Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 316 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I..

Comes the future to the present—­
  “Ah!” she saith, “too blithe of mood;
Why that smile which seems to whisper—­
  ‘I am happy, God is good?’
God is good:  that truth eternal
  Sown for you in happier years,
I must tend it in my shadow,
  Water it with tears.

“Ah, sweet present!  I must lead thee
  By a daylight more subdued;
There must teach thee low to whisper—­
  ‘I am mournful, God is good!’”
Peace, thou future! clouds are coming,
  Stooping from the mountain crest,
But that sunshine floods the valley: 
  Let her—­let her rest.

Comes the future to the present—­
  “Child,” she saith, “and wilt thou rest? 
How long, child, before thy footsteps
  Fret to reach yon cloudy crest? 
Ah, the valley!—­angels guard it,
  But the heights are brave to see;
Looking down were long contentment: 
    Come up, child, to me.”

So she speaks, but do not heed her,
  Little maid with wondrous eyes,
Not afraid, but clear and tender,
  Blue, and filled with prophecies;
Thou for whom life’s veil unlifted
  Hangs, whom warmest valleys fold,
Lift the veil, the charm dissolveth—­
    Climb, but heights are cold.

There are buds that fold within them,
  Closed and covered from our sight,
Many a richly tinted petal,
  Never looked on by the light: 
Fain to see their shrouded faces,
  Sun and dew are long at strife,
Till at length the sweet buds open—­
    Such a bud is life.

When the rose of thine own being
  Shall reveal its central fold,
Thou shalt look within and marvel,
  Fearing what thine eyes behold;
What it shows and what it teaches
  Are not things wherewith to part;
Thorny rose! that always costeth
    Beatings at the heart.

Look in fear, for there is dimness;
  Ills unshapen float anigh. 
Look in awe, for this same nature
  Once the Godhead deigned to die. 
Look in love, for He doth love it,
  And its tale is best of lore: 
Still humanity grows dearer,
      Being learned the more.

Learn, but not the less bethink thee
  How that all can mingle tears;
But his joy can none discover,
  Save to them that are his peers;
And that they whose lips do utter
  Language such as bards have sung—­
Lo! their speech shall be to many
    As an unknown tongue.

Learn, that if to thee the meaning
  Of all other eyes be shown,
Fewer eyes can ever front thee,
  That are skilled to read thine own;
And that if thy love’s deep current
  Many another’s far outflows,
Then thy heart must take forever,


(Written for THE PORTFOLIO SOCIETY, October 1861.)

The yellow poplar-leaves came down
  And like a carpet lay,
No waftings were in the sunny air
  To flutter them away;
And he stepped on blithe and debonair
  That warm October day.

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Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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