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
Said the Daisy
By Isabella Valancy Crawford (1850–1887)
THERE ne’er was blown out of the yellow east
  So fresh, so fair, so sweet a morn as this.
The dear earth decked herself as for a feast;
  And, as for me, I trembled with my bliss.
The young grass round me was so rich with dew,        5
  And sang me such sweet, tender strains, as low
The breath of dawn among its tall spikes blew;
  But what it sang none but myself can know!
O never came so glad a morn before!
  So rosy dimpling burst the infant light,        10
So crystal pure the air the meadows o’er,
  The lark with such young rapture took his flight,
The round world seemed not older by an hour
  Than mine own daisy self! I laughed to see
How, when her first red roses paled and died,        15
  The blue sky smiled, and decked her azure lea
With daisy clouds, white, pink-fringed, just like me!
“This is a morn for song,” sang out the lark,
  “O silver-tressed beloved!” My golden eye
Watched his brown wing blot out the last star-spark        20
  Amidst the daisy cloudlets of the sky.
“No morn so sweet as this, so pure, so fair—
  God’s bud time,” so the oldest whitethorn said,
And she has lived so long; yet here and there
  Such fresh white buds begem her ancient head.        25
And from her thorny bosom all last night
  Deep in my dew-sealed sleep I heard a note—
So sweet a voice of anguish and delight
  I dreamed a red star had a bird-like throat
And that its rays were music which had crept        30
  ’Mid the white scented blossoms of the thorn,
And that to hear her sing the still night wept
  With mists and dew until the yellow morn.
I wonder, wonder what the song he sang,
  That seemed to drown in melody the vales!        35
I knew my lark’s song as he skyward sprang,
  But only roses know the nightingale’s.
The yellow cowslip bent her honeyed lips
  And whispered: “Daisy, wert thou but as high
As I am, thou couldst see the merry ships        40
  On yon blue wondrous field blown gaily by.”
A gay, small wind, arch as a ruddy fox,
  Crept round my slender, green and dainty stem,
And piped: “Let me but shake thy silver locks
  And free thy bent head from its diadem        45
Of diamond dew, and thou shalt rise and gaze,
  Like the tall cowslips, o’er the rustling grass,
On proud, high cliffs, bright strands and sparkling bays,
  And watch the white ships as they gaily pass.”
“Oh, while thou mayst keep thou thy crystal dew!”        50
  Said the aged thorn, where sang the heart of night,
The nightingale: “The sea is very blue,
  The sails of ships are wondrous swift and white.
Soon, soon enough thy dew will sparkling die,
  And thou, with burning brow and thirsty lips,        55
Wilt turn the golden circle of thine eye,
  Nor joy in them, on ocean and her ships!”
There never flew across the violet hills
  A morn so like a dove with jewelled eyes,
With soft wings fluttering like the sound of rills,        60
  And gentle breast of rose and azure dyes.
The purple trumpets of the clover sent
  Such rich, dew-loosened perfume, and the bee
Hung like a gold drop in the woodbine’s tent.
  What care I for the gay ships and the sea!        65

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