George Meredith

The Meeting

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The old coach-road through a common of furze,
With knolls of pine, ran white;
Berries of autumn, with thistles, and burrs,
And spider-threads, droop'd in the light.

The light in a thin blue veil peered sick;
The sheep grazed close and still;
The smoke of a farm by a yellow rick
Curled lazily under a hill.

No fly shook the round of the silver net;
No insect the swift bird chased;
Only two travellers moved and met
Across that hazy waste.

One was a girl with a babe that throve,
Her ruin and her bliss;
One was a youth with a lawless love,
Who clasped it the more for this.

The girl for her babe hummed prayerful speech;
The youth for his love did pray;
Each cast a wistful look on each,
And either went their way.

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George Meredith