Anna Hempstead Branch
So I May Feel The Hands Of God - Poem by Anna Hempstead Branch
How swiftly, once, on silvery feet
I saw thee bound beneath the sun!
Oh, savage innocence! The fleet,
The wild, the sweet, the glistening one!
God made in thee the gentlest sound
To win for thee the dear caress.
Like flowers growing in the ground
We heard that trembling daintiness.
Thou art strange Nature's subtlest child,
The offspring of her alien mood.
Now age has come on thee, the wild,
And stricken thee, the simply good.
Animal sweetness, when it goes,
Leaves emptiness behind.
Dear, thou must wither like the rose
And dimness take thy creature mind.
No more we laugh to see thee run—
The innocent, the fierce, the sweet!
Thy snow-white dancing in the sun!
The rushing of thy happy feet!
The hearthstone and the friendly touch,
Thou art grown needy, now, for these.
How strange that wanting them so much
Thou hast forgot the arts to please.
Oh, creature age! creature distress!
The haunting, old, and dim surprise!
Would I might charm with tenderness
The grief from those bewildered eyes!
Thou hast no more, at love's commands,
The simple sweetness of a purr.
Then let me comfort with my hands
The saddening of thy shining fur.
When cold afflicts thy piteous sod
Then let me warm that need of thine,
So I may feel the hands of God
Laid over thee—more close than mine.
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