Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
In the Inn at Berchtesgaden
By John Addington Symonds (1840–1893)
CHILD with the gentle tired eyes
And pallid cheek and faint wan smile,
I love your courteous shy replies
And soft persuasive ways, the while
On day-long tedious service bent        5
You bear our whims and discontent.
For hard it is to please alway
The hundred guests who come and go,
To see fresh faces every day,
And hear the same unchanging flow        10
Of hasty words that wants express
And idle wishes numberless.
I marvel not your lips are wan,
And soft and languid every limb,
And faint as dawn the blush upon        15
Those cheeks so delicate and dim;
For like a flower that pines away,
You fade for light and air and play.
I would that I could bear you hence
Afar to field, or hill, or wood,        20
To watch new life in every sense
Expand with free and pulsing blood,
To see your eyes with pleasure glow,
And hear your laughter fresh and low.
That cannot be: but day by day        25
Life brings you nothing new or bright:
The bloom of boyhood dies away;
And youth, unsunned by youth’s delight,
Yields place to manhood tame and drear—
Blank year succeeding to blank year.        30

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