—And so, as froward babes, we hide our eyes
And think all ended.—Then, Life calls to us,
In some transformed, apocryphal, new voice,
Above us, or below us, or around . . .
Perhaps we name it Nature’s voice, or Love’s,
Tricking ourselves, because we are more ashamed
So own our compensations than our griefs:
Still, Life’s voice!—still, we make our peace with Life.
And I, so young then, was not sullen. Soon
I used to get up early, just to sit
And watch the morning quicken in the grey,
And hear the silence open like a flower,
Leaf after leaf,—and stroke with listless hand
The woodbine through the window, till at last
I came to do it with a sort of love,
At foolish unaware: whereat I smiled,—
A melancholy smile, to catch myself
Smiling for joy.
Capacity for joy
Admits temptation. It seemed, next, worth while
To dodge the sharp sword set against my life;
To slip down stairs through all the sleepy house,
As mute as any dream there, and escape
As a soul from the body, out of doors,—
Glide through the shrubberies, drop into the lane,
And wander on the hills an hour or two,
Then back again before the house should stir.
Or else I sat on in my chamber green,