Has come a lustre of crimson,

And I have watched moonbeams

Hushed by a film of palest green.

It was her wings,

Goddess!

Who stepped over the clouds,

And laid her rainbow feathers

Aslant on the currents of the air.

I followed her for long,

With gazing eyes and stumbling feet.

I cared not where she led me,

My eyes were full of colours:

Saffrons, rubies, the yellows of beryls,

And the indigo-blue of quartz;

Flights of rose, layers of chrysoprase,

Points of orange, spirals of vermilion,

The spotted gold of tiger-lily petals,

The loud pink of bursting hydrangeas.

I followed,

And watched for the flashing of her wings.

In the city I found her,

The narrow-streeted city.

In the market-place I came upon her,

Bound and trembling.

Her fluted wings were fastened to her sides with cords,

She was naked and cold,

For that day the wind blew

Without sunshine.

Men chaffered for her,

They bargained in silver and gold,

In copper, in wheat,

And called their bids across the market-place.

The Goddess wept.

Hiding my face I fled,

And the grey wind hissed behind me,

Along the narrow streets.

The Precinct. Rochester

The tall yellow hollyhocks stand,

Still and straight,

With their round blossoms spread open,

In the quiet sunshine.

And still is the old Roman wall,

Rough with jagged bits of flint,

And jutting stones,

Old and cragged,

Quite still in its antiquity.

The pear-trees press their branches against it,

And feeling it warm and kindly,

The little pears ripen to yellow and red.

They hang heavy, bursting with juice,

Against the wall.

So old, so still!

The sky is still.

The clouds make no sound

As they slide away

Beyond the Cathedral Tower,

To the river,

And the sea.

It is very quiet,

Very sunny.

The myrtle flowers stretch themselves in the sunshine,

But make no sound.

The roses push their little tendrils up,

And climb higher and higher.

In spots they have climbed over the wall.

But they are very still,

They do not seem to move.

And the old wall carries them

Without effort, and quietly

Ripens and shields the vines and blossoms.

A bird in a plane-tree

Sings a few notes,

Cadenced and perfect

They weave into the silence.

The Cathedral bell knocks,

One, two, three, and again,

And then again.

It is a quiet sound,

Calling to prayer,

Hardly scattering the stillness,

Only making it close in more densely.

The gardener picks ripe gooseberries

For the Dean's supper to-night.

It is very quiet,

Very regulated and mellow.

But the wall is old,

It has known many days.

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