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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!'


ENVOI


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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