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Ilala (1873)

Ilala

The swarthy followers stood aloof,
Unled, unfathered!
He lay beneath that grassy roof
Fresh gathered.
He bade them as they passed the hut
To give no warning
Of their still faithful presence,
But ‘Good morning.’
To him, may be, through broken sleep
And pains abated,
These words were into senses deep
Translated:
Dear, dead salutes of wife and child,
Old kirkyard greetings;
Sun rises over hillsides wild,
Heart’s beatings!
Welcoming sounds of fresh blown seas
Of homeward travel.
Tangles of thought’s last memories
Unravel!
’Neath England’s fretted roof of Fame,
With flowers adorning an open grave,
Comes up the same
‘Good morning.’
Morning o’er that weird continent
Now slowly breaking,
Europe her sullen self-restraint
Forsaking.
Morning of sympathy and trust
For such as bore
Their master’s spirit sacred crust
To England’s shore.

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Composer

Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust.

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