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NINE years old! The first of

Seem the happiest years that come:
Yet when I was nine, I said
No such word ! I thought instead
That the Greeks had used as many

In besieging lium.

Nine green years had scarcely brought me

To my childhood's haunted spring ;
I had life, like flowers and bees,

In betwixt the country trees,
And the sun the pleasure taught me

Which he teacheth everything.

If the rain fell, there was sorrow,

Little head leant on the pane,
Little finger drawing down it

The long trailing drops upon it,
And the “Rain, rain, come to-morrow,"

Said for charm against the rain.

Such a charm was right Canidian

Though you meet it with a jeer!
If I said it long enough,

Then the rain hummed dimly off
And the thrush with his pure Lydian

Was left only to the ear;

And the sun and I together

Went a-rushing out of doors :
We our tender spirits drew

Over hill and dale in view, Glimmering hither, glimmering thither,

In the footsteps of the showers. Underneath the chestnuts dripping, Through the grasses wet and fair, Straight I sought my garden-ground

With the laurel on the mound, And the pear-tree oversweeping A side-shadow of



In the garden lay supinely

A huge giant wrought of spade!
Arms and legs were stretched at length

In a passive giant strength, -
The fine meadow turf, cut finely,

Round them laid and interlaid.

Call him Hector, son of Priam !

Such his title and degree.
With my rake I smoothed his brow,

Both his cheeks I weeded through,
But a rhymer such as I am

Scarce can sing his dignity.

Eyes of gentianellas azure,

Staring, winking at the skies,
Nose of gillyflowers and box;

Scented grasses put for locks,
Which a little breeze at pleasure

Set a-waving round his eyes :

Brazen helm of daffodillies,

With a glitter toward the light ;
Purple violets for the mouth,

Breathing perfumes west and south ; And a sword of flashing lilies,

Holden ready for the fight :

And a breastplate made of daisies,

Closely fitting, leaf on leaf;
Periwinkles interlaced

Drawn for belt about the waist;
While the brown bees, humming praises,

Shot their arrows round the chief.

And who knows (I sometimes wondered)

If the disembodied soul
Of old Hector, once of Troy,

Might not take a dreary joy
Here to enter-if it thundered,

Rolling up the thunder-roll ?
Rolling this way from Troy-ruin,

In this body rude and rife
Just to enter, and take rest

'Neath the daisies of the breastThey, with tender roots, renewing

His heroic heart to life?

Who could know? I sometimes started

At a motion or a sound !
Did his mouth speak-naming Troy

With an οτοτοτοτοι ?
Did the pulse of the Strong-hearted

Make the daisies tremble round ?

It was hard to answer, often :

But the birds sang in the tree,
But the little birds sang bold

In the pear-tree green and old,
And my terror seemed to soften

Through the courage of their glee

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