Epilogue: To A Mother

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On seeing her smile repeated in her daughter's eyes

A thousand songs I might have made
  Of You, and only You;
A thousand thousand tongues of fire
That trembled down a golden wire
  To lamp the night with stars, to braid
The morning bough with dew.
Within the greenwood girl and boy
  Had loiter'd to their lure,
And men in cities closed their books
To dream of Spring and running brooks
And all that ever was of joy
  For manhood to abjure.
And I'd have made them strong, so strong
  Outlasting towers and towns--
Millennial shepherds 'neath the thorn
Had piped them to a world reborn,
And danced Delight the dale along
  And up the daisied downs.
A thousand songs I might have made...
  But you required them not;
Content to reign your little while
Ere, abdicating with a smile,
You pass'd into a shade, a shade
  Immortal--and forgot!

© Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch