Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Karma
 
William Canton (b. 1845)
 
 
IN the heart of the white summer mist lay a green little piece of the world;
And the tops of the beeches were lost in the mist, and the mist ringed us round;
All the low leaves were silvered with dew, and the herbage with dew was impearled;
And the turmoil of life was but vaguely divined through the mist as a sound.
 
In the heart of the mist there was warmth, for the soil full of sun was aglow,        5
Like a fruit when it colors,—and fragrance from flowers, and a scent from the soil;
And a lamb in the grass, in the flowers, in the dew, nibbled, whiter than snow;
And the white summer mist was a fold for us both against sorrow and toil.
 
From the fields in the mist came a bleating, a sound as of longing and need:
But the lamb from the grass in its little green heaven never lifted its head:        10
It was innocent, whiter than snow; it was glad in the flowers, took no heed;
But the sound from the fields in the mist made me grieve as for one that is dead.
 
And behold! ’t was a dream I had dreamed, and a voice made me wake with a start,
Saying: “Hark! once again in the flesh shall ye twain live your life for a span;
But since whiteness of snow is as nought in mine eyes without pity of heart,        15
Lo! the lamb shall be born as a wolf, with a wolf’s heart, but thou as a man!”
 

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