Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: IV. Youth
Seven Times Two
Jean Ingelow (1820–1897)

YOU bells in the steeple, ring out your changes,
  How many soever they be,
And let the brown meadow-lark’s note as he ranges
  Come over, come over to me.
Yet birds’ clearest carol by fall or by swelling        5
  No magical sense conveys,
And bells have forgotten their old art of telling
  The fortune of future days.
“Turn again, turn again,” once they rang cheerily
  While a boy listened alone:        10
Made his heart yearn again, musing so wearily
  All by himself on a stone.
Poor bells! I forgive you; your good days are over,
  And mine, they are yet to be;
No listening, no longing, shall aught, aught discover:        15
  You leave the story to me.
The foxglove shoots out of the green matted heather,
  Preparing her hoods of snow;
She was idle, and slept till the sunshiny weather:
  O, children take long to grow.        20
I wish, and I wish, that the spring would go faster,
  Nor long summer bide so late;
And I could grow on like the foxglove and aster,
  For some things are ill to wait.
I wait for the day when dear hearts shall discover.        25
  While dear hands are laid on my head;
“The child is a woman, the book may close over,
  For all the lessons are said.”
I wait for my story—the birds cannot sing it,
  Not one, as he sits on the tree;        30
The bells cannot ring it, but long years, O, bring it!
  Such as I wish it to be.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.