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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Earth-Bound
By Alfred Noyes (1880–1958)
 
GHOSTS? Love would fain believe,
  Earth being so fair, the dead might wish to return!
  Is it so strange if, even in heaven, they yearn
For the May-time and the dreams it used to give?
 
Through dark abysms of Space,        5
  From strange new spheres where Death has called them now
  May they not, with a crown on every brow,
Still cry to the loved earth’s lost familiar face,
 
We two, love, we should come
  Seeking a little refuge from the light        10
  Of the blinding terrible star-sown Infinite,
Seeking some sheltering roof, some four-walled home,
 
From that too high, too wide
  Communion with the universe and God,
  How glad to creep back to some lane we trod        15
Hemmed in with a hawthorn hedge on either side.
 
How strange would be the sight
  Of the little towns and twisted streets again,
  Where all the hurrying works and ways of men
Would seem a children’s game for our delight.        20
 
No more with fevered brain
  Plunging across the gulfs of Space and Time
  Would we revisit this our earthly clime
We two, if we could ever come again;
 
So we should wander nigh        25
  Our mortal home, and see its little roof
  Keeping the deep eternal night aloof
And yielding us a refuge from the sky.
 
We should steal in, once more,
  Under the cloudy lilac at the gate,        30
  Up the walled garden, then with hearts elate
Forget the stars and close our cottage door.
 
Oh then, as children use
  To make themselves a little hiding-place,
  We should rejoice in narrowness of space,        35
And God should give us nothing more to lose.
 
 
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