Traffics and Discoveries

Kaspar’s Song in ‘Varda’

(From the Swedish of Stagnelius.)

Rudyard Kipling

EYES aloft over dangerous places,
    The children follow where Psyche flies,
And, in the sweat of their upturned faces,
    Slash with a net at the empty skies.

So it goes they fall amid brambles,
    And sting their toes on the nettle-tops
Till after a thousand scratches and scrambles
    They wipe their brows, and the hunting stops.

Then to quiet them comes their father
    And stills the riot of pain and grief,
Saying, ‘Little ones, go and gather
    Out of my garden a cabbage leaf.

‘You will find on it whorls and clots of
    Dull grey eggs that, properly fed,
Turn by way of the worm to lots of
    Radiant Psyches raised from the dead.’

.     .     .     .     .

‘Heaven is beautiful, Earth is ugly,’
    The three-dimensioned preacher saith.
So we must not look where the snail and the slug lie
    For Psyches birth . . . . And that is our death!

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