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Poem by Thomas Edward Brown


Braddan Vicarage


I WONDER if in that fair isle,	
  Some child is growing now, like me	
When I was child: care-pricked, yet healed the while	
  With balm of rock and sea.	
 
I wonder if the purple ring
  That rises on a belt of blue	
Provokes the little bashful thing	
  To guess what may ensue,	
When he has pierced the screen, and holds the further clue.	
 
I wonder if beyond the verge
  He dim conjectures Englands coast:	
The land of Edwards and of Henries, scourge	
  Of insolent foemen, at the most	
Faint caught where Cumbria looms a geographic ghost.	
 
I wonder if to him the sycamore
  Is full of green and tender light;	
If the gnarled ash stands stunted at the door,	
  By salt sea-blast defrauded of its right;	
If budding larches feed the hunger of his sight.	
 
I wonder if to him the dewy globes
  Like mercury nestle in the caper leaf;	
If, when the white narcissus dons its robes,	
  It soothes his childish grief;	
If silver plates the birch, gold rustles in the sheaf.	
 
I wonder if to him the heath-clad mountain
  With crimson pigment fills the sensuous cells;	
If like full bubbles from an emerald fountain	
  Gorse-bloom luxuriant wells;	
If God with trenchant forms the insolent lushness quells.

*        *        *        *        *
	
I wonder if he loves that Captain bold
  Who has the horny hand,	
Who swears the mighty oath, who well can hold,	
  Half-drunk, serene command,	
And guide his straining bark to refuge of the land.	
 
I wonder if he thinks the world has aught
  Of strong, or nobly wise,	
Like him by whom the invisible land is caught	
  With instinct true, nor storms, nor midnight skies	
Avert the settled aim, or daunt the keen emprise.	
 
I wonder if he deems the English men
  A higher type beyond his reach,	
Imperial blood, by Heaven ordained with pen	
  And sword the populous world to teach;	
If awed he hears the tones as of an alien speech;

*        *        *        *        *
	
Ah! crude, undisciplined, when thou shalt know
  What good is in this England, still of joys	
The chiefest count it thou wast nurtured so	
  That thou mayst keep the larger equipoise,	
And stand outside these nations and their noise.	



Thomas Edward Brown


Thomas Edward Brown's other poems:
  1. Specula
  2. Ibant Obscuræ
  3. Disguises
  4. Pain
  5. Lynton Verses


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