Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TRAMPS, by ROBERT SEYMOUR BRIDGES



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THE TRAMPS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A schoolboy lay one night a-bed
Last Line: And of what things they talk.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bridges, Robert+(2)


A SCHOOLBOY lay one night a-bed
Under his window wide,
When dusk is lovelier than day
In the high summertide;

The jasmin neath the casement throng'd
Its ivory stars abloom;
With freaking peas and mignonette
Their perfume fill'd the room:

Across the garden and beyond
He look'd out on the skies,
And through black elmen boughs afar
Watch'd where the moon should rise:

A warm rain fed the thirsty earth,
Drops patter'd from the eaves
And from the tall trees as the shower
Fell lisping on their leaves:

His heart was full, and pleasant thoughts
Made music in his mind,
Like separate songs of birds, that are
By general joy combined.

It seem'd the hour had gather'd up
For every sense a bliss
To crown the faith of all desire
With one assuaging kiss;

So that he fought with sleep to hold
The rapture while he might,
Lest it should sink and drowning die
Into the blank of night;

Nor kenn'd it was no passing thing
Nor ever should be pass'd
But with him bide a joy to be
As long as Life should last.

For though young thoughts be quite forgone,
The pleasure of their dream
Can mesh them in its living mood
And draw them in the stream:

So I can fancy when I will
That there I lie intent
To hear the gentle whispering rain
And drink the jasmin scent:

And then there sounds a distant tread
Of men, that night who strode
Along the highway step by step
Approaching down the road,

A company of three or four
That hastening home again
After a Sabbath holiday
Came talking in the rain:

Aloof from all my world and me
They pass aneath the wall,
Till voice and footstep die away
And into silence fall:

Into the maze of my delight
Those blind intruders walk;
And ever I wonder who they be
And of what things they talk.





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