Maurice Thompson


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Thy shadowy margin, O still, tropic lake,
Is like a thought that hovers in the brain
Beyond the reach of phrase to make it plain,
Divinely sweet for its dim mystery's sake.
The real and the ideal, matched so well
In yonder palm-trees and their ghosts below,
Have but a doubtful line between to tell
That from a common root they do not grow!

The delicate shifting shades that cloud the sheen
Of water too harmonious to flow,
Flit over tufts of flags and willows green,
Which feel not even the faintest summer swell.

O Lake, thy beauty inexpressible is
Except by some song-wrought antholysis!

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Maurice Thompson