Joy companied with every cry,
Joy in their food, in that keen wind,
That heaving sea, that shaded sky,
And in themselves, and in their kind.
The phantoms of the deep at play!
What idless graced the twittering things;
Luxurious paddlings in the spray,
And delicate lifting up of wings.
Then all at once a flight, and fast
The lovely crowd flew out to sea;
If mine own life had been recast,
Earth had not looked more changed to me.
“Where is the cold? Yon clouded skies
Have only dropt their curtains low
To shade the old mother where she lies
Sleeping a little, ’neath the snow.
“The cold is not in crag, nor scar,
Not in the snows that lap the lea,
Not in yon wings that beat afar,
Delighting, on the crested sea;
“No, nor in yon exultant wind
That shakes the oak and bends the pine.
Look near, look in, and thou shalt find
No sense of cold, fond fool, but thine!”
With that I felt the gloom depart,
And thoughts within me did unfold,
Whose sunshine warmed me to the heart,—
I walked in joy, and was not cold.
He knew she did not love him; but so long
As rivals were unknown to him, he dwelt
At ease, and did not find his love a pain.
He had much deference in his nature, need
To honor—it became him; he was frank,
Fresh, hardy, of a joyous mind, and strong,—
Looked all things straight in the face. So when she came
Before him first, he looked at her, and looked
No more, but colored to his healthful brow,
And wished himself a better man, and thought
On certain things, and wished they were undone,
Because her girlish innocence, the grace
Of her unblemished pureness, wrought in him
A longing and aspiring, and a shame
To think how wicked was the world,—that world
Which he must walk in,—while from her (and such
As she was) it was hidden; there was made
A clean path, and the girl moved on like one
In some enchanted ring.
She reigned, with all the beauties that she had,
And all the virtues that he rightly took
For granted; there he set her with her crown,
And at her first enthronement he turned out
Much that was best away, for unaware
His thoughts grew noble. She was always there
And knew it not, and he grew like to her
And like to what he thought her.
Now he dwelt
With kin that loved him well,—two fine old folk,
A rich, right honest yeoman, and his dame,—
Their only grandson he, their pride, their heir.
To these, one daughter had been born, one child,
And as she grew to woman, “Look,” they said,
“She must not leave us; let us build a wing,
With cheerful rooms and wide, to our old grange;
There may she dwell, with her good man, and all
God sends them.” Then the girl in her first youth
Married a curate,—handsome, poor in purse,
Of gentle blood and manners, and he lived
Under her father’s roof, as they had planned.