When I consider Life and its few years --
A wisp of fog betwixt us and the sun;
A call to battle, and the battle done
Ere the last echo dies within our ears;
Wild rockets blew along the lane;
The tall white gentians too were there;
The mullein stalks were brave again;
Of blossoms was the bramble bare;
A rhyme of good Death's inn!
My love came to that door;
And she had need of many things,
The way had been so sore.
The spicewood burns along the gray, spent sky,
In moist unchimneyed places, in a wind,
That whips it all before, and all behind,
Into one thick, rude flame, now low, now high,
Oh, gray and tender is the rain,
That drips, drips on the pane!
A hundred things come in the door,
The scent of herbs, the thought of yore.
Love came back at fall o' dew,
Playing his old part;
But I had a word or two
That would break his heart.
Such special sweetness was about
That day God sent you here,
I knew the lavender was out,
And it was mid of year.
The little Jesus came to town;
The wind blew up, the wind blew down;
Out in the street the wind was bold;
Now who would house Him from the cold?
Stumble to silence, all you uneasy things,
That pack the day with bluster and with fret.
For here is music at each window set;
Dark, thinned, beside the wall of stone,
The box dripped in the air;
Its odor through my house was blown
Into the chamber there.