The islands called me far away,
The valleys called me home.
The rivers with a silver voice
Drew on my heart to come.
The paths reached tendrils to my hair
From every vine and tree.
There was no refuge anywhere
Until I came to thee.
There is a northern cloud I know,
Along a mountain crest;
And as she folds her wings of mist,
So I could make my rest.
There is no chain to bind her so
Unto that purple height;
And she will shine and wander, slow,
Slow, with a cloud’s delight.
Would she begone? She melts away,
A heavenly joyous thing.
Yet day will find the mountain white,
White-folded with her wing.
As you may see, but half aware
If it be late or soon,
Soft breathing on the day-time air,
The fair forgotten Moon.
And though love cannot bind me, Love,
— Ah no! — yet I could stay
Maybe, with wings forever spread,
— Forever, and a day.
© Josephine Preston Peabody