The Great War

from The Poems of Robert W. Sterling, an electronic edition

Oxford's Promise

SHE show'd me where the wakeful gardens grow

Bright with the opening blossom of the Spring,

The fairy births that ever burgeon--lo!

Out of the teeming shadowland of thought:

Such new delight, new hope, new life they bring

(Heart cannot feel nor these dull numbers tell)

As all rare poets down the years have sought,

--Gardens of light and Spring perpetual.

She told me how the Traveller in the way

Borrows fair wings from all the flowery pride

Empurpling the hedge-row at his side:

And how, sped onward by each glad delay--

By wayward Fancy, sudden to inspire,

Or Peril calling Valour to the fray,

Or human Love yet hot with Heav'nly fire--

He gains the city gate--past foe and friend--

With full spoil laden at the journey's end.