[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]


WHEN I would get me to the upper fields,
I look if anywhere
A man be found who craves what joyaunce yields
The keen thin air,
Who loves the rapture of the height,
And fain would snatch with me a perilous delight.

I wait, and linger on the village street,
And long for one to come,
And say :—" The morning’s bright, it is not meet
That thou the hum
Of vulgar life shouldst leave, and seek the view
Alone from those great peaks ; I surely will go too."

But not to me comes ever any man;
Or, if he come, dull sleep
Still thickens in his eyes, so that to scan
The beckoning steep
He has no power ; and of its scornful cone
Unconscious sits him down, and I go on alone.

Yet children are before me on the slope,
Their dew-bedabbled prints
Press the black fern-roots naked ; sunny hope
Darts red, and glints
Upon their hair ; but, devious, they remain
Among the bilberry beds, and I go on again.

And so there is no help for it, no mate
To share the arduous way :
Natheless I must ascend ere it grow late,
And, dim and gray,
The final cloud obstruct my soul’s endeavour,
And I see nothing more for ever and for ever.


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HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000