O fancy, if thou flyest, come back anon,
Thy fluttering wings are soft as love's first word,
And fragrant as the feathers of that bird,
Which feeds upon the budded cinnamon.
I ask thee not to work, or sigh—play on,
From nought that was not, was, or is, deterred;
The flax that Old Fate spun thy flights have stirred,
And waved memorial grass of Marathon.
Play, but be gentle, not as on that day
I saw thee running down the rims of doom
With stars thou hadst been stealing—while they lay
Smothered in light and blue—clasped to thy breast;
Bring rather to me in the firelit room
A netted halcyon bird to sing of rest.
More verses by Jean Ingelow
- The Measureless Gulfs Of Air Are Full Of Thee
- A Parson's Letter To A Young Poet
- Loss And Waste
- On A Picture
- Looking Down