[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]


AN empty laugh, I heard it on the road
Shivering the twilight with its lance of mirth ;
And yet why empty ? Knowing not its birth,
This much I know, that it goes up to God;
And if to God, from God it surely starts,
Who has within Himself the secret springs
Of all the lovely, causeless, unclaimed things,
And loves them in His very heart of hearts.
A girl of fifteen summers, pure and free,
Æolian, vocal to the lightest touch
Of fancy's winnowed breath — Ah, happy such
Whose life is music of the eternal sea !
Laugh on, laugh loud and long, O merry child,
And be not careful to unearth a cause
Thou art serenely placed above our laws,
And we in thee with God are reconciled.


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