Louise Imogen Guiney


Ah, if man’s boast and man’s advance be vain!
And yonder bells of Bow, loud-echoing home,
And the lone Tree, foreknow it, and the Dome,
That monstrous island of the middle main;
If each inheritor must sink again
Under his sires, as falleth where it clomb
Back on the gone wave the disheartened foam?—
I crossed Cheapside, and this was in my brain.
What folly lies in forecasts and in fears!
Like a wide laughter sweet and opportune,
Wet from the fount, three hundred doves of Paul’s
Shook their warm wings, drizzling the golden noon,
And in their rain-cloud vanished up the walls.
“God keeps,” I said, “our little flock of years.”

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