Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

Path Flower and Other Verses

Download options:

  • 169.95 KB
  • 395.23 KB
  • 259.30 KB



PATH FLOWER A red-cap sang in Bishop's wood,A lark o'er Golder's lane,As I the April pathway trodBound west for Willesden. At foot each tiny blade grew bigAnd taller stood to hear,And every leaf on every twigWas like a little ear. As I too paused, and both ways triedTo catch the rippling rain,—So still, a hare kept at my sideHis tussock of disdain,— Behind me close I heard a step,A soft pit-pat surprise,And looking round my eyes fell deepInto sweet other eyes; The eyes like wells, where sun lies too,So clear and trustful brown,Without a bubble warning youThat here's a place to drown. "How many miles?" Her broken shoesHad told of more than one.She answered like a dreaming Muse,"I came from Islington." "So long a tramp?" Two gentle nods,Then seemed to lift a wing,And words fell soft as willow-buds,"I came to find the Spring." A timid voice, yet not afraidIn ways so sweet to roam,As it with honey bees had playedAnd could no more go home. Her home! I saw the human lair,I heard the hucksters bawl,I stifled with the thickened airOf bickering mart and stall. Without a tuppence for a ride,Her feet had set her free.Her rags, that decency defied,Seemed new with liberty. But she was frail. Who would might noteThe trail of hungeringThat for an hour she had forgotIn wonder of the Spring. So shriven by her joy she glowedIt seemed a sin to chat.(A tea-shop snuggled off the road;Why did I think of that?) Oh, frail, so frail! I could have wept,—But she was passing on,And I but muddled "You'll acceptA penny for a bun?" Then up her little throat a sprayOf rose climbed for it must;A wilding lost till safe it layHid by her curls of rust; And I saw modesties at fenceWith pride that bore no name;So old it was she knew not whenceIt sudden woke and came; But that which shone of all most clearWas startled, sadder thoughtThat I should give her back the fearOf life she had forgot. And I blushed for the world we'd made,Putting God's hand aside,Till for the want of sun and shadeHis little children died; And blushed that I who every yearWith Spring went up and down,Must greet a soul that ached for herWith "penny for a bun!" Struck as a thief in holy placeWhose sin upon him cries,I watched the flowers leave her face,The song go from her eyes. Then she, sweet heart, she saw my rout,And of her charityA hand of grace put softly outAnd took the coin from me. A red-cap sang in Bishop's wood,A lark o'er Golder's lane;But I, alone, still glooming stood,And April plucked in vain; Till living words rang in my earsAnd sudden music played:Out of such sacred thirst as hersThe world shall be remade. Afar she turned her head and smiledAs might have smiled the Spring,And humble as a wondering childI watched her vanishing.

THE PIPER I met a crone 'twixt wood and wood,Who pointed down the piper's roadWith shaken staff and fearsome glance,—"Ware, ware the dance!" But when the piper me did greet,The wind, the wind was in my feet,The rose and leaf on eager boughsUnvestalled them of dew-writ vows,And I as light as leaf and roseDanced to the summer's close....