The tiny thing of painted gauze that flutters in the
And sinks upon the breast of night with all its living done;
The unconsidered seed that from the garden blows away,
Blooming its little time to bloom in one short summer day;
The leaf the idle wind shakes down in autumn from
The grasshopper who for an hour makes gayest minstrelsy—
These—and this restless soul of mine—are
one with flaming spheres
And cold, dead moons whose ghostly fires haunt unremembered years.
If I should tell you what I know
Of where the first primroses grow,
Betray the secrets of the lily,
Bring crocus-gold and daffodilly,
Would you tell me if charm there be
To win a maiden, willy-nilly?
I lie upon the fragrant heath,
Kin to the beating heart beneath;
The nesting plover I discover
Nor stir the scented screen above her,
Yet am I blind—I cannot find
What turns a maiden to her lover!
Through all the mysteries of May,
Initiate, I take my way—
Sure as the blithest lark or linnet
To touch the pulsing soul within it—
Yet with no art to reach Her heart,
Nor skill to teach me how to win it!
I WATCH swift pictures flash and fade On the closed curtains of my eyes,— A bit of river green as jade Under green skies;
A single bird that soars and dips
Remote; a young and secret moon
Stealing to kiss some flower’s lips
Too shy for noon;
A pointing tree; a lifted hill,
Sun-misted with a golden ring,—
Were these once mine? And am I still
A path that wanders wistfully
With no beginning there nor here,
Nor special grace that it should be
So sharply dear,
Unless,—what if when every day
Is yesterday, with naught to borrow,
I may slip down this wistful way
I heard a sound of crying in the lane,
A passionless, low crying,
And I said, “It is the tears of the brown rain
On the leaves within the lane!”
I heard a sudden sighing at the door,
A soft, persuasive sighing,
And I said, “The summer breeze has sighed before,
Gustily, outside the door!”
Yet from the place I fled, nor came again,
With my heart beating, beating!
For I knew ’twas not the breeze nor the brown rain
At the door and in the lane!
I buried Joy; and early to the tomb
I came to weep—so sorrowful was I
Who had not dreamed that Joy, my Joy, could die.