Euphrasy

Hope, wreathed with roses,
Led sand-blind Despair
To a clear babbling wellspring
And laved his eyes there—
Dark with long brooding
In dungeon-like keep—
Hope laved his eyes,
And he fell fast asleep.

He fell fast asleep
By the willows green-grey,
While the child on his pipes
Piped twilight away.
So that when he awoke
The skies were outspread
With a powder of stars
Strewn in myriads o'erhead.

And Despair lifted up
His gaunt cavernous face;
He said, “I see Suns
Like wild beacons, in space;
I cannot endure
The blaze, dazzle, flare!”
But the child—he saw only
Faint stars glinting there.

And he flung back his head
With laughter at sight
Of that lantern-jawed face
Dazed with fear at the Night.
And he counselled Despair
Some sly shift to devise
Lest daybreak brought blindness—
Again—to his eyes.

And he his young brows
Sprinkled cold in the brook
For the magic of starshine
Which them had forsook.
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