by Michael Field
Young on the mountains and fresh
As the wind that thrills her hair,
As the dews that lap the flesh
Of her feet from cushions of thyme;
While her feet through the herbage climb,
Growing hardier, sweeter still
On rock-roses and cushions of thyme,
As she springs up the hill!
A goat in its vaultings less lithe,
From a rock, to a tuft, to a rock;
As the young of wild-deer blithe,
The young of wild-deer, yet alone;
Strong as an eaglet just flown,
She wanders the white-woven earth,
As the young of wild-deer, yet alone,
In her triumph of mirth.
She will be Mother of God!
Secret He lies in Her womb:
And this mountain she hath trod
Was later in strength than is she,
Who before its mass might be
Was chosen to bear her bliss:
Conceived before mountains was she,
Before any abyss.
The might that dwells in her youth
Is song to her heart and soul,
Of joy, that as joy, is truth,
That magnifies, and leaps
With its jubilant glee and sweeps,
O fairest, her breast, her throat,
Her mouth, and magnanimous leaps,
As the mountain-lark's note!
Across the old hills she springs,
With God's first dream as her crown:
She scales them swift, for she brings
Elizabeth news of grace.
The charity of her face
Is that of a lovely day,
When the birds are singing news of grace,
And the storms are away.
Michael Field is the pen-name for Katherine Harris Bradley and Edith Emma Cooper -- a 'binary star', as Robert Browning once memorably called them.