Romance and Reality



Was it water in the woodlands,
Hidden brooks that sweetly chime
With the music of the woodlands,
Through the golden summer time?

Was it mystic moan of breaker
Coming faintly from afar,
Where the blind sea heaves its shoulder
Lazily against the Bar?

Was it sound of loving ringdove,
Or innumerable bees,
Or the great heart of the forest
Throbbing through a thousand trees?

It was not what I had fancied,
'Twas no Dryad's half-heard note—
For the Gods are dead and done with,
And we learn their names by rote.

It was neither bee or ringdove,
Sea, or wood, or brooklet—but
The voice of Grubbins quartus'
Chanting softly in his hut.

And I thought my spirit knew it,­
That plaintive madrigal
Of a Lover and his Lady,
Of a Garden and its wall.