Perhaps my rose is overblown,
Not rosy or too rosy;
Perhaps in farmhouse of her own
Some husband keeps her cosy,
Where I should show a face unknown.
Good-bye, my wayside posy.
Somewhere or other there must surely be
The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart that not yet—never yet—ah me!
Made answer to my word.
Somewhere or other, may be near or far;
Past land and sea, clean out of sight;
Beyond the wandering moon, beyond the star
That tracks her night by night.
Somewhere or other, may be far or near;
With just a wall, a hedge, between; 10
With just the last leaves of the dying year
Fallen on a turf grown green.
What can lambkins do
All the keen night through?
Nestle by their woolly mother
The careful ewe.
What can nestlings do
In the nightly dew?
Sleep beneath their mother’s wing
Till day breaks anew.
If in a field or tree
There might only be 10
Such a warm soft sleeping-place
Found for me!
CHILD’S TALK IN APRIL
I wish you were a pleasant wren,
And I your small accepted mate;
How we’d look down on toilsome men!
We’d rise and go to bed at eight
Or it may be not quite so late.
Then you should see the nest I’d build,
The wondrous nest for you and me;
The outside rough perhaps, but filled
With wool and down; ah, you should see
The cosy nest that it would be. 10
We’d have our change of hope and fear,
Small quarrels, reconcilements sweet:
I’d perch by you to chirp and cheer,
Or hop about on active feet,
And fetch you dainty bits to eat.
We’d be so happy by the day,
So safe and happy through the night,
We both should feel, and I should say,
It’s all one season of delight,
And we’ll make merry whilst we may. 20
Perhaps some day there’d be an egg
When spring had blossomed from the snow:
I’d stand triumphant on one leg;
Like chanticleer I’d almost crow
To let our little neighbours know.
Next you should sit and I would sing
Through lengthening days of sunny spring;
Till, if you wearied of the task,
I’d sit; and you should spread your wing
From bough to bough; I’d sit and bask. 30
Fancy the breaking of the shell,
The chirp, the chickens wet and bare,
The untried proud paternal swell;
And you with housewife-matron air
Enacting choicer bills of fare.
Fancy the embryo coats of down,
The gradual feathers soft and sleek;
Till clothed and strong from tail to crown,
With virgin warblings in their beak,
They too go forth to soar and seek. 40