Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > XI. To Will. H. Low
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
XI. To Will. H. Low

YOUTH now flees on feathered foot. 
Faint and fainter sounds the flute, 
Rarer songs of gods; and still 
Somewhere on the sunny hill, 
Or along the winding stream,         5
Through the willows, flits a dream; 
Flits, but shows a smiling face, 
Flees, but with so quaint a grace, 
None can choose to stay at home, 
All must follow, all must roam.  10
This is unborn beauty: she 
Now in air floats high and free, 
Takes the sun and breaks the blue;— 
Late with stooping pinion flew 
Raking hedgerow trees, and wet  15
Her wing in silver streams, and set 
Shining foot on temple roof: 
Now again she flies aloof, 
Coasting mountain clouds and kiss’t 
By the evening’s amethyst.  20
In wet wood and miry lane, 
Still we pant and pound in vain; 
Still with leaden foot we chase 
Waning pinion, fainting face; 
Still with grey hair we stumble on,  25
Till, behold, the vision gone! 
Where hath fleeting beauty led? 
To the doorway of the dead. 
Life is over, life was gay: 
We have come the primrose way.  30



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