Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 144. Outer and Inner
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
144. Outer and Inner
By George Meredith  (1828–1909)
  
FROM twig to twig the spider weaves
  At noon his webbing fine.
So near to mute the zephyrs flute
  That only leaflets dance.
The sun draws out of hazel leaves        5
  A smell of woodland wine.
I wake a swarm to sudden storm
  At any step’s advance.
 
Along my path is bugloss blue,
  The star with fruit in moss;       10
The foxgloves drop from throat to top
  A daily lesser bell.
The blackest shadow, nurse of dew,
  Has orange skeins across;
And keenly red is one thin thread       15
  That flashing seems to swell.
 
My world I note ere fancy comes,
  Minutest hushed observe:
What busy bits of motioned wits
  Through antlered mosswork strive.       20
But now so low the stillness hums,
  My springs of seeing swerve,
For half a wink to thrill and think
  The woods with nymphs alive.
 
I neighbour the invisible       25
  So close that my consent
Is only asked for spirits masked
  To leap from trees and flowers.
 
And this because with them I dwell
  In thought, while calmly bent       30
To read the lines dear Earth designs
  Shall speak her life on ours.
 
Accept, she says; it is not hard
  In woods; but she in towns
Repeats, accept; and have we wept,       35
  And have we quailed with fears,
Or shrunk with horrors, sure reward
  We have whom knowledge crowns;
Who see in mould the rose unfold,
  The soul through blood and tears.       40

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