A House of Dreams on a Wooded Hill

HERE under fir-trees, dusk and sweet,
Whose fine fair spines beneath the feet
Turn sound to silence, as is meet;
Here in the heather, gray and red,
Whose clustered bells are all bespread,
Lest the dull bee forget his bread, —
Here lie long, trembling shafts of light
On tufted fern, brown moss and white,
And grass, with ivied wreaths bedight.
Here oak-trees grow, a finger long,
And here do fir cones, waxen strong,
Thrust feathered heads from out the throng.
Here the armed gorse is all besprent
With golden slippers, in whose scent
The toadstool piles his small, cold tent.
Here timid bright eyes find retreat,
Here is a scamper of small feet,
And here of wings the rush and beat.
Here in this ambush I will seize
From perfumed shade and golden ease,
And things as fanciful as these,
A monarchy ; and I will weave
A house of dreams, beneath whose eave
Men may not enter nor may grieve.
Here in the tangle be my throne,
And each small thing that lives alone
Shall bring me tribute of his own.
For me the broom shall hang his gold,
And jeweled creatures, brown and old,
Shall come, their wrinkled heads a-cold.
For me the modest eye of day
Shall spread her silver; and the bay
Shall wreathe me with her wreaths alway.
Here be my splendor and renown,
Where winds go whispering to the town,
And buttercups wear each a crown.
Here come no duty and no right,
No love nor hate; but day and night
Go round in calm and dull delight.
Here let me live, and let me die ;
Of them that travail and that cry,
Forgotten : who so free as I ?
I. Oppenheim.