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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
page: 65

Chains Invisible

  • THE lilies in my garden grow,
  • Wide meadows ring my garden round,
  • In that green copse wild violets blow,
  • And pale, frail cuckoo flowers are found.
  • For all you see and all you hear,
  • The city might be miles away,
  • And yet you feel the city near
  • Through all the quiet of the day.
  • Sweet smells the earth, wet with sweet rain,
  • Sweet lilac waves in moonlight pale,
  • And from the wood beyond the lane
  • I hear the hidden nightingale.
  • Though field and wood about me lie,
  • Hushed soft in dew and deep delight,
  • Yet can I hear the city’s sigh
  • Through all the silence of the night.
  • For me the skylark nests and sings,
  • For me the vine her garland weaves;
  • The swallow folds her glossy wings
  • To build beneath my cottage eaves.
  • But I can feel the giant near,
  • Can hear his slaves by daylight weep,
  • And, when at last the night is here,
  • I hear him moaning in his sleep.
  • Oh! for a little space of ground,
  • Though not a flower should make it gay,
  • Where miles of meadows wrapped me round,
  • And leagues and leagues of silence lay.
  • Oh! for a wind‐lashed, treeless down,
  • A black night and a rising sea,
  • And never a thought of London town,
  • To steal the world’s delight from me!