Greybeards at Play/Envoy
Clear was the night: the moon was young:
- The larkspurs in the plots
Mingled their orange with the gold
- Of the forget-me-nots.
The poppies seemed a silver mist:
- So darkly fell the gloom.
You scarce had guessed yon crimson streaks
- Were buttercups in bloom.
But one thing moved: a little child
- Crashed through the flower and fern:
And all my soul rose up to greet
- The sage of whom I learn.
I looked into his awful eyes:
- I waited his decree:
I made ingenious attempts
- To sit upon his knee.
The babe upraised his wondering eyes,
- And timidly he said,
"A trend towards experiment
- In modern minds is bred.
"I feel the will to roam, to learn
- By test, experience, _nous_,
That fire is hot and ocean deep,
- And wolves carnivorous.
"My brain demands complexity."
- The lisping cherub cried.
I looked at him, and only said,
- "Go on. The world is wide."
A tear rolled down his pinafore,
- "Yet from my life must pass
The simple love of sun and moon,
- The old games in the grass;
"Now that my back is to my home
- Could these again be found?"
I looked on him, and only said,
- "Go on. The world is round."