E.Nesbit Poem: Vies Manquees (1888)

by Anna Blanch on February 26, 2011

A YEAR ago we walked the wood —
A year ago to-day ;
A blackbird fluttered round her brood

 Deep in the white-flowered niay.

We trod the happy woodland ways,
Where sunset streamed between

The hazel stems in long dusk rays,
And turned to gold the green.

A thrush sang where the ferns uncurled,
And clouds of wind-flowers grew :
I missed the meaning of the world
From lack of love for you.

You missed the beauty of the year,
And failed itself to see.
Through too much doubt and too much fear,
And too much love of me.

This year we hear the bird’s glad strain,
Again the sunset glows.
We walk the wild wet woods again,
Again the wind-flower blows

In cloudy white the falling may
Drifts down the scented wind.
And so the secret drifts away
Which we shall never find.

Our drifted spirits are not free
Spring’s secret springs, to touch, –
For now you do not care for me,
And I love you too much.
                — ‘E. Nesbit

Published at part of the 1888 Eastertide collection by E.P.Dutton alongside poems by Caris Brooke.


Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland where she’s presently writing her PhD thesis on E.Nesbit. She is also a regular contributor to Transpositions.

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