Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/16

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
7
AURORA LEIGH.


My father pushed down on the bed for that,—
Or, my dead mother, without smile or kiss,
Buried at Florence. All which images,
Concentred on the picture, glassed themselves
Before my meditative childhood, . . as
The incoherences of change and death
Are represented fully, mixed and merged,
In the smooth fair mystery of perpetual Life.

And while I stared away my childish wits
Upon my mother’s picture, (ah, poor child!)
My father, who through love had suddenly
Thrown off the old conventions, broken loose
From chin-bands of the soul, like Lazarus,
Yet had no time to learn to talk and walk
Or grow anew familiar with the sun,—
Who had reached to freedom, not to action, lived,
But lived as one entranced, with thoughts, not aims,—
Whom love had unmade from a common man
But not completed to an uncommon man,—
My father taught me what he had learnt the best
Before he died and left me,—grief and love.
And, seeing we had books among the hills,
Strong words of counselling souls, confederate
With vocal pines and waters,—out of books
He taught me all the ignorance of men,
And how God laughs in heaven when any man
Says, ‘Here I’m learned; this, I understand;
In that, I am never caught at fault or doubt.’
He sent the schools to school demonstrating