(To E.M., Who drew them in Holzminden Prison)
God dreamed a man;
Then, having firmly shut
Life like a precious metal in his fist
Withdrew, His labour done. Thus did begin
I'm homesick for my hills again -
My hills again!
To see above the Severn plain,
Unscabbarded against the sky,
No mortal comes to visit me to-day,
Only the gay and early-rising Sun
Who strolled in nonchalantly, just to say,
' Good morrow, and despair not, foolish one ! '
A man there was, a gentle soul,
Of mild enquiring mind,
Who came into this neighbourhood
Its wonders for to find [ … ]
Big glory mellowing on the mellowing hills,
And in the Uttle valleys, thatch and dreams,
Wrought by the manifold and vagrant wills
Of sun and ripening rain and wind ; so gleams
Sometimes 'tis far off, and sometimes 'tis nigh,
Such drummerdery noises too they be !
'Tis odd — oh, I do hope I baint to die
Just as the summer months be coming on,
I CAN NOT give you happiness :
For wishes long have ceased to bring
The Fortune which to page and king
They brought in those good centuries,
Bodies of comrade soldiers gleaming white
Within the mill-pool where you float and dive
And lounge around part-clothed or naked quite;
Beautiful shining forms of men alive,
On Where's the use to write ?
What can I tell you, dear ?
Just that I want you so
Who are not near.