My Study

L et others strive for wealth or praise1
Who care to win ;2
I count myself full blest, if He,3
Who made my study fair to see,4
Grant me but length of quiet days5
To muse therein.6
Its walls, with peach and cherry clad,7
From yonder wold8
Unbosomed, seem as if thereon9
September sunbeams ever shone ;10
They make the air look warm and glad11
When winds are cold.12
Around its door a clematis13
Her arms doth tie ;14
Through leafy lattices I view15
Its endless corridors of blue16
Curtained with clouds ; its ceiling is17
The marbled sky.18
A verdant carpet smoothly laid19
Doth oft invite20
My silent steps ; thereon the sun21
With silver thread of dew hath spun22
Devices rare—the warp of shade,23
The weft of light.24
Here dwell my chosen books, whose leaves25
With healing breath26
The ache of discontent assuage,27
And speak from each illumined page28
The patience that my soul reprieves29
From inward death ;30
Some perish with a season’d wind, 31
And some endure ;32
One robes itself in snow, and one33
In raiment of the rising sun34
Bordered with gold ; in all I find35
God’s signature.36
As on my grassy couch I lie,37
From hedge and tree38
Musicians pipe ; or if the heat39
Subdue the birds, one crooneth sweet40
Whose labour is a lullaby41
The slumbrous bee.42
The sun my work doth overlook43
With searching light ;44
The serious moon, the flickering star,45
My midnight lamp and candle are ;46
A soul unhardened is the book47
Wherein I write.48
There labouring, my heart is eased49
Of every care ;50
Yet often wonderstruck I stand,51
With earnest gaze but idle hand,52
Abashed—for God Himself is pleased53
To labour there.54
Ashamed my faultful task to spell,55
I watch how grows56
The Master’s perfect colour-scheme57
Of sunset or His simpler dream58
Of moonlight, or that miracle59
We name a rose.60
Dear Earth, one thought alone doth grieve61
The tender dread62
Of parting from thee ; as a child,63
Who painted while his father smiled,64
Then watched him paint, is loth of leave65
And go to bed.66