Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
A Gleam!
By Stephen Phillips (1868–1915)
 
AH! You and I love our boy.
Such a warrior is he;
So splendid of limb, so swift and so joyous,
At his lightest word we touch each other and smile;
We watch him secretly, earnestly, out of the shadow,        5
Our eyes like angels attend him about the room.
Ah! You and I love our boy!
And yet when we wander out in the falling darkness,
When the glooming garden discloses her soul in dew,
In that hour of odour and longing,        10
Of voices ceasing in leaves,
When a human trouble arises from evening meadows,
A divine home-sickness from heaped grass,
Then I know that it is not of him you are thinking sorely,
But still you remember the other, the girl-child that vanished.        15
Scarce had we kissed her with awe, when she died:
We but named her, and lost her.
And they say to us, “Why, O why,
With yon beautiful boy in your sight,
Do ye still hark back to the other face that is fled?”        20
But because of her swiftness in passing,
Because she just smiled, and died;
She moveth us more than the other to tender thought,
And the wistful puzzle of tears.
I shall know, ere the sun arises,        25
By a sudden stirring of thee,
Or blind slight touch in the dark,
Or face upturned in quivering dream,
That your heart, like mine, has gone home in the hush to its dead,
Through dew and beginning birds;        30
Unto her hath returned,
Who dazzled, and left us to darkness,
But a beam, but a gleam!
 
 
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