VIOLETS, with rare and thin and reaching smell,
What is it you would tell?
Five thousand, fifty thousand years from us Your scent was even thus,
In dusks before the Spring, O cry intense,
Thrilling within the sense.
O whither would you have us yearn and reach Following your spirit-speech?
O love, first love, and all its keen regrets Call with you, violets;
You draw us down all woodlands that have been Since first the world was green —
Draw us with ache through graves of all the days To grasp what beauty stays,
What Permanence behind all perishings,
What Spring behind the springs.
And you reply: we have not known jour grief,
Untricked to your belief
In Time delusive, that unreal shade
By your own thinking made;
We have not known your Forward and Behind,
Vext individual mind;
We are the happy features of one Face,
The graces of one Grace;
With us the hours are one immortal Hour;
All fading flowers, one Flower.
GEOFFREY JOHNSON