IT is the moonlight, clear and soft, which soon the sun outshines—
A fiery dream, which pales before the morning’s stronger glow.
It is the springtime’s lightning flash, a splendor brief and bright;
A flower whose petals drop away when winds awake and blow.
It is a thorny rose, which draws red blooddrops from thine heart—
The delicate bright ribbon of the rainbow, o’er thee hung.
It is the purple Northern Lights that play in heaven’s blue dome—
The snowy foam that scatters when against the rock ’tis flung.
It is a feather pure and soft, blown from the swan’s white breast—
A sacred kiss beneath the sky, the open ether deep.
That which the wind, the atmosphere, the waters bear away
Is the Ideal—the lullaby sung to the soul asleep.
The virgin unapproachable, by showers of yearning sought,
The golden ring that binds us unto life, unto the real—
The agitating multitude of dazzling youthful dreams,
The love-song of the heart’s deep void—ah, this is the Ideal!