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Poem by Louise Imogen Guiney


To a Child


Dear Owain, when you are minded
To gather the perfect thing,
Over Abergavenny
Climb in the evening!
I have seen where orchis dances
A saraband with the Spring;

Where samphire leans to ocean,
And shakes in the word he saith;
Or the brood of the peasant ragweed,
Innocent, sweet of breath,
Runs with a wild Welsh river
That never has heard of death;

Where thrift, with a foot shell-tinted,
On the dark coast-road delays;
And foxglove flames in a ruin;
And campion meekly lays
On a crags uneven shoulder
Her satiny cheek, for days.

Well: these in their mortal beauty,
And these in their youth, abound.
But over Abergavenny,
Past sunset-hour, I found
(O Holy Grail of a flower!)
The sun on the hilltop ground.



Louise Imogen Guiney


Louise Imogen Guiney's other poems:
  1. Writ in my Lord Clarendons History of the Rebellion
  2. A December Walk
  3. On the Same (continued)
  4. A Last Word on Shelley
  5. The Old Dial of Corpus


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Francis Thompson To a Child ("Whenas my life shall time with funeral tread")
  • Edmund Gosse To a Child ("Thou hast the colors of the spring")
  • Henry Longfellow To a Child ("Dear child! how radiant on thy mother's knee")

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