More blest than was of old Diogenes,
I have not held my lantern up in vain.
Not mine, at least, this evil—to complain:
“There is none honest among all of these.”
Our hopes go down that sailed before the breeze;
Our creeds upon the rock are rent in twain;
Something it is, if at the last remain
One floating spar cast up by hungry seas.
The secret of our being, who can tell?
To praise the gods and Fate is not my part;
Evil I see, and pain; within my heart
There is no voice that whispers: “All is well.”
Yet fair are days in summer; and more fair
The growths of human goodness here and there.
GREEN is the plane-tree in the square,
The other trees are brown;
They droop and pine for country air;
The plane-tree loves the town.
Here from my garret-pane, I mark
The plane-tree bud and blow,
Shed her recuperative bark,
And spread her shade below.
Among her branches, in and out,
The city breezes play;
The dun fog wraps her round about;
Above, the smoke curls grey.
Others the country take for choice,
And hold the town in scorn;
But she has listened to the voice
On city breezes borne.
WHAT ails my senses thus to cheat?
What is it ails the place,
That all the people in the street
Should wear one woman’s face?
The London trees are dusty-brown
Beneath the summer sky;
My love, she dwells in London town,
Nor leaves it in July.
O various and intricate maze,
Wide waste of square and street;
Where, missing through unnumbered days,
We twain at last may meet!
And who cries out on crowd and mart?
Who prates of stream and sea?
The summer in the city’s heart—
That is enough for me.