20 November 2013

Who May Regret What Was?

John Freeman (1880-1929), Memories of Childhood and Other Poems (London: Selwyn & Blount, 1919), p. 25:
ALL THAT I WAS I AM
Hateful it seems now, yet was I not happy?
Starved of the things I loved, I did not know
I loved them, and was happy lacking them.
If bitterness comes now (and that is hell)
It is when I forget that I was happy,
Accusing Fate, that sits and nods and laughs,
Because I was not born a bird or tree.
Let accusation sleep, lest God's own finger
Point angry from the cloud in which He hides.
Who may regret what was, since it has made
Himself himself? All that I was I am,
And the old childish joy now lives in me
At sight of a green field or a green tree.
 Note to self: Freeman's study of George Moore can be found here.