Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.

The original Victorian editor prefaced this poem with the remark that "The following beautiful little 'fragment' was found among the poet's miscellaneous pieces."

And when the first green leaves came budding out
Upon the gooseberry and the currant trees,
We raised him, and he gazed a long wrapt look
Through the green window o'er the daffodil beds;
Then smiled, and said, "Please mother, go and bring
The one small twig with tiny leaves at top."
I got him one, and then a withey twig
With little yellow goslings dotted o'er.
He look'd them round as if examining
Their web and thread — the marvel of their make;
Then kissing them, looked up and softly said,
"Thank God, thank God! I've seen the leaves again."
  I stand alone amid the human world;
No hand falls softly on my fever'd brow;
No tender voice gives shape to pitying words
That loving, lingering eyes are pregnant with.
'Tis sad to have no friend, no love, and none
To feel a passing interest in one's dreams.
The Western Bard says, "None was ever yet
So utterly alone and desolate,
But that some kindred heart responded to
The secret beatings of his own." But, ah!
I stand apart upon the sunless hills,
Outside the centre of all human ties;
I stand upon the hills where nothing grows
But shrivell'd penury and stunted care,
And where the chill wind of adversity
Beats ever on my white and stony brow.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

O Fate! I only asked thee for a friend,
A tender, loving, sympathizing friend;
I never hoped to win a dearer tie.
O Fame! I only ask'd thee for a wreath,
A simple wreath to please my friend withal.
O Life! I only asked thee for a moderate lease,
A simple, quiet lot, ungilded by
The gloss of wealth and power, but blessed with health.
O Earth! they have not deign'd to hear my prayer;
Thou wilt be kinder to me, Mother Earth,
And give me all I ask of thee, I know —
A quiet resting-place.


Victorian Web George Heath Contents


Last modified 4 September 2002