First World War Poetry Digital Archive

What Shall I Give?


What shall I give my daughter the younger More than will keep her from cold and hunger? I shall not give her anything. If she shared South Weald and Havering, Their acres, the two brooks running between, Paine's Brook and Weald Brook, With pewit, woodpecker, swan, and rook, She would be no richer than the queen Who once on a time sat in Havering Bower Alone, with the shadows, pleasure and power. She could do no more with Samarcand, Or the mountains of a mountain land And its far white house above cottages Like Venus above the Pleiades. Her small hands I would not cumber With so many acres and their lumber, But leave her Steep and her own world And her spectacled self with hair uncurled, Wanting a thousand little things That time without contentment brings.

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