Who could describe you, child of mystery
And silence, born among these solitudes?
Within whose look there is a secrecy,
Old as these wanderingwoods,
And knowledge, cousin to the morning-star,
Beyond the things that mar,
And earth itself that on the soul intrudes.
How many eons what antiquity
Went to your making? When the world was young
You yet were old. What mighty company
Of cosmic forces swung
About you! On what wonders have you gazed
Since first your head was raised
To greet the Power that here your seed-spore flung!
The butterfly that woos you, and the bee
That quits the mandrakes' cups to whisper you,
Are in your confidence and sympathy,
As sunlight is and dew,
And the soft music of this woodland stream,
Telling the trees its dream,
That lean attentive its dim face unto.
With bluet, larkspur, and anemone
Your gold conspires to arrest the eye,
Making it prisoner unto Fantasy
And Vision, none'll deny!
That lead the mind (as children lead the blind
Homeward by ways that wind)
To certainties of love that round it lie.
The tanager, in scarlet livery,
Out-flaunts you not in bravery, amber-bright
As is the little moon of Faërie,
That glows with golden light
From out a firmament of green, as you
From out the moss and dew
Glimmer your starry disc upon my sight.
If I might know you, have you, as the bee
And butterfly, in some more intimate sense
Or, like the brook there talking to the tree,
Win to your confidence
Then might I grasp it, solve it, in some wise,
This riddle in disguise
Named Life, through you and your experience.