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Wild Flowers
by [?]


Content Primroses,
With hearts at rest in your thick leaves’ soft care,
Peeping as from his mother’s lap the child
Who courts shy shelter from his own open air!–
Hanging Harebell,
Whose blue heaven to no wanderer ever closes,
Though thou still lookest earthward from thy domed cell!–
Fluttering-wild
Anemone, so well
Named of the Wind, to whom thou, fettered-free,
Yieldest thee, helpless–wilfully,
With Take me or leave me,
Sweet Wind, I am thine own Anemone
!–
Thirsty Arum, ever dreaming
Of lakes in wildernesses gleaming!–
Fire-winged Pimpernel,
Communing with some hidden well,
And secrets with the sun-god holding,
At fixed hour folding and unfolding!–
How is it with you, children all,
When human children on you fall,
Gather you in eager haste,
Spoil your plenty with their waste–
Fill and fill their dropping hands?
Feel you hurtfully disgraced
By their injurious demands?
Do you know them from afar,
Shuddering at their merry hum,
Growing faint as near they come?
Blind and deaf they think you are–
Is it only ye are dumb?
You alive at least, I think,
Trembling almost on the brink
Of our lonely consciousness:
If it be so,
Take this comfort for your woe,
For the breaking of your rest,
For the tearing in your breast,
For the blotting of the sun,
For the death too soon begun,
For all else beyond redress–
Or what seemeth so to be–
That the children’s wonder-springs
Bubble high at sight of you,
Lovely, lowly, common things:
In you more than you they see!
Take this too–that, walking out,
Looking fearlessly about,
Ye rebuke our manhood’s doubt,
And our childhood’s faith renew;
So that we, with old age nigh,
Seeing you alive and well
Out of winter’s crucible,
Hearing you, from graveyard crept,
Tell us that ye only slept–
Think we die not, though we die.

Thus ye die not, though ye die–
Only yield your being up,
Like a nectar-holding cup:
Deaf, ye give to them that hear,
With a greatness lovely-dear;
Blind, ye give to them that see–
Poor, but bounteous royally.
Lowly servants to the higher,
Burning upwards in the fire
Of Nature’s endless sacrifice,
In great Life’s ascent ye rise,
Leave the lowly earth behind,
Pass into the human mind,
Pass with it up into God,
Whence ye came though through the clod–
Pass, and find yourselves at home
Where but life can go and come;
Where all life is in its nest,
At loving one with holy Best;–
Who knows?–with shadowy, dawning sense
Of a past, age-long somnolence!