The Ocean of Song

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In a land beyond sight or conceiving,
   In a land where no blight is, no wrong,
No darkness, no graves, and no grieving,
   There lies the great ocean of song.
And its waves, oh, its waves unbeholden
   By any save gods, and their kind,
Are not blue, are not green, but are golden,
   Like moonlight and sunlight combined.

It was whispered to me that their waters
   Were made from the gathered-up tears
That were wept by the sons and the daughters
   Of long-vanished eras and spheres.
Like white sands of heaven the spray is
   That falls all the happy day long,
And whoever it touches straightway is
   Made glad with the spirit of song.

Up, up to the clouds where their hoary
   Crowned heads melt away in the skies,
The beautiful mountains of glory
   Each side of the song-ocean rise.
Here day is one splendour of sky-light -
   Of God's light with beauty replete.
Here night is not night, but is twilight,
   Pervading, enfolding, and sweet.

Bright birds from all climes and all regions,
   That sing the whole glad summer long,
Are dumb, till they flock here in legions
   And lave in the ocean of song.
It is here that the four winds of heaven,
   The winds that do sing and rejoice,
It is here they first came and were given
   The secret of sound and a voice.

Far down along beautiful beeches,
   By night and by glorious day,
The throng of the gifted ones reaches,
   Their foreheads made white with the spray,
And a few of the sons and the daughters
   Of this kingdom, cloud-hidden from sight,
Go down in the wonderful waters,
   And bathe in those billows of light.

And their souls evermore are like fountains,
   And liquid and lucent and strong,
High over the tops of the mountains
   Gush up the sweet billows of song.
No drouth-time of waters can dry them.
   Whoever has bathed in that sea,
All dangers, all deaths, they defy them,
   And are gladder than gods are, with glee.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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