Purple with heather, and golden with gorse,
Stretches the moorland for mile after mile;
Over it cloud-shadows float in their course,—
Grave thoughts passing athwart a smile,—
Till the shimmering distance, grey and gold,
Drowns all in a glory manifold.
O the blue butterflies quivering there,
Hovering, flickering, never at rest,
Quickened flecks of the upper air
Brought down by seeing the earth so blest;
And the grasshoppers shrilling their quaint delight
At having been born in a world so bright!
Overhead circles the lapwing slow,
Waving his black-tipped curves of wings,
Calling so clearly that I, as I go,
Call back an answering "Peewit," that brings
The sweep of his circles so low as he flies
That I see his green plume, and the doubt in his eyes.
Harebell and crowfoot and bracken and ling
Gladden my heart as it beats all aglow
In a brotherhood true with each living thing,
From the crimson-tipped bee, and the chaffer slow,
And the small lithe lizard, with jewelled eye,
To the lark that has lost herself far in the sky.
Ay me, where am I? for here I sit
With bricks all round me, bilious and brown;
And not a chance this summer to quit
The bustle and roar and the cries of town,
Nor to cease to breathe this over-breathed air,
Heavy with toil and bitter with care.
Well,—face it and chase it, this vain regret;
Which would I choose, to see my moor
With eyes such as many that I have met,
Which see and are blind, which all wealth leaves poor,
Or to sit, brick-prisoned, but free within,
Freeborn by a charter no gold can win?
Emma Hubbard (née Evans) 1897 Kew . Aged 69 years.
. Aged 69 years.