Poems of Vita Sackville-West
swallows' cry After the flitting insect swiftly caught, —Those
all-too-leisured hours as they went by, Stamped as their heritage
upon my thought The memory of a square of summer
sky Jagged by the gables of a Gothic court.
TO KNOLE October 1, 1913
I I LEFT thee in the crowds and in the light, And if I
laughed or sorrowed none could tell. They could not know our
true and deep farewell Was spoken in the long preceding night.
Thy mighty shadow in the garden's dip! To others dormant, but
to me awake; I saw a window in the moonlight shake, And
traced the angle of the gable's lip,
And knew thy soul, benign and grave and mild, Towards me,
morsel of morality, And grieving at the parting soon to be, A
patriarch about to lose a child.
For many come and soon their tale is told, And thou remainest,
dimly feeling pain, Aware the time draws near to don
again The sober mourning of the very old.
II Pictures and galleries and empty rooms! Small wonder
that my games were played alone; Half of the rambling house to
call my own, And wooded gardens with mysterious glooms.
My fingers ran among the tassels faded; My playmates moved
in arrases brocaded; I slept beside the canopied and
shaded Beds of forgotten kings. I wandered shoeless in the
galleries; I contemplated long the tapestries, And loved the
ladies for their histories And hands with many rings.
Beneath an oriel window facing south Through which the
unniggard sun poured morning streams, I daily stood and
laughing drank the beams, And, catching fistfuls, pressed them