Table of Contents   Previous Chapter   Next Chapter



872                                                   Daisy

WHERE the thistle lifts a purple crown
   Six foot out of the turf,
And the harebell shakes on the windy hill—
   O the breath of the distant surf!—
The hills look over on the South,
   And southward dreams the sea;
And, with the sea-breeze hand in hand,
   Came innocence and she.
Where ’mid the gorse the raspberry
   Red for the gatherer springs,
Two children did we stray and talk
   Wise, idle, childish things.
She listen’d with big-lipp’d surprise,
   Breast-deep ’mid flower and spine:
Her skin was like a grape, whose veins
   Run snow instead of wine.
She knew not those sweet words she spake,
   Nor knew her own sweet way;
But there’s never a bird, so sweet a song
   Throng’d in whose throat that day!
O, there were flowers in Storrington
   On the turf and on the spray;
But the sweetest flower on Sussex hills
   Was the Daisy-flower that day!
Her beauty smooth’d earth’s furrow’d face!
   She gave me tokens three:—
A look, a word of her winsome mouth,
   And a wild raspberry.
A berry red, a guileless look,
   A still word,—strings of sand!
And yet they made my wild, wild heart
   Fly down to her little hand.
For, standing artless as the air,
   And candid as the skies,
She took the berries with her hand,
   And the love with her sweet eyes.
The fairest things have fleetest end:
   Their scent survives their close,
But the rose’s scent is bitterness
   To him that loved the rose!
She looked a little wistfully,
   Then went her sunshine way:—
The sea’s eye had a mist on it,
   And the leaves fell from the day.
She went her unremembering way,
   She went, and left in me
The pang of all the partings gone,
   And partings yet to be.
She left me marvelling why my soul
   Was sad that she was glad;
At all the sadness in the sweet,
   The sweetness in the sad.
Still, still I seem’d to see her, still
   Look up with soft replies,
And take the berries with her hand,
   And the love with her lovely eyes.
Nothing begins, and nothing ends,
   That is not paid with moan;
For we are born in other’s pain,
   And perish in our own.

873                                         In no Strange Land

‘The Kingdom of God is within you.’

O WORLD invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air—
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?
Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumb’d conceiving soars!—
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shutter’d doors.
The angels keep their ancient places;—
Turn but a stone, and start a wing!
’Tis ye, ’tis your estrangàd faces,
That miss the many-splendour’d thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry;—and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry,—clinging Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Gennesareth, but Thames!


Table of Contents   Previous Chapter   Next Chapter