Where incompleteness rouses longing thoughts
With spires abrupt, and broken spheres, and circles
Cut that they may be widened evermore:
Through shattered cloudy roof, looks in the sky,
A discord from a loftier harmony;
And tempests waken peace within our thoughts,
Driving them inward to the inmost rest.
Come, my beloved, we will haste and go
To those pale faces of our fellow men;
Our loving hearts, burning with summer-fire,
Will cast a glow upon their pallidness;
Our hands will help them, far as servants may;
Hands are apostles still to saviour-hearts.
So we may share their blessedness with them;
So may the snowdrop time be likewise ours;
And Earth smile tearfully the spirit smile
Wherewith she smiled upon our holiday,
As a sweet child may laugh with weeping eyes.
If ever we return, these glorious flowers
May all be snowdrops of a higher spring.”
Their eyes one moment met, and then they knew
That they did mean the same thing in their hearts.
So with no farther words they turned and went
Back to the boat, and so across the mere.
I wake from out my dream, and know my room,
My darling books, the cherub forms above;
I know ’tis springtime in the world without;
I feel it springtime in my world within;
I know that bending o’er an early flower,
Crocus, or primrose, or anemone,
The heart that striveth for a higher life,
And hath not yet been conquered, findeth there
A beauty deep, unshared by any rose,
A human loveliness about the flower;
That a heath-bell upon a lonely waste
Hath more than scarlet splendour on thick leaves;
That a blue opening ’midst rain-bosomed clouds
Is more than Paphian sun-set harmonies;
That higher beauty dwells on earth, because
Man seeks a higher home than Paradise;
And, having lost, is roused thereby to fill
A deeper need than could be filled by all
The lost ten times restored; and so he loves
The snowdrop more than the magnolia;
Spring-hope is more to him than summer-joy;
Dark towns than Eden-groves with rivers four.
AFTER AN OLD LEGEND.
The monk was praying in his cell,
And he did pray full sore;
He had been praying on his knees
For two long hours and more.
And in the midst, and suddenly,
He felt his eyes ope wide;
And he lifted not his head, but saw
A man’s feet him beside.
And almost to his feet there reached
A garment strangely knit;
Some woman’s fingers, ages agone,
Had trembled, in making it.
The monk’s eyes went up the garment,
Until a hand they spied;
A cut from a chisel was on it,
And another scar beside.
Then his eyes sprang to the face
With a single thirsty bound;
’Twas He, and he nigh had fainted;
His eyes had the Master found.