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III For the beauteousness
 For the beauteousness of downs and dales, Of wood and water and proud plains,
My joy springs up and my grief quails,
My anguish ends, and all my pains.
A swift stream down the valley hales
My feet along. Bliss brims my brains;
The farther I follow those watery vales,
The stronger joy my heart constrains.
While Fortune fares as her proud will deigns,
Sending solace or sending sore,
When a man her fickle favour gains,
He looketh to have aye more and more.
There was more of marvel and of grace
Than I could tell, howe'er I tried;
The human heart that could embrace
A tenth part were well satisfied;
For Paradise, the very place,
Must be upon that farther side;
The water by a narrow space
Pleasance from pleasance did divide.
Beyond, on some slope undescried
The City stood, I thought, wherefore
I strove to cross the river's tide,
And ever I longed, yet more and more.
More, and still more wistfully,
The banks beyond the brook I scanned;
If, where I stood, 't was fair to see,
Still lovelier lay that farther land.
I sought if any ford might be
Found, up or down, by rock or sand;
But perils plainer appeared to me,
The farther I strode along the strand;
I thought I ought not thus to stand
Timid, with such bright bliss before;
Then a new matter came to hand
That moved my heart yet more and more.
Marvels more and more amaze
My mind beyond that water fair:
From a cliff of crystal, splendid rays,
Reflected, quiver in the air.
At the cliff's foot a vision stays
My glance, a maiden debonaire,
All glimmering white before my gaze;
And I know her,—have seen her otherwhere.
Like fine gold leaf one cuts with care,
Shone the maiden on the farther shore.
Long time I looked upon her there,
And ever I knew her more and more.
As more and more I scanned her face
And form, when I had found her so,
A glory of gladness filled the place
Beyond all it was wont to show.
My joy would call her and give chase,
But wonder struck my courage low;
I saw her in so strange a place,
The shock turned my heart dull and slow.
But now she lifts that brow aglow,
Like ivory smooth, even as of yore,
It made my senses straying go,
It stung my heart aye more and more.

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