Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Innocencies (1905)
V. To the Mother
By Katharine Tynan Hinkson (1861–1931)
 
I HEARD them talking and praising the grey French country,
  Dotted with red roofs high and steep,
With just one gray stone church-tower keeping sentry
  Over the quiet dead asleep.
Grey skies and greyer dunes, as grey as duty,        5
  Grey sands where grey gulls flew.
And I said in my passionate heart, they know not beauty,
  Beloved, who know not you.
 
I heard them praise the gold of the stormy sunset
  And the pale moon’s path on the sea;        10
I thought of your clouds with their wild magnificent onset,
  Your eagles screaming free.
I thought of your mild kind mountains, angel-bosomed,
  Quiet in dusk and dew.
What flower of beauty that ever in Paradise blossomed,        15
  Love, was denied to you?
 
I thought of the pale green dawns, and gold day’s closes.
  Dear, I shall not forget
Nights when your skies were full of the flying roses,
  Millions and millions yet.        20
All your still lakes and your rivers broad and gracious,
  Dear mountain glens I knew;
When the trump of judgment sounds and the world’s in ashes
  I shall remember you.
 
Remember! foretaste of Heaven you are, O Mother!        25
  By bog-lands brown and bare,
Where every little pool is the blue sky’s brother,
  Your wild larks spring in the air.
Land of my heart! smiling I heard their praises,
  Smiling and sighing too.        30
I would give this gray French land for a handful of daisies
  Plucked from the breast of you.
 
 
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