‘I am not faithful fortune’s friend; Terrors and snares my steps attend’.
I am not faithful fortune’s friend;
Terrors and snares my steps attend.
Whichsoever way I wend,
Therein I find my heart doth rend.
The scarecrow me his sleeve will lend;
He guards as fittingly as I –
Upon his arms fowls of the sky;
Upon the ground fresh seed they peck.
I imitate his every step.
All of me’s my shadow cast;
All the livelong day it lasts.
Come night, come dark, come creeping in;
My shadow parts and sleep begins.
My stated purpose; my fated end:
An allotment, with buttercups to tend.
When hoar-frost copies her fair sister’s image;
When to press upon water causes damage.
Where treads the bird with silent sounds;
Where nought is heard ‘cept all around.
Where in the evening brambles throng,
Where the Toad-lilies bloom.
Where the spider sings his song
Underneath the autumn moon.
Where the wilder roses grow,
And lean upon the fallen snow.
There I’ll feel the poppy’s breath:
As bright as life and quiet as death.
There, oh there, is where I’ll go.
I’ll wait in patience – I will abide so.