I Knew Three Sisters, Who by Haunted Rills
by Frederick William Faber
Keswick, August 3, 1838.
I knew three sisters, who by haunted rills
And hill-side places gathered rarest flowers;
But, when apart, and in their lonely hours,
The brightest things that bloomed upon the hills
Were dull: for love alone the spell hath given
Unto the green of earth, the blue of heaven!
It is the law for all: few men can think
Save in another's heart: yea, few can drink
Of their own fountains but in others' eyes,
When they can see themselves reflected there
With an ideal beauty; and can rise,
Like a freed slave, with spirit keen and bare
From the damp cells and weary bonds of sin,
Which, but for love, would fetter them within.