Chains Invisible

Poem By Edith Nesbit

THE lilies in my garden grow,
Wide meadows ring my garden round,
In that green copse wild violets blow,
And pale, frail cuckoo flowers are found.
For all you see and all you hear,
The city might be miles away,
And yet you feel the city near
Through all the quiet of the day.


Sweet smells the earth--wet with sweet rain--
Sweet lilac waves in moonlight pale,
And from the wood beyond the lane
I hear the hidden nightingale.
Though field and wood about me lie,
Hushed soft in dew and deep delight,
Yet can I hear the city's sigh
Through all the silence of the night.


For me the skylark builds and sings,
For me the vine her garland weaves;
The swallow folds her glossy wings
To build beneath my cottage eaves.
But I can feel the giant near,
Can hear his slaves by daylight weep,
And when at last the night is here,
I hear him moaning in his sleep.


Oh! for a little space of ground,
Though not a flower should make it gay,
Where miles of meadows wrapped me round,
And leagues and leagues of silence lay.
Oh! for a wind-lashed, treeless down,
A black night and a rising sea,
And never a thought of London town,
To steal the world's delight from me.

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