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Poems
Hopes
(15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924 / Kennington / Surrey / England)

Hopes

A PRINCESS, sleeping in enchanted bowers,
Earth springs to waking at Spring's voice and kiss,
And after winter's cold, unlovely hours,
Laughs out to find how beautiful she is.


Spring flings a song across the field and fold,
And sighs it through the glad wood's tangled ways;
And million, million tales of love are told,
And dreams are dreamed of undivided days.


In hollows where so late but dead leaves lay,
Through the dead leaves the primroses push up;
And wind-flowers fleck the copse, and fields are gay
With daisies and the budding buttercup.


So in our hearts, though thick the dead leaves lie
Of grief--heaped up by winds of old despair--
May there not be a spring-time by-and-by,
When flowers of joy shall blossom even there?


So long has Winter held our hearts in his,
We dare not dream of Spring and all her flowers?
Ah! the undreamed-of happiness it is
That comes--the dreamed-of joy is never ours!


When late the trees were brown and hedges bare,
And keen east wind cut sharp as human pain,
Did the Earth guess how soon she would be fair
With Spring's dear dainty loveliness again?


We do not guess of joy, but hope alone--
Like life's mysterious force that thrills the earth--
Lives in our souls, unrecognised, unknown,
Till time shall bring unhoped-for joy to birth.

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