountains of Norway that spoke to you in low voices of bitter freedom;
It was a breath of wind, that, twisting you great tresses, brought strange rumours to your dreaming mind; it was your heart, listening to the song of Nature, in the groans of the trees and the sighs of the nights;
It was the voice of mad seas, the great roar, that shattered your child's heart, too human, too soft; it was the fair pale nobleman, one morning in April, the poor madman who sat dumb at your knees!
Heaven! Love! Freedom! What a dream, oh poor crazed Girl! You melted to him as snow does to a fire; your marvellous visions choked your words -- a fearful Infinity dazzled your blue eye!

III

--And the Poet says that by starlight you come seeking, in the night, the flowers that you gathered; and that he has seen on the water, lying in her long veils, white Ophelia floating, like a great lily.