The Lodger

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What! and do you find it good,
Sitting here alone with me?
Hark! the wind goes through the wood
And the snow drifts heavily.

When the morning brings the light

How know I you will not say,
“What a storm there fell last night.
Is the next inn far away?”

How know I you do not dream
Of some country where the grass

Grows up tall around the gleam
Of the milestones you must pass?

Even now perhaps you tell
(While your hands play through my hair)
Every hill, each hidden well,

All the pleasant valleys there,

That before a clear moon shines
You will be with them again?
—Hear the booming of the pines
And the sleet against the pane.

Wake, and look upon the sun.
I awoke an hour ago,
When the night was hardly done
And still fell a little snow.

Since the hill-tops touched the light

Many things have my hands made,
Just that you should think them right
And be glad that you have stayed.

—How I worked the while you slept!
Scarcely did I dare to sing!

All my soul a silence kept—
Fearing your awakening.

Now, indeed, I do not care
If you wake; for now the sun
Makes the least of all things fair

That my poor two hands have done. [page 13]

No, it is not hard to find.
You will know it by the hills—
Seven—sloping up behind;
By the soft perfume that fills

(O the red, red roses there!)
Full the narrow path thereto;
By the dark pine-forest where
Such a little wind breathes through;

By the way the bend o’ the stream

Takes the peace that twilight brings;
By the sunset, and the gleam
Of uncounted swallows’ wings

—No, indeed, I have not been
There; but such dreams I have had!

And, when I grow old, the green
Leaves will hide me, too, made glad.

Yes, you must go now, I know.
You are sure you understand?
—How I wish that I could go

Now, and lead you by the hand.

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