BETA

TWO POEMS BY JEAN INGELOW.

I.—A WALK TO ACCRINGTON ON THE FOURTH OF MARCH.

(WRITTEN FOR A FRIEND’S BIRTHDAY).

The days of our life are threescore years and ten.”
A BIRTHDAY : —and now a day that rose1
With much of hope, with meaning rife2
A thoughtful day from dawn to close :3
The middle is of human life.4
In sloping fields on narrow plains,5
The sheep were feeding on their knees,6
As we went through the winding lanes,7
Strew’d with red buds of alder trees.8
So warm the day—its influence lent9
To flagging thought a stronger wing ;10
So utterly was winter spent,11
So sudden was the birth of spring.12
Wild crocus flowers in copse and hedge13
In sunlight, clustering thick below,14
Sighed for the firwood’s shaded ledge,15
Where sparkled yet a line of snow.16
And crowded snowdrops faintly hung17
Their fair heads lower for the heat,18
While in still air all branches flung19
Their shadowy doubles at our feet.20
And through the hedge the sunbeams crept,21
Dropped through the maple and the birch ;22
And lost in airy distance slept23
On the broad tower of Tamworth Church.24
Then, lingering on the downward way,25
A little space we resting stood,26
To watch the golden haze that lay27
Adown that river by the wood.28
A distance vague, the bloom of sleep29
The constant sun had lent the scene30
A veiling charm on dingles deep31
Lay soft those pastoral hills between.32
There are some days that die not out,33
Nor alter by reflection’s power,34
Whose converse calm, whose words devout,35
For ever rest, the spirit’s dower.36
And they are days when drops a veil37
A mist upon the distance past ;38
And while we say to peace— “ All hail ! ”39
We hope that always it shall last.40
Times when the troubles of the heart41
Are hushed—as winds were hushed that
day
42
And budding hopes begin to start,43
Like those green hedgerows on our way.44
When all within and all around,45
Like hues on that sweet landscape blend,46
And Nature’s hand has made to sound47
The heartstrings that her touch attend.48
When there are rays within, like those49
That streamed enough maple and through
birch,
50
And rested in such calm repose51
On the broad tower of Tamworth Church.52
Two women stand facing away from the viewer. They are clasping each other’s waists in a grassy grove filled with trees. Several sheep graze in the fields in front of the women. 3/4-page illustration contained within a single-ruled border.