**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Inner Dream
by [?]

Gazing awhile,
They let the lesson of the sky sink deep
Into their hearts; withdrawing then their eyes,
They knew the Earth again. And as they went,
Oft in the changing heavens, those distant hills
Shone clear upon the horizon. Then awoke
A strange and unknown longing in their souls,
As if for something loved in years gone by,
And vanished in its beauty and its love
So long, that it retained no name or form,
And lay on childhood’s verge, all but forgot,
Wrapt in the enchanted rose-mists of that land:
As if amidst those hills were wooded dells,
Summer, and gentle winds, and odours free,
Deep sleeping waters, gorgeous flowers, and birds,
Pure winged throats. But here, all things around
Were in their spring. The very light that lay
Upon the grass seemed new-born like the grass,
Sprung with it from the earth. The very stones
Looked warm. The brown ploughed earth seemed swelling up,
Filled like a sponge with sunbeams, which lay still,
Nestling unseen, and broodingly, and warm,
In every little nest, corner, or crack,
Wherein might hide a blind and sleepy seed,
Waiting the touch of penetrative life
To wake, and grow, and beautify the earth.
The mossy stems and boughs, where yet no life
Exuberant overflowed in buds and leaves,
Were clothed in golden splendours, interwoven
With many shadows from the branches bare.
And through their tops the west wind rushing went,
Calling aloud the sleeping sap within:
The thrill passed downwards from the roots in air
To the roots tremulous in the embracing ground.
And though no buds with little dots of light
Sparkled the darkness of the hedgerow twigs;
Softening, expanding in the warm light-bath,
Seemed the dry smoky bark.

Thus in the fields
They spent their holiday. And when the sun
Was near the going down, they turned them home
With strengthened hearts. For they were filled with light,
And with the spring; and, like the bees, went back
To their dark house, laden with blessed sights,
With gladsome sounds home to their treasure-cave;
Where henceforth sudden gleams of spring would pass
Thorough the four-walled darkness of the room;
And sounds of spring-time whisper trembling by,
Though stony streets with iron echoed round.
And as they crossed a field, they came by chance
Upon a place where once a home had been;
Fragments of ruined walls, half-overgrown
With moss, for even stones had their green robe.
It had been a small cottage, with a plot
Of garden-ground in front, mapped out with walks
Now scarce discernible, but that the grass
Was thinner, the ground harder to the foot:
The place was simply shadowed with an old
Almost erased human carefulness.
Close by the ruined wall, where once had been
The door dividing it from the great world,
Making it home, a single snowdrop grew.
‘Twas the sole remnant of a family
Of flowers that in this garden once had dwelt,
Vanished with all their hues of glowing life,
Save one too white for death.

And as its form
Arose within the brain, a feeling sprung
Up in their souls, new, white, and delicate;
A waiting, longing, patient hopefulness,
The snowdrop of the heart. The heavenly child,
Pale with the earthly cold, hung its meek head,
Enduring all, and so victorious;
The Summer’s earnest in the waking Earth,
The spirit’s in the heart.

I love thee, flower,
With a love almost human, tenderly;
The Spring’s first child, yea, thine, my hoping heart!
Upon thy inner leaves and in thy heart,
Enough of green to tell thou know’st the grass;
In thy white mind remembering lowly friends;
But most I love thee for that little stain
Of earth on thy transfigured radiancy,
Which thou hast lifted with thee from thy grave,
The soiling of thy garments on thy road,
Travelling forth into the light and air,
The heaven of thy pure rest. Some gentle rain
Will surely wash thee white, and send the earth
Back to the place of earth; but now it signs
Thee child of earth, of human birth as we.

With careful hands uprooting it, they bore
The little plant a willing captive home;
Willing to enter dark abodes, secure
In its own tale of light. As once of old,
Bearing all heaven in words of promising,
The Angel of the Annunciation came,
It carried all the spring into that house;
A pot of mould its only tie to Earth,
Its heaven an ell of blue ‘twixt chimney-tops,
Its world henceforth that little, low-ceiled room,
Symbol and child of spring, it took its place
‘Midst all those types, to be a type with them,
Of what so many feel, not knowing it;
The hidden springtime that is drawing nigh.
And henceforth, when the shadow of the cross
Will enter, clothed in moonlight, still and dark,
The flower will nestle at its foot till day,
Pale, drooping, heart-content.

To rest they went.
And all night long the snowdrop glimmered white
Amid the dark, unconscious and unseen.

Before the sun had crowned his eastern hill
With its world-diadem, they woke.

I looked
Out of the windows of the inner dream,
And saw the edge of the sun’s glory rise
Eastward behind the hills, the lake-cup’s rim.
And as it came, it sucked up in itself,
As deeds drink words, or daylight candle-flame,
That other sun rising to light the dream.
They lay awake and thoughtful, comforted
With yesterday which nested in their hearts,
Yet haunted with the sound of grinding wheels.