Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems.

I cannot tell you what it was;
But this I know:  it did but pass. 10
It passed away with sunny May,
With all sweet things it passed away,
And left me old, and cold, and grey.


I looked for that which is not, nor can be,
  And hope deferred made my heart sick in truth: 
  But years must pass before a hope of youth
    Is resigned utterly.

I watched and waited with a steadfast will: 
  And though the object seemed to flee away
  That I so longed for, ever day by day
    I watched and waited still.

Sometimes I said:  This thing shall be no more;
  My expectation wearies and shall cease; 10
  I will resign it now and be at peace: 
    Yet never gave it o’er.

Sometimes I said:  It is an empty name
  I long for; to a name why should I give
  The peace of all the days I have to live?—­
    Yet gave it all the same.

Alas, thou foolish one! alike unfit
  For healthy joy and salutary pain: 
  Thou knowest the chase useless, and again
    Turnest to follow it. 20


    Oh, pleasant eventide! 
    Clouds on the western side
Grow grey and greyer hiding the warm sun: 
The bees and birds, their happy labours done,
    Seek their close nests and bide.

    Screened in the leafy wood
    The stock-doves sit and brood: 
The very squirrel leaps from bough to bough
But lazily; pauses; and settles now
    Where once he stored his food. 10

    One by one the flowers close,
    Lily and dewy rose
Shutting their tender petals from the moon: 
The grasshoppers are still; but not so soon
    Are still the noisy crows.

    The dormouse squats and eats
    Choice little dainty bits
Beneath the spreading roots of a broad lime;
Nibbling his fill he stops from time to time
    And listens where he sits. 20

    From far the lowings come
    Of cattle driven home: 
From farther still the wind brings fitfully
The vast continual murmur of the sea,
    Now loud, now almost dumb.

    The gnats whirl in the air,
    The evening gnats; and there
The owl opes broad his eyes and wings to sail
For prey; the bat wakes; and the shell-less snail
    Comes forth, clammy and bare. 30

    Hark! that’s the nightingale,
    Telling the selfsame tale
Her song told when this ancient earth was young: 
So echoes answered when her song was sung
    In the first wooded vale.

    We call it love and pain
    The passion of her strain;
And yet we little understand or know: 
Why should it not be rather joy that so
    Throbs in each throbbing vein? 40

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Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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