The Drift,” Lincolnshire.

There, in Spring, the violets blue1
Lift them with so deep a hue,2
As, in seeking, they had caught3
More of heaven than they sought ;4
Dazzled by that azure bright,5
Drank too deep of its delight ;6
And, in penance for their theft,7
Glad to be as carpet left ;8
Breathing odours that have given9
Wonder which were earth or heaven.10
There in Summer blue-bells quiver,11
And there runs a rippling river12
Of fair grasses where the bee13
Dips in golden ecstasy.14
There great boulders, time-embossed,15
Bleachen grey or richly mossed,16
Are as footstools fair and sweet.17
For Diana’s wandering feet.18
Safe as lion in his lair19
Fearless sits the fresh-eyed hare.20
And the couchant rabbit sleeps21
Where the speckled partridge peeps,22
Scared by every breeze that stirs23
Round that nested charge of hers.24
Here and there a lonely tree25
Woos some breeze adown the lea,26
Breeze that soon must sink and tire,27
Unclasped by that lisping lyre.28
Ah ! how often there reclined29
Weary form with weary mind,30
By that whispering song beguiled31
Grew gay-hearted as a child,32
And bird and bee and butterfly33
Seemed merrier for the minstrelsy.34
To that patch of charmèd shade35
Wandering odours, weary, strayed,36
Some from bindweed in the corn,37
Some from roses on the thorn ;38
One, of honied fragrance fine,39
From gold crowns of wild woodbine.40
While but flowers bedeck thy soil,41
Drift ! thou dream’st through harvest toil.42
There the barley, silvery green,43
Vests the vale with rippling sheen.44
There the wheat spreads far and wide ;45
Plenty laughs from side to side.46
On thou windest till the sky47
Wears thy ferns’ faint tracery,48
Rising, as should all earth’s joy,49
To that Heaven where’s no alloy.50