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CALM and fair  
 Flows the stream of Nora’s life,  
 Moving with a lazy air  
 Far from strife.  

Must have looked from just such eyes,  
 Full of still felicities,—  
 No surprise,  

 No endeavour  
(For endeavour mars perfection),  
 And, one almost fancies, never  
 Strong affection.  

 Far too cold  
Seems that face for dream of mine,  
 Though, if set in sculptured mould,  
 How divine!  

 As she stands  
Looking from the window forth,  
 Gazing o’er the sunny lands  
 To the north,  

 Light and shade  
Cross and quiver to and fro,  
 By the she-oak’s tresses made,  
 Waving slow  

 In the breeze;  
But no varying light you trace,  
 Save from flittings such as these,  
 On her face.  

 Calmly moving  
On her daily household ways,  
 Little can you see for loving,  
 Much for praise.  

 One alone  
Sets her quiet life aglow,  
 And, whene’er she hears his tone,  
 Then, I know  

 That her form  
Has a richer, fuller grace,  
 And the colour rushes warm  
 To her face.  

 From her eyes  
All the hidden life peeps out,  
 From her lips strange melodies  
 Float about  

 All astir,  
Thoughts and hopes, unguessed before,  
 Gleam, till Love can ask of her  
 Nothing more.  

 ’Tis as though,  
Walking on a charmèd shore,  
 Blind to all the gleam and glow  
 Which it bore,  

 On our sight  
Flashed the flush of roses blowing,  
 Dewdrops sparkling in the light,  
 Rivers flowing;  

 For at last  
One had come, whose star-tipt wand  
 Woke to gladness, as he passed  
 Through the land.  

 Shall we then  
Grudge the favoured one his due?  
 Fate gives wands to other men,  
 Charmèd too!  

While we wander to and fro,  
 Flowers may blossom here and there  
 As we go.  

 Lives are bound  
Each to each by secret spell,  
 And a fairy-land lies round  
 Us as well.

© Henry Laurie