Scouring the earth from Orkney unto Ind,
Tossed on the seas and withered in the wind,
We seek and seek your land. How have we sinned?
Or is it all a folly of the wise,
Bidding us walk these ways with blinded eyes
While all around us real flowers arise?
But, by the very God, we know, we know
That somewhere still, beyond the Northern snow
Waiting for us the red-rose gardens blow.
Faeries must be in the woods
Or the satyrs' laughing broods--
Tritons in the summer sea,
Else how could the dead things be
Half so lovely as they are?
How could wealth of star on star
Dusted o'er the frosty night
Fill thy spirit with delight
And lead thee from this care of thine
Up among the dreams divine,
Were it not that each and all
Of them that walk the heavenly hall
Is in truth a happy isle,
Where eternal meadows smile,
And golden globes of fruit are seen
Twinkling through the orchards green;
Were the Other People go
On the bright sward to and fro?
Atoms dead could never thus
Stir the human heart of us
Unless the beauty that we see
The veil of endless beauty be,
Filled full of spirits that have trod
Far hence along the heavenly sod
And see the bright footprints of God.
XXVII. The Ass
I woke and rose and slipt away
To the heathery hills in the morning grey.
In a field where the dew lay cold and deep
I met an ass, new-roused from sleep.
I stroked his nose and I tickled his ears,
And spoke soft words to quiet his fears.
His eyes stared into the eyes of me
And he kissed my hands of his courtesy.
"O big, brown brother out of the waste,
How do thistles for breakfast taste?
"And do you rejoice in the dawn divine
With a heart that is glad no less than mine?
"For, brother, the depth of your gentle eyes
Is strange and mystic as the skies:
"What are the thoughts that grope behind,
Down in the mist of a donkey mind?
"Can it be true, as the wise men tell,
That you are a mask of God as well,
"And, as in us, so in you no less
Speaks the eternal Loveliness,
"And words of the lips that all things know
Among the thoughts of a donkey go?
"However it be, O four-foot brother,
Fair to-day is the earth, our mother.
"God send you peace and delight thereof,
And all green meat of the waste you love,
"And guard you well from violent men
Who'd put you back in the shafts again."
But the ass had far too wise a head
To answer one of the things I said,Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>