Then she who led me reached the brink, her foot
Staying to talk with one who met her there.
Here were fresh marvels, sailing things whose vans
Floated them on above the flowering flags.
We moved a little onward, paused again,
And here there was a break in these, and here
There came the vision; for I stooped to gaze
So far as my small height would let me—gaze
Into that pool to see the fishes dart,
And in a moment from her under hills
Came forth a little child who lived down there,
Looked up at me and smiled. We could not talk,
But looked and loved each other. I a hand
Held out to her, so she to me, but ah,
She would not come. Her home, her little bed,
Was doubtless under that soft shining thing
The water, and she wanted not to run
Among red sorrel spires, and fill her hand
In the dry warmed grass with cowslip buds.
Awhile our feeding hearts all satisfied,
Took in the blue of one another’s eyes,
Two dimpled creatures, rose-lipped innocent.
But when we fain had kissed—O! the end came,
For snatched aloft, held in the nurse’s arms,
She parting with her lover I was borne
Far from that little child.
And no one knew
She lived down there, but only I; and none
Sought for her, but I yearned for her and left
Part of myself behind, as the lambs leave
Their wool upon a thorn.’
Never again, nor known for what she was?’
’Never again, for we did leave anon
The pasture and the pool. I know not where
They lie, and sleep a heaven on earth, but know
From thenceforth yearnings for a lost delight;
On certain days I dream about her still.’
IN THE NURSERY.
Where do you go, Bob, when you ‘re fast asleep?’
’Where? O well, once I went into a deep
Mine, father told of, and a cross man said
He’d make me help to dig, and eat black bread.
I saw the Queen once, in her room, quite near.
She said, “You rude boy, Bob, how came you here?"’
‘Was it like mother’s boudoir?’
Gold chairs and things—all over diamonds—Ah!’
‘You’re sure it was the Queen?’
’Of course, a crown
Was on her, and a spangly purple gown.’
‘I went to heaven last night.’
’O Lily, no,
How could you?’
’Yes I did, they told me so,
And my best doll, my favourite, with the blue
Frock, Jasmine, I took her to heaven too.’
‘What was it like?’
’A kind of—I
A sort of orchard place in a long dell,
With trees all over flowers. And there were birds
Who could do talking, say soft pretty words;
They let me stroke them, and I showed it all
To Jasmine. And I heard a blue dove call,
“Child, this is heaven.” I was not frightened when
It spoke, I said “Where are the angels then?"’