Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

THE CALL OF THE OPEN


 

    THE care
    And the wear
Of the world may grind,
    And the toil
    And the moil
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        Of life may dree:
But the indolent mind
Of the vagabond wind
    And its far-off shine
        Of the world for me!
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    They may chain
    Me in vain
To an irksome book,
    In the dingy din
        Of a toil-worn room:
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But the sunbeam genie
Of meadow and brook,
    Sings in my heart
        Through the glimmer and gloom.

    My body is here,

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    But my soul is there;
Ye may not keep me
        On such a day:
    When over
    The clover,
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That mad wind-rover
    Is chasing the shadow
        And shine away.

They are my brothers
    Who call

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    And call;
And lilt
    In the song
    Of the wind
        Till I go;
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With the gleam
And dream
    Of the sunfleeced wall,
Out to the sleeps
Of the deeps
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        That flow.

    What care
    To fare
‘Mid the haunts of men;
    Wild are the thoughts

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        Of the wind-blown day;
    What recks life
    Of the street-strife,
When,
    Fleet are the fancies
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        Of far away.

Out in the woodlands,
    Leaping, ashine,
    The brooks are brimming,
        Their glad glens through:

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And dim in a mist,
    To the far skyline,
        The hills,
To the verge
    Of the world,
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        Are blue.

Fevered the voice
    Of the street that calls:
With its care
And its wear,

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        And its old-world fret:
But out
In the house
Of the wind’s
    Wide walls,
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No tears
In the eyes
Of the years
        Are wet.

    But the tune-

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    Less swoon
Of the day,
    And a bird
That pipes
From a sunlit,
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Dream-swayed
        Tree:—
While the breast,
    Dim-stirred,
Of a stream
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    Is heard,
Far,
From the jar
    Of the world
        Set free.
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