Ella Higginson

Ella Higginson
Four-Leaf Clover
I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blooms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
And one is for love, you know,
And God put another in for luck—
If you search, you will find where they grow.

But you must have hope, and you must have faith,
You must love and be strong – and so—
If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

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The soft-toned clock upon the stair chimed three—
Too sweet for sleep, too early yet to rise.
In restful peace I lay with half-closed eyes,
Watching the tender hours go dreamily;
The tide was flowing in; I heard the sea
Shivering along the sands; while yet the skies
Were dim, uncertain, as the light that lies
Beneath the fretwork of some wild-rose tree
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Close to the gates of Paradise I flee;
The night is hot and serpents leave their beds,
And slide along the dark, crooking their heads,—
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

My eyes are burning so I cannot see;
My feet are bleeding and I suffer pain;
Let me come in on the cool grass again—
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

I ate the fruit of the forbidden tree,
And was cast out into the barren drouth;
And since – the awful taste within my mouth!
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

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‘The Opal Sea’
An inland sea – blue as a sapphire – set
Within a sparkling, emerald mountain chain
Where day and night fir-needles sift like rain
Thro’ the voluptuous air. The soft winds fret
The waves, and beat them wantonly to foam.
The golden distances across the sea
Are shot with rose and purple. Languorously
The silver seabirds in wide circles roam.
The sun drops slowly down the flaming West
And flings its rays across to set aglow
The islands rocking on the cool waves’ crest
And the great glistening domes of snow on snow.
And thro’ the mist the Olympics flash and float
Like opals linked around a beating throat.

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The Statue
That I might chisel a statue, line on line,
Out of a marble’s chaste severities!
Angular, harsh; no softened curves to please;
Set tears within the eyes to make them shine,
And furrows on the brow, deep, stern, yet fine;
Gaunt, awkward, tall; no courtier of ease;
The trousers bulging at the bony knees;
Long nose, large mouth . . . But ah, the light divine
Of Truth, – the light that set a people free!—
Burning upon it in a steady flame,
As sunset fires a white peak on the sky . . .
Ah, God! To leave it nameless and yet see
Men looking weep and bow themselves and cry—
‘Enough, enough! We know thy statue’s name!’

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