To Monica: After Nine Years

In the land of flag-lilies,
Where burst in golden clangours
The joy-bells of the broom,
You were full of willy-nillies,
Pets, and bee-like angers:
Flaming like a dusky poppy,
In a wrathful bloom.

You were full of sweet and sour,
Like a dish of strawberries
Set about with curd.
In your petulant foot was power,
In your wilful innocences,
Your wild and fragrant word.
O, was it you that sweetly spake,
Or I that sweetly heard?

Yellow were the wheat-ways,
The poppies were most red;
And all your meet and feat ways,
Your sudden bee-like snarlings, —
Ah, do you remember,
Darling of the darlings?
Or is it but an ember,
A rusted peal of joy-bells,
Their golden buzzings dead?

Now at one, and now at two,
Swift to pout and swift to woo,
The maid I knew:
Still I see the dusked tresses —
But the old angers, old caresses?
Still your eyes are autumn thunders,
But where are you , child, you?

This your beauty is a script
Writ with pencil brightest-dipt —
Oh, it is the fairest scroll
For a young, departed soul! —
Thus you say:
" Thrice three years ago to-day,
There was one
Shall no more beneath the sun
Darkle, fondle, featly play.
If to think on her be gloom,
Rejoice she has so rich a tomb!"

But there 's he —
Ask thou not who it may be! —
That, until Time's boughs are bare,
Shall be unconsoled for her.
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