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Middle-Age Enthusiasms

To M. H.

-

We passed where flag and flower Signalled a jocund throng; We said: "Go to, the hour Is apt!"--and joined the song; And, kindling, laughed at life and care, Although we knew no laugh lay there.

We walked where shy birds stood Watching us, wonder-dumb; Their friendship met our mood; We cried: "We'll often come: We'll come morn, noon, eve, everywhen!" - We doubted we should come again.

We joyed to see strange sheens Leap from quaint leaves in shade; A secret light of greens They'd for their pleasure made. We said: "We'll set such sorts as these!" - We knew with night the wish would cease.

"So sweet the place," we said, "Its tacit tales so dear, Our thoughts, when breath has sped, Will meet and mingle here!" . . . "Words!" mused we. "Passed the mortal door, Our thoughts will reach this nook no more."

Thomas Hardy