Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MOSS, by WILLIAM BARNES



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MOSS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O rain-bred moss that now dost hide
Last Line: And warn me of the time that's gone.
Subject(s): Memory; Moss; Nature; Winter


O rain-bred moss that now dost hide
The timber's bark and wet rock's side,
Upshining to the sun, between
The darksome storms, in lively green,
And wash'd by pearly rain drops clean,
Steal o'er my lonely path, and climb
My wall, dear child of silent time.
O winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.

Green child of winter, born to take
Whate'er the hands of man forsake,
That makest dull, in rainy air,
His labour-brighten'd works; so fair
While newly left in summer's glare;
And stealest o'er the stone that keeps
His name in mem'ry where he sleeps.
O winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn us of the time that's gone.

Come lowly plant that lov'st, like me,
The shadow of the woodland tree,
And waterfall where echo mocks
The milkmaid's song by dripping rocks,
And sunny turf for roving flocks,
And ribby elms extending wide
Their roots within the hillock's side.
Come winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.

Come, meet me wandering, and call
My mind to some green mould'ring hall
That once stood high, the fair-wall'd pride
Of hearts that lov'd, and hoped, and died,
Ere thou hadst climb'd around its side:
Where blooming faces once were gay
For eyes no more to know the day.
Come winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.

While there in youth, – the sweetest part
Of life, – with joy-believing heart,
They liv'd their own dear days, all fraught
With incidents for after-thought
In later life, when fancy brought
The outline of some faded face
Again to its forsaken place.
Come winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.

Come where thou climbedst, fresh and free,
The grass-beglooming apple-tree,
That, hardly shaken with my small
Boy's strength, with quiv'ring head, let fall
The apples we lik'd most of all,
Or elm I climb'd, with clasping legs,
To reach the crow's high-nested eggs.
Come winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.

Or where I found thy yellow bed
Below the hill-borne fir-tree's head,
And heard the whistling east wind blow
Above, while wood-screen'd down below
I rambled in the spring-day's glow,
And watch'd the low-ear'd hares upspring
From cover, and the birds take wing.
Come winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.

Or where the bluebells bent their tops
In windless shadows of the copse;
Or where the misty west wind blew
O'er primroses that peer'd out through
Thy bankside bed, and scatter'd dew
O'er grey spring grass I watch'd alone
Where thou hadst grown o'er some old stone.
Come winter moss, creep on, creep on,
And warn me of the time that's gone.





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