29 DECEMBER 1900, Page 17



THE ancient Earth is still Heavy with winter sleep; And as a man grown rich Delights in memories Of his old poverty.

He sees himself, in dream, In tattered gabardine, Bereft of all his wealth, Naked before the stars, Asking an alms of Heaven.

And, masquerading thus, He thinks with secret joy Of his rich treasure-house Heaped up with precious ore Of yet unminted leaves ; 'Where, worked by,willing slaves, The urgent shuttles fly, Shedding from unseen looms The wondrous woven webs And stainless gossamers For which are dyes distilled In crucibles occult From sunset blazonries ; And where have hushed increase The unbreathed melodies, The uncensed incenses, The wild unburgeoned pomp And pageantry of Spring.

Thus, as a King disguised In garb of beggary, His unsuspected robes Concealed by piteous rags, He threads the ways of space; And naked are his arms, And empty are his hands ; While oft he hides his mirth When alms are thrown to him, And ruth is moved by sight Of his great poverty.