MOSS ON A WALL by Henry Kendall

Dim dreams it hath of singing ways,
 Of far-off woodland water-heads,
And shining ends of April days
 Amongst the yellow runnel-beds.

Stoop closer to the ruined wall, Whereon the wilful wilding sleeps, As if its home were waterfall By dripping clefts and shadowy steeps.
A little waif, whose beauty takes A touching tone because it dwells So far away from mountain lakes, And lily leaves, and lightening fells.
Deep hidden in delicious floss It nestles, sister, from the heat -- A gracious growth of tender moss Whose nights are soft, whose days are sweet.
Swift gleams across its petals run With winds that hum a pleasant tune, Serene surprises of the sun, And whispers from the lips of noon.
The evening-coloured apple-trees Are faint with July's frosty breath. But lo! this stranger getteth ease, And shines amidst the strays of Death.
And at the turning of the year, When August wanders in the cold, The raiment of the nursling here Is rich with green and glad with gold.
Oh, friend of mine, to one whose eyes Are vexed because of alien things, For ever in the wall moss lies The peace of hills and hidden springs.
From faithless lips and fickle lights The tired pilgrim sets his face, And thinketh here of sounds and sights In many a lovely forest-place.
And when by sudden fits and starts The sunset on the moss doth burn, He often dreams, and, lo! the marts And streets are changed to dells of fern.
For, let me say, the wilding placed By hands unseen amongst these stones, Restores a Past by Time effaced, Lost loves and long-forgotten tones!
As sometimes songs and scenes of old Come faintly unto you and me, When winds are wailing in the cold, And rains are sobbing on the sea.

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