A Sketch in Water-Colours

To a Friend in the South

Illustration and poem are part of the same graphic unit. A grey background runs behind the entire page with folliage, rain, clouds, and rocks scattered throughout. Small distinct illustrations are scattered around the poem. Full-page illustration. Illustration and poem are contained within a single-ruled rectangular border.
A weather vane stands atop a tower. The tower peeks out through the top of dense foliage. In the background, two birds fly in a rain storm. 1/8 page.
Rain, rain, rain! and the wind’s in the east!1
It snarls and snaps like a baited beast,2
A baffled lawyer, or a slighted priest.3
And rain and wind through doorway and rent4
Drift, sift, and whistle into my tent5
Of memory’s dead leaves redolent.6
The ink is mildewed, the paper’s damp,7
There’s a crick in my neck, and my legs have cramp.8
Inside there’s a puddle—outside a swamp;9
A wheelbarrow sits atop a bed of foliage. There is a pail in the wheelbarrow. A bird flies near a fence, which decorates the background. 1/8 page.
A swamp, a ditch, and a scraggy hedge,10
A bit of ploughed land like a rusty wedge11
Stuck in between clumps of bramble and sedge;12
A tireless wheel, a gaptooth harrow,13
A bottomless bucket, a legless barrow,14
One frog, two snails, and a lop-winged sparrow;15
A rickety paling, some willow scrubs,16
A lump of potato-field blotched with dubs,17
Where a draggled blackbird is hunting for grubs;18
A figure holds a cane and walks across a wet field. 1/8 page.
A shapeless humplock of last year’s peats19
In an empty pool, which the thick rain beats20
Into ripples—the foreground scene completes.21
Beyond, there’s a sweep of plashy bog,22
Through which with heavy footsteps jog23
A cowering herd and his cowering dog;24
A tugboat floats on the distant sea. 1/8 page.
And farther, a reach of fierce grey sea,25
Where a tug lies watching under the lee26
Of an Isle—unblest with bush or tree.27
Illustration and poem are part of the same graphic unit. There is a rocky shoreline along a rough body of water in the lower-right corner. The moon is shrouded in dark clouds. The sky extends up from this corner to fill the rest of the illustration and forms a background for the poem. Scattered throughout the rest of the illustration are birds, folliage, and rain. Full-page illustration. Illustration and poem are contained within a single-ruled rectangular border.
And over all the white fog trails,28
Veiling the hills, as a grave-sheet veils29
And yet not hides the dead; while wails30
The curlew, like a soul in pain,31
To the wailing mew. And still the rain32
Pours down, and the wet wind howls amain. . . . . .33
Such are the sights that meet my view34
The sounds I hear the long day through;35
While in the balmy south, for you,36
Oh happy wanderer! nature wreaths37
Herself in loveliness, and breathes38
In music; till each day bequeaths39
Some golden memory to dower40
The morrow;—every joy-winged hour,41
Drops, bee-like, from life’s full-blown flower,42
Drunken with sweetness! . . . Yet you say43
You’d give it all for one brief day,44
However cheerless, damp and grey,45
To toss your loose locks to the breeze,46
And watch the huge Atlantic seas47
Break on the iron Hebrides.48
Ah human nature! men despise49
That they possess, and only prize50
And seek what destiny denies!51
But I, with philosophic mind52
I spurn these frailties of my kind:53
To Fate’s decree I’d be resigned,54
And either lot contented bear55
In south or north—in foul or fair56
So thou wert here or I were there.57