John Le Gay Brereton

Incarnation

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OUR little queen of dreams,
Our image of delight,
Which whitens east and gleams
And beckons from the height,
Takes on her human form—is here in mortal sight.

We two have loved her long,
Have known her eyes for years;
We worshipped her with song
The spirit only hears,
And now she comes to us new-washed with blood and tears.

Her radiant self she veils
With vesture meet for earth,
And, knowing all, inhales
The lethal air of birth,
And wakes to restless dreams of misery and mirth.

The fogs of learning rise
And hide the light above,
But in her steadfast eyes
Will shine the light of love,
Which many a gloomy dale may know the gladness of.

What gift is ours to give,
What truth is ours to teach
That she may learn to live
With joy within her reach?
We can but let her learn the sound of human speech.

By custom-fettered fools
Her freedom will be blamed,
Because by sleepy rules
Her soul shall be untamed,
And she will front the sun brown-skinned and unashamed.

Her kinship she will know
With beast and rock and tree,
Wherever she may go
The sky her home will be,
The winds will be her mates,
her crooning nurse the sea.

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John Le Gay Brereton