The August Weeds


I wandered between woods
On a grassy down, when still
Clouds hung after rain
Over hollow and hill;

The blossom–time was over,
The singing throats dumb,
And the year’s coloured ripeness
Not yet come.

And all at unawares,
Surprising the stray sight,
Ran straight into my heart
Like a beam, delight.

Negligent weeds ravelled
The green edge of the copse,
Whitely, dimly, sparkling
With a million drops.

And sudden fancy feigned
What strange beauty would pass
Did but a shiver of wind
Tremble through the grass,

Shaking the poised, round drops
Spilled and softly rolled
A–glitter from the ragworth’s
Roughened gold;

From the rusted scarlet
Of tall sorrel seed,
And fretted tufts, frost–gray,
Of the silver–weed,

And from purple–downed thistle
Towering dewy over
Yellow–cupped spurge
And the drenched, sweet clover.

But all were motionless:
Not one breath shed
Those little pale pearls
That an elf might thread

Under a fading moon
By an old thorn–tree
For the witching throat
Of Nimuë.

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