Songs from Books
I have collected in this volume practically all the verses and chapter-headings scattered through my books. In several cases where only a few lines of verse were originally used, I have given in full the song, etc., from which they were taken.
'CITIES AND THRONES AND POWERS'
_Cities and Thrones and Powers,
Stand in Time's eye,
Almost as long as flowers,
Which daily die.
But, as new buds put forth
To glad new men,
Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth,
The Cities rise again.
This season's Daffodil,
She never hears,
What change, what chance, what chill,
Cut down last year's:
But with bold countenance,
And knowledge small,
Esteems her seven days' continuance
To be perpetual.
So Time that is o'er-kind,
To all that be,
Ordains us e'en as blind,
As bold as she:
That in our very death,
And burial sure,
Shadow to shadow, well persuaded, saith,
'See how our works endure!'_
I am the land of their fathers.
In me the virtue stays.
I will bring back my children,
After certain days.
Under their feet in the grasses
My clinging magic runs.
They shall return as strangers,
They shall remain as sons.
Over their heads in the branches
Of their new-bought, ancient trees,
I weave an incantation
And draw them to my knees.
Scent of smoke in the evening.
Smell of rain in the night,
The hours, the days and the seasons,
Order their souls aright;
Till I make plain the meaning
Of all my thousand years —
Till I fill their hearts with knowledge.
While I fill their eyes with tears.
See you the ferny ride that steals
Into the oak-woods far?
O that was whence they hewed the keels
That rolled to Trafalgar.
And mark you where the ivy clings
To Bayham's mouldering walls?
O there we cast the stout railings
That stand around St. Paul's.
See you the dimpled track that runs
All hollow through the wheat?
O that was where they hauled the guns
That smote King Philip's fleet.
Out of the Weald, the secret Weald,
Men sent in ancient years,
The horse-shoes red at Flodden Field,
The arrows at Poitiers.
See you our little mill that clacks,
So busy by the brook?
She has ground her corn and paid her tax
Ever since Domesday Book.
See you our stilly woods of oak?
And the dread ditch beside?
O that was where the Saxons broke
On the day that Harold died.