The great roads are all grown over
That seemed so firm and white.
The deep black forests have covered them.
How should I walk aright?
How should I thread these tangled mazes,
Or grope to that far off light?
I stumble round the thickets, and they turn me
Back to the thickets and the night.
Yet, sometimes, at a word, an elfin pass-word,
(O, thin, deep, sweet with beaded rain!)
There shines, through a mist of ragged-robins,
The old lost April-coloured lane,
That leads me from myself; for, at a whisper,
Where the strong limbs thrust in vain,
At a breath, if my heart help another heart,
The path shines out for me again.
A thin thread, a rambling lane for lovers
To the light of the world's one May,
Where the white dropping flakes may wet our faces
As we lift them to the bloom-bowed spray:
O Master, shall we ask Thee, then, for high-roads,
Or down upon our knees and pray
That Thou wilt ever lose us in Thy little lanes,
And lead us by a wandering way.