WHAT were his dreams who wove this colored shawl —
The gray, hard-bitten weaver, gaunt and dour,
Out of whose grizzled memory, even as a flower
Out of bleak winter, at young April’s call,
In the old tradition of flowers breaks into bloom,
Blossomed the old and intricate design
Of softly glowing hues and exquisite line —
What were his dreams, crouched at his cottage loom?
What were her dreams, the laughing April lass
Who first in the flowering of young delight,
With parted lips and eager, tilted head
And shining eyes, about her shoulders white
Drew the soft fabric of kindling green and red,
Standing before the candle-lighted glass?


Tempest without: within the mellow glow
Of mingling lamp and firelight over all —
Etchings and water-colors on the wall,
Cushions and curtains of clear indigo,
Rugs, damask-red, and blue as Tyrian seas,
Deep chairs, black oaken settles, hammered brass,
Translucent porcelain and sea-green glass,
Color and warmth and light and dreamy ease.
And I sit wondering where are now the hands
That wrought at anvil, easel, wheel, and loom, —
Hands, slender, swart, red, gnarled, — in foreign lands
Or English shops to furnish this seemly room;
And all the while, without, the windy rain
Drums like dead fingers tapping at the pane.
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson.