Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO SIGURD, by KATHARINE LEE BATES

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TO SIGURD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not one blithe leap of welcome?
Last Line: To follow where love calleth?
Subject(s): Animals

Not one blithe leap of welcome?
Can you lie
Under this woodland mould,
More still
Than broken daffodil,
When I,
Home from too long a roving,
Come up the silent hill?
Dear, wistful eyes,
White ruff and windy gold
Of collie coat so oft caressed,
Not one quick thrill
In snowy breast,
One spring of jubilant surprise,
One ecstasy of loving?

Are all our frolics ended? Never more
Those royal romps of old,
When one,
Playfellow of the sun,
Would pour
Adventures and romances
Into a morning run;
Off and away,
A flying glint of gold,
Startling to wing a husky choir
Of crows whose dun
Shadows would tire
Even that wild speed? Unscared to-day
They hold their weird seances.

Ever you dreamed, legs twitching, you would catch
A crow, O leaper bold,
Next time,
Or chase to branch sublime
That batch
Of squirrels daring capture
In saucy pantomime;
Till one spring dawn,
Resting amid the gold
Of crocuses, Death stole on you
From that far clime
Where dreams come true,
And left upon the starry lawn
Your form without your rapture.

And was Death's whistle then so wondrous sweet
Across the glimmering wold
That you
Would trustfully pursue
Strange feet?
When I was gone, each morrow
You sought our old haunts through,
Slower to play,
Drooping in faded gold;
Now it is mine to grieve and miss
My comrade true
Who used to kiss
With eager tongue such tears away,
Coaxing a smile from sorrow.

I know not what life is, nor what is death,
Nor how vast Heaven may hold
All this
Earth-beauty and earth-bliss.
Christ saith
That not a sparrow falleth
-- O songs of sparrow faith! --
But God is there.
May not a leap of gold
Yet greet me on some gladder hill,
A shining wraith,
Rejoicing still,
As in those hours we found so fair,
To follow where love calleth?

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