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Sunshine through a Cobwebbed Window

What charm is yours, you faded old-world tapestries,
Of outworn, childish mysteries,
 Vague pageants woven on a web of dream!
 And we, pushing and fighting in the turbid stream
Of modern life, find solace in your tarnished broideries.

Old lichened halls, sun-shaded by huge cedar-trees,
The layered branches horizontal stretched, like Japanese
 Dark-banded prints. Carven cathedrals, on a sky
 Of faintest colour, where the gothic spires fly
And sway like masts, against a shifting breeze.

Worm-eaten pages, clasped in old brown vellum, shrunk
From over-handling, by some anxious monk.
 Or Virgin's Hours, bright with gold and graven
 With flowers, and rare birds, and all the Saints of Heaven,
And Noah's ark stuck on Ararat, when all the world had sunk.

They soothe us like a song, heard in a garden, sung
By youthful minstrels, on the moonlight flung
 In cadences and falls, to ease a queen,
 Widowed and childless, cowering in a screen
Of myrtles, whose life hangs with all its threads unstrung.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1925, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.