The hills of little Cornwall Themselves are dreams. The mind lies down among them, Even by day, and snores, Snug in the perilous knowledge That nothing more inward pleasing, More like itself, Sleeps anywhere beyond them Even by night In the great land it cares two pins about, Possibly; not more. The mind, eager for caresses, Lies down at its own risk in Cornwall; Whose hills, Whose cunning streams, Whose mazes where a thought, Doubling upon itself, Considers the way, lazily, well lost, Indulge it to the nick of death-- Not quite, for where it curls it still can feel, Like feathers, Like affectionate mouse whiskers, The flattery, the trap.
In the middle of the wood it starts,
Then over the wall and the meadow
And into our ears all day. But it departs—
Sometimes—like a shadow.
There is an instant when it grows
Too weak to climb a solid fence,
And creeps to find a crack. But the wind blows,
Scattering it hence
In whimpering fragments like the leaves
That every autumn drives before.
Then rain again in the hills—and the brook receives
It home with a roar.
From the middle of the wood again,
Over the wall and the meadow,
It comes one day to the minds of waiting men
Like a shadow.