The Pond

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Gray were the rushes
Beside the budless bushes,
Green-patched the pond.
The lark had left soaring
Though yet the sun was pouring
His gold here and beyond.

Bramble-branches held me,
But had they not compelled me
Yet had I lingered there
Hearing the frogs and then
Watching the water-hen
That stared back at my stare.

There amid the bushes
Were blackbird's nests and thrush's,
Soon to be hidden
In leaves on green leaves thickening,
Boughs over long boughs quickening
Swiftly, unforbidden.

The lark had left singing
But song all round was ringing,
As though the rushes
Were sighingly repeating
And mingling that most sweet thing
With the sweet note of thrushes.

That sweetness rose all round me,
But more than sweetness bound me,
A spirit stirred;
Shadowy and cold it neared me,
Then shrank as if it feared me--
But 'twas I that feared.

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