From the Flats

Original Text: 
Poems of Sidney Lanier, ed. Mary Day Lanier (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1885): 26. First published Lippincott's Magazine 1877.
1   What heartache -- ne'er a hill!
2Inexorable, vapid, vague and chill
3The drear sand-levels drain my spirit low.
4With one poor word they tell me all they know;
5Whereat their stupid tongues, to tease my pain,
6Do drawl it o'er again and o'er again.
7They hurt my heart with griefs I cannot name:
8   Always the same, the same.
9   Nature hath no surprise,
12No humors, frolic forms -- this mile, that mile;
13No rich reserves or happy-valley hopes
14Beyond the bend of roads, the distant slopes.
15Her fancy fails, her wild is all run tame:
16   Ever the same, the same.
17   Oh might I through these tears
18But glimpse some hill my Georgia high uprears,
19Where white the quartz and pink the pebble shine,
21Swings o'er the slope, the oak's far-falling shade
22Darkens the dogwood in the bottom glade,
23And down the hollow from a ferny nook
24   Lull sings a little brook!

Notes

10] ambuscade: ambush. Back to Line
11] brake: bushes. dell: deep valley. defile: narrow pass. Back to Line
20] muscadine: vine with grapes. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1877
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004