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A poem by Alfred Noyes


Title:     Astrid
Author: Alfred Noyes [More Titles by Noyes]

(An Experiment in Initial Rhymes)

White-armed Astrid,--ah, but she was beautiful!--
Nightly wandered weeping thro' the ferns in the moon,
Slowly, weaving her strange garland in the forest,
Crowned with white violets,
Gowned in green.
Holy was that glen where she glided,
Making her wild garland as Merlin had bidden her,
Breaking off the milk-white horns of the honey-suckle,
Sweetly dripped the dew upon her small white

White-throated Astrid,--ah, but she was beautiful!--
Nightly sought the answer to that riddle in the moon.
She must weave her garland, ere she save her soul.
Three long years she has wandered there in vain.
Always, always, the blossom that would finish it
Falls to her feet, and the garland breaks and vanishes,
Breaks like a dream in the dawn when the dreamer

White-bosomed Astrid,--ah, but she was beautiful!--
Nightly tastes the sorrow of the world in the moon.
Will it be this little white miracle, she wonders.
How shall she know it, the star that will save her?
Still, ah still, in the moonlight she crouches
Bowing her head, for the garland has crumbled!
All the wild petals for the thousand and second time

White-footed Astrid,--ah, but she is beautiful!--
Nightly seeks the secret of the world in the moon.
She will find the secret. She will find the golden
Key to the riddle, on the night when she has numbered them,
Marshalled all her wild flowers, ordered them as music,
Star by star, note by note, changing them and ranging them,
Suddenly, as at a kiss, all will flash together,
Flooding like the dawn thro' the arches of the woodland,
Fern and thyme and violet, maiden-hair and primrose
Turn to the Rose of the World, and He shall fold her,
Kiss her on the mouth, saying, all the world is one now,
This is the secret of the music that the soul hears,--

[The end]
Alfred Noyes's poem: Astrid