Traveller’s Joy.

The wild clematis which grows luxuriantly by many English
roadsides is known to the country-folk as ‘ Old Man’s Beard ’ and
Traveller’s Joy.’ Any one who has noticed the wealth of
blossoms in the summer and of fluffy seed-vessels in the winter
will be struck by the aptness of the local names.
Twining, wreathing, softly drooping,1
Flinging perfume to the breeze,2
Sweet clematis sways the hedgerows3
All across the golden leas,4
Mocking all my frenzied fancies5
With its glistering satin sheen,6
As along the path I wander,7
Musing on the Might-Have-Been.8
Unforgiving words and cruel.9
What now matters wrong or right ?10
And though bloom, in wanton brilliance,11
Throws its bridal arches white12
O’er the gateway where we parted,13
Where I lost my darling boy14
All my heartstrings swept by sorrow,15
What care I for ‘ Traveller’s Joy ’ ?16
Winter comes : the welcome Winter !17
To my musings more attune.18
Old Man’s Beard ’ in hoary splendour19
Decks the hedgerows ’neath the moon.20
Hard as iron is the footpath,21
Harder still my anguished heart ;22
Pride can scorn the neighbours’ pity—23
Missing’ . . . is the cruel part.24
By the gateway sink I wearied,25
All my soul for news athirst.26
Father ! give me strength. Uphold me27
Even should it prove the worst ! ’ . . .28
What is this ?  A touch—a murmur—29
Tidings of my darling boy30
Changing in one rapturous moment31
Old Man’s Beard ’ to ‘ Traveller’s Joy.’32