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Edith Nesbit

(15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924 / Kennington / Surrey / England)

A Brown Study


LET them sing of their primrose and cowslip,
Their daffodil-gold-coloured hair,
Their bluebells, blue eyes, and white violets,
All the pale dreamy things they find fair;
Give me stir of brown leaves in the sunshine,
The whir of brown wings through the wheat,
The rush of brown hares through the clover,
And the light in brown eyes of my sweet!


Gold hair? Well, I never could love it,
Yet gold, I suppose, has its worth;
The head that I love is as dusky
As the breast of our mother, the earth;
With a gleam like the shine of wet seaweed,
Round pools that the tide has left clear,
And warm like the breast of a linnet,
And as brown, is the hair of my dear.


From the edge of the cliff we look downwards
On the shore, and the bay, and the town,
And brown is the short turf we lean on,
The fishing-boats' sails are all brown:
The sky may be blue--that's the background,--
But the picture itself, to be fair,
However it's shaded and varied,
Should be brown as the dress that you wear.


A lark bursts to sudden sweet singing--
That tuft of brown grass is his home--
And now, a brown speck, he is rising
Against the clear windy sky-dome;
And he sings--how I know? Love instructs me
To know all his notes, what they mean--
That it isn't the colour I care for,
But yourself, oh, my gipsy, my queen!


Ah! the lark knows my heart--I his language;
It's my heart he sings out to the skies;
It is you that I love, and what matter
The colour of hair or of eyes?
No doubt I should love you as dearly
Were your hair like an apricot's down,
And your eyes like the grey of the morning;
But I'm glad, all the same, that they're brown.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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