Below the branches brown and bare,
Beneath the primrose lea,
The trout lies waiting for his fare,
A hungry trout is he;
He’s hooked, and springs and splashes there
Like salmon from the sea!
Oh, April tide’s a pleasant tide,
However times may fall,
And sweet to welcome Spring, the Bride,
You hear the mavis call;
But all adown the water-side
The Spring’s most fair of all.
’When we spoke to her of the New Jerusalem, she said she would rather go to a country place in Heaven.’
Letters from the Black Country.
I’m weary of towns, it seems a’most a
We didn’t stop down i’ the country and clem,
And you say that I’m bound for another city,
For the streets o’ the New Jerusalem.
And the streets are never like Sheffield, here,
Nor the smoke don’t cling like a smut to them;
But the water o’ life flows cool and clear
Through the streets o’ the New Jerusalem.
And the houses, you say, are of jasper cut,
And the gates are gaudy wi’ gold and gem;
But there’s times I could wish as the gates was shut—
The gates o’ the New Jerusalem.
For I come from a country that’s over-built
Wi’ streets that stifle, and walls that hem,
And the gorse on a common’s worth all the gilt
And the gold of your New Jerusalem.
And I hope that they’ll bring me, in Paradise,
To green lanes leafy wi’ bough and stem—
To a country place in the land o’ the skies,
And not to the New Jerusalem.
Mowers, weary and brown, and blithe,
What is the word methinks ye know,
Endless over-word that the Scythe
Sings to the blades of the grass below?
Scythes that swing in the grass and clover,
Something, still, they say as they pass;
What is the word that, over and over,
Sings the Scythe to the flowers and grass?
Hush, ah hush, the Scythes are saying,
Hush, and heed not, and fall asleep;
Hush, they say to the grasses swaying,
Hush, they sing to the clover deep!
Hush—’tis the lullaby Time is singing—
Hush, and heed not, for all things pass,
Hush, ah hush! and the Scythes are swinging
Over the clover, over the grass!
Ye wanderers that were my sires,
Who read men’s fortunes in the hand,
Who voyaged with your smithy fires
From waste to waste across the land,
Why did you leave for garth and town
Your life by heath and river’s brink,
Why lay your gipsy freedom down
And doom your child to Pen and Ink?
You wearied of the wild-wood meal
That crowned, or failed to crown, the day;
Too honest or too tame to steal
You broke into the beaten way;
Plied loom or awl like other men,
And learned to love the guineas’ chink—
Oh, recreant sires, who doomed me then
To earn so few—with Pen and Ink!