Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/53

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44
AURORA LEIGH.


As even to snatch my bonnet by the strings,
But, brushing a green trail across the lawn
With my gown in the dew, took will and way
Among the acacias of the shrubberies,
To fly my fancies in the open air
And keep my birthday, till my aunt awoke
To stop good dreams. Meanwhile I murmured on,
As honeyed bees keep humming to themselves;
‘The worthiest poets have remained uncrowned
Till death has bleached their foreheads to the bone,
And so with me it must be, unless I prove
Unworthy of the grand adversity,—
And certainly I would not fail so much.
What, therefore, if I crown myself to-day
In sport, not pride, to learn the feel of it,
Before my brows be numb as Dante’s own
To all the tender pricking of such leaves?
Such leaves? what leaves?’
 I pulled the branches down,
To choose from.
 ‘Not the bay! I choose no bay;
The fates deny us if we are overbold:
Nor myrtle—which means chiefly love; and love
Is something awful which one dare not touch
So early o’ mornings. This verbena strains
The point of passionate fragrance; and hard by,
This guelder-rose, at far too slight a beck
Of the wind, will toss about her flower-apples.
Ah—there’s my choice,—that ivy on the wall,
That headlong ivy! not a leaf will grow