Littell's Living Age/Volume 155/Issue 1999/Love and Vision

Originally published in Athenæum.

Love and Vision

My love is more than life to me,
     And you look on and wonder
In what can that enchantment be
     You think I labor under.

Yet you, too, have you never gone
     Some wet and yellow even
Where russet moors reach on and on
     Beneath a windy heaven? —

Brown moors which at the western edge
     A watery sunset brushes
With misty rays yon sullen ledge
     Of cloud casts down on the rushes.

You see no more; but shade your eyes,
     Forget the showery weather,
Forget the wet, tempestuous skies,
     And look upon the heather.

Oh, fairyland, fairyland!
     It sparkles, lives, and dances;
By every gust swayed down and fanned;
     And every raindrop glances.

Never in jewel or wine the light
     Burned like the purple heather;
And some is the palest pink, some white,
     Swaying and dancing together.

Every stem is sharp and clear,
     Every bell is ringing,
No doubt, some tune we do not hear
     For the thrushes’ sleepy singing.

Over all, like the bloom on a grape,
     The lilac seeding-grasses
Have made a haze, vague, without shape,
     For the wind to change as it passes.

Under all is the budding ling
     Grey-green with scarlet notches,
Bossed with many a mossy thing,
     And gold with lichen-blotches.

Here and there slim rushes stand
     Aslant like carried lances.
I saw it and called it fairyland;
     You never saw it, the chance is.

Brown moors and stormy skies that kiss
     At eve in rainy weather —
Pronounce on that — what the heather is
     I know, for I saw the heather.