Beneath a knap where flown

   Nestlings play,

Within walls of weathered stone,

   Far away

From the files of formal houses,

By the bough the firstling browses,

Lives a Sweet: no merchants meet,

No man barters, no man sells

   Where she dwells.

Upon that fabric fair

   “Here is she!”

Seems written everywhere

   Unto me.

But to friends and nodding neighbours,

Fellow-wights in lot and labours,

Who descry the times as I,

No such lucid legend tells

   Where she dwells.

Should I lapse to what I was

   Ere we met;

(Such can not be, but because

   Some forget

Let me feign it)—none would notice

That where she I know by rote is

Spread a strange and withering change,

Like a drying of the wells

   Where she dwells.

To feel I might have kissed—

   Loved as true—

Otherwhere, nor Mine have missed

   My life through.

Had I never wandered near her,

Is a smart severe—severer

In the thought that she is nought,

Even as I, beyond the dells

   Where she dwells.

And Devotion droops her glance

   To recall

What bond-servants of Chance

   We are all.

I but found her in that, going

On my errant path unknowing,

I did not out-skirt the spot

That no spot on earth excels,

   —Where she dwells!


Sketch of man in military dress

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