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Robert Bridges: To Thos. Floyd

  

To Thos. Floyd

How fares it, friend, since I by Fate annoy’d
Left the old home in need of livelier play
For body and mind? How fare, this many a day,
The stubborn thews and ageless heart of Floyd?
If not too well with country sport employ’d,
Visit my flock, the breezy hill that they
Choose for their fold; and see, for thence you may,
From rising walls all roofless yet and void,

The lovely city, thronging tower and spire,
The mind of the wide landscape, dreaming deep,
Grey-silvery in the vale; a shrine where keep
Memorian hopes their pale celestial fire:
Like man’s immortal conscience of desire,
The spirit that watcheth in me ev’n in my sleep.

“While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry”

While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry
And blackening east that so embitters March,
Well-housed must watch grey fields and meadows parch,
And driven dust and withering snowflake fly;
Already in glimpses of the tarnish’d sky
The sun is warm and beckons to the larch,
And where the covert hazels interarch
Their tassell’d twigs, fair beds of primrose lie.
Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid
The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing
Till one soft shower from the south shall bid,
And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of spring.

“In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan”

In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan
Is fragrant in the wake of summer hence,
‘Tis sweet to sit entranced, and muse thereon
In melancholy and godlike indolence:
When the proud spirit, lull’d by mortal prime
To fond pretence of immortality,
Vieweth all moments from the birth of time,
All things whate’er have been or yet shall be.
And like the garden, where the year is spent,
The ruin of old life is full of yearning,
Mingling poetic rapture of lament
With flowers and sunshine of spring’s sure returning;
Only in visions of the white air wan
By godlike fancy seized and dwelt upon.

Robert Bridges
(1844-1930)
To Thos. Floyd

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