I have been wandering where the daisies grow,
Great fields of tall, white daisies, and I saw
Them bend reluctantly, and seem to draw
Away in pride when the fresh breeze would blow
From timothy and yellow buttercup,
So by their fearless beauty lifted up.
Yet must they bend at the strong breeze's will,
Bright, flawless things, whether in wrath he sweep
Or, as oftimes, in mood caressing, creep
Over the meadows and adown the hill.
So Love in sport or truth, as Fates allow,
Blows over proud young hearts, and bids them bow.
So beautiful is it to live, so sweet
To hear the ripple of the bobolink,
To smell the clover blossoms white and pink,
To feel oneself far from the dusty street,
From dusty souls, from all the flare and fret
Of living, and the fever of regret.
I have grown younger; I can scarce believe
It is the same sad woman full of dreams
Of seven short weeks ago, for now it seems
I am a child again, and can deceive
My soul with daisies, plucking one by one
The petals dazzling in the noonday sun.
Almost with old-time eagerness I try
My fate, and say: "un peu," a soft "beaucoup,"
Then, lower, "passionément, pas du tout;"
Quick the white petals fall, and lovingly
I pluck the last, and drop with tender touch
The knowing daisy, for he loves me "much."
I can remember how, in childish days,
I deemed that he who held my heart in thrall
Must love me "passionately" or "not at all."
Poor little wilful ignorant heart that prays
It knows not what, and heedlessly demands
The best that life can give with out-stretched hands!
Now I am wiser, and have learned to prize
Peace above passion, and the summer life
Here with the flowers above the ceaseless strife
Of armed ambitions. They alone are wise
Who know the daisy-secrets, and can hold
Fast in their eager hands her heart of gold.