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He seemed to hear a murmuring stream And see her face within the pool !
They'd sat together in the class.
Young Polly Dale - and they had played A young girl's face, now rippling dim, At Prisoners' Base and Who's Afraid, Now ilashing clear ...
At Tiggy and at Blindman's Buff,
Without surprise A hundred times together He marked the eyes translucent blue,
Ay, The full red lips that seemed to speak, He'd always known her ... It was The curves of rounded chin and cheek,
strange, The low, broad brow, sun-tanned ... Though he had noticed that a change
He knew Had come upon her she was shy, That face, yet could not call to mind And quieter, since she left school Where he had seen it; and in vain And put her hair up he'd not seen Strove to recall . when sudden rain Her face, till from the glancing sheen Crashed down and made the clear pool blind, It looked up at him from the pool . . And it was lost ...
And, with a jerk He'd always known her. Every day, That well-night shook him from his seat, He'd nod to her as they would pass. He wakened to the steamy heat
He'd always known her, as a lass . And clank and rattle.
He'ld never know her just that way
Still at work Again now The stolid mare kept on; and still
In a different wise Over her hot, white flanks the flies
They'ld meet — for how could he forget Hung humming. And his dazzled eyes
His dream ... The next time that they Closed gradually again, until
met He dozed ...
He’ld look into a woman's eyes.
His laughing blue eyes shining bright, Looked up at him without surprise As they went swinging through the light Over the shoulder of her gown
As they went swinging, ever higher Her fresh print gown of speedwell blue ... Until it seemed that they came nigher The eyes that looked out of the cool At every swing to the blue sky — Untroubled crystal of the pool
Until it seemed that by-and-by Looked into his again.
The boat would suddenly swing through He knew
That sunny dazzle of clear blue
And they, together ...
She'd hardly thought she'ld get away: Aroused him.
The mistress was that cross, and she
That ere she left she must set to
Ay, well enough, that it meant more As
up and down and up and down
And he was glad At six to rouse her. Such a floor,
To pay for her, the foolish lad, So hard to sweep; and all that brass
And happy to be swinging there To polish! Any other lass
With her, and rushing through the air, But her would have thrown up the place,
So high into the burning blue And told the mistress to her face ...
It seemed that they would swing right
through . But how could she! Her money meant 'Twas well that she had caught the train, So much to them at home.
She'd had to run with might and main So quickly, though so hard to earn. To catch it: and Dick waiting there She'd got to keep her place, and learn With tickets ready ... To hold her tongue. Though it was hard,
How his hair The little house in Skinner's Yard
Shone in the sunshine, and the light Must be kept going. She would rob Made his blue, laughing eyes so bright The bairns if she should lose her job, Whenever he looked up at her . And they'd go hungry ...
Since the night She’ld like to sit, and never stir They'd brought home father, cold and Again out of that easy seat white,
With no more mats to shake and beat Upon a stretcher, mother and she
And no more floors to sweep, no stairs Had had to struggle ceaselessly
To scrub, and no more heavy chairs To keep a home together at all.
To move for she was sleepy now 'Twas lucky she was big and tall
Dick's hair had fallen over his brow And such a strong lass for fifteen.
Into his eyes.
He shook them free, She couldn't think where they'ld have been And laughed to her. 'Twas queer that he
' If she'd not earned enough to feed
Should think it worth his while to pay, And help to keep the bairns from need And give her such a holiday Those five young hungry mouths . .. But she was sleepy now.
'Twas rare, As they were rushing through the air And she
To see Dick's blue eyes shining bright For one long day beside the sea
As they went swinging through the light, Was having a rare holiday
As they went swinging ever higher 'Twas queer that Dick should want to pay
Until it seemed that they came nigher So much good money, hardly earned,
At every swing to the blue sky —
Until it seemed that by-and-by
That sunny dazzle of clear blue ...
How it burned, That blazing sun in the blue sky!
If she could swing for evermore And it was good to swing so high
With Dick above the golden shore, So high into the burning blue,
With no more parlour-floors to sweep Until it seemed they'ld swing right through If she could only swing and sleep
And wake to see Dick's eyes burn bright,
To see them laughing with delight And good just to be sitting there
As suddenly they swung right through And watching Dick with tumbled hair That sudden dazzle of clear blue And his red necktie floating free
And they two, sailing on together Against the blue of sky and sea,
For ever through that shining weather!
wild weird western shore,
the ambling pony bore, And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and
will laugh there nevermore.
On the earth's nether bord
fulness to them
THE SOULS OF THE SLAIN
Then, it seemed, there approached from
the northward Many-caverned, bald, wrinkled of face
A senior soul-flame And with darkness and silence the spirit
Of the like filmy hue: was on me
And he met them and spake: “Is it To brood and be still.
you, O my men?” Said they, “Aye! We
bear homeward and hearthward II
To feast on our fame!”
then : motion
“Your households are well :
But -- your kin linger less
Than on dearer things.”. “Dearer?”
cried these from the dead then, Soon from out of the Southward seemed
“Of what do they tell ?”
Recall the quaint ways
Of your babyhood's innocent days.
Some pray that, ere dying, your faith IV
had grown firmer, And they bore to the bluff, and alighted
And higher your joys.
“A father broods: ‘Would I had set him might hold –
To some humble trade, On the ledge by the turreted lantern,
And so slacked his high fire,
And his passionate martial desire;
Had told him no stories to woo him and i The “Race" is the turbulent sea-area off the
whet him Bill of Portland, where contrary tides meet.
To this dire crusade!””
“And, General, how hold out our sweet- And, towering to seaward in legions,
They paused at a spot
Overbending the Race “Many mourn; many think That engulphing, ghast, sinister place It is not unattractive to prink
Whither headlong they plunged, to the Them in sables for heroes. Some fickle
Of myriads forgot.
Passed on rushingly, “And our wives ?” quoth another re
Like the Pentecost Wind; signedly,
And the whirr of their wayfaring “Dwell they on our deeds?” "Deeds of home; that live yet And surceased on the sky, and but left in
thinned Fresh as new deeds of fondness or
Sea-mutterings and me.
CHRISTMAS EVE and twelve of the clock. XII
“Now they are all on their knees,” - “Alas! then it seems that our glory An elder said as we sat in a flock Weighs less in their thought
By the embers in hearthside ease. Than our old homely acts, And the long-ago commonplace facts We pictured the meek mild creatures Of our lives - held by us as scarce part
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.