There are white moon daisies in the mist of the
Where the flowered grass scatters its seeds like spray,
There are purple orchis by the wood-ways’ shadow,
There are pale dog-roses by the white highway;
And the grass, the grass is tall, the grass is up for hay,
With daisies white like silver and buttercups like gold,
And it’s oh! for once to play thro’ the long, the lovely day,
To laugh before the year grows old!
There is silver moonlight on the breast of the river
Where the willows tremble to the kiss of night,
Where the nine tall aspens in the meadow shiver,
Shiver in the night wind that turns them white.
And the lamps, the lamps are lit, the lamps are glow-worms light,
Between the silver aspens and the west’s last gold.
And it’s oh! to drink delight in the lovely lonely night,
To be young before the heart grows old!
The Lower room.
How soft the lamplight falls
On pictures, books,
And pleasant coloured walls
And curtains drawn!
How happily one looks
On glowing flame and ember;
Ah, why should one remember
Dew and dawn!
Here age and wisdom sit
Calm and discreet,
Life and the fruit of it
Are here in truth,
Whose gathering once was sweet—
Wisdom and age! Well met!
Yet neither can forget
Folly and youth!
The summer down the garden walks
Swept in her garments bright;
She touched the pale still lily stalks
And crowned them with delight;
She breathed upon the rose’s head
And filled its heart with fire,
And with a golden carpet spread
The path of my desire.
The larkspurs stood like sentinels
To greet her as she came,
Soft rang the Canterbury bells
The music of her name.
She passed across the happy land
Where all dear dreams flower free;
She took my true love by the hand
And led her out to me.
Birds in the green of my garden
Blackbirds and throstle and wren,
Wet your dear wings in the tears that are Spring’s
And so to your singing again!
Birds in my blossoming orchard,
Chaffinch and goldfinch and lark,
Preen your bright wings, little happy live things;
The May trees grow white in the park!
Birds in the leafy wet woodlands,
Cuckoo and nightingale brown,
Sing to the sound of the rain on green ground—
The rain on green leaves dripping down!
Fresh with the rain of the May-time,
Rich with the promise of June,
Deep in her heart, where the little leaves part,
Love, like a bird, sings in tune!
If I might build a palace, fair
With every joy of soul and sense,
And set my heart as sentry there
To guard your happy innocence—
If I might plant a hedge so strong
No creeping sorrow could writhe through,
And find my whole life not too long
To give, to make your hedge for you—