The Swing

It was like floating in a blessed dream to roam

Across green meadows, far from home,

With only trees and quivering sky to hedge the sight,

Dazzling the eyes with strange delight.

Such wide, wide fields I had never seen, and never dreamed

Could be; and wonderful it seemed

To wander over green and under green and run

Unwatched even of the shining sun.

One tree there was that held a wrinkled creaking bough

Far over the grass, hanging low;

And a swing from it hanging drew us near and made

New brightness beneath that doming shade.

For there my sisters swung long hours delightedly,

And there delighted clambered I;

And all our voices shrilled as one when up we flung

And into the stinging sharp leaves swung.

Then in a garden dense with bramble and sweet flowers

Where honeysuckle a new sweetness pours,

We sat and ate and drank. Well I remember how

We were all shaded by one bough

Bending with red fruit over our uplifted eyes,

Teasing our well-watched covetousness.

And then we went back happy to the empty swing,

But I was tired of everything

Except the grass and trees and the wide shadows there

Widening slowly everywhere.

It was like swinging in a solemn dream to roam

In a strange air, far from home —

Until I saw the shadows suddenly wake and move,

And float, float down from above.

Then I ran quickly back, round the large gloomy trees,

O with what shivering unease!

And stumbled where they waited, and was far too glad,

Finding them, to be afraid or sad.

— Then waited an unforgetting year once more to see

So wide a sky, so great a tree.

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