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Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

A Ballad of The Kind Little Creatures

I had no where to go,
I had no money to spend:
'O come with me,' the Beaver said,
'I live at the world's end.'

'Does the world ever end!'
To the Beaver then said I:
'O yes! the green world ends,' he said,
'Up there in the blue sky.'

I walked along with him to home,
At the edge of a singing stream-
The little faces in the town
Seemed made out of a dream.

I sat down in the little house,
And ate with the kind things-
Then suddenly a bird comes out
Of the bushes, and he sings:

'Have you no home? O take my nest,
It almost is the sky;'
And then there came along the creek
A purple dragon-fly.

'Have you no home?' he said;
'O come along with me,
Get on my wings-the moon's my home'-
The dragon-fly said he.

The Bee was told by a young Bat
A man had need of home;
He flew away at once, and said
'Come to my honeycomb!'

Even the butterfly,
A painted hour;
Said to the homeless one:
'I know a flower.'

The Ant came slowly,
Late, of course, but still
Bringing the tiny welcome
Of his hill.

The tired turtle,
Fumbling through the wood,
Came, asking hospitably
'If I would?'

Even a hornet came,
With sheathed sting,-
He never yet had seen
So lost a thing!

There was his nest
Up in the singing boughs,
Among the pears,
A fragrant humming house.

And even little
Stupid things that crawl
Among the reeds, deeming
That that is all,
Came a long weary way
To bid me home.

A snake said:
'In the world there is a place
Where you can lie
And dream of her white face.'

The moss said: 'Your blue eyes
Need my green sleep';
The willow said: 'Ah! when
You weep I weep.'

Wonderful earth
Of little kindly things,
That buzz and beam
And flitter little wings!

Over the sexton's grave
The growing grass
Cried out: 'Come home!
I am alive, alas!'


Ah! love, the world is fading,
Flower by flower,
Each has his little house,
And each his hour.

The ship rocked long
Across the weary sea,
But at the last
There is a port for me.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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