A poem of Kipling’s. It goes with the story “Aunt Ellen”, from the 1932 collection Limits and Renewals.
SHE is not Folly — that I know.
Her steadfast eyelids tell me so
When, at the hour the lights divide.
She steals as summonsed to my side.
When, finger on the pursèd lip;
In secret, mirthful fellowship
She, heralding new framed delights.
Breathes, ‘This shall be a Night of Nights!’
Then out of Time and out of Space.
Is built an Hour and a Place
Where all an earnest, baffled Earth
Blunders and trips to make us mirth;
Where, from the trivial flux of Things.
Rise unconceived miscarryings
Outrageous but immortal, shown.
Of Her great love, to me alone . . .
She is not Wisdom but, may be.
Wiser than all the Norms is She
And more than Wisdom I prefer
To wait on Her — to wait on Her!
Quite who “she” is, is open to debate. I have always liked to see in this charming lady either an imaginary companion or a child’s quirky and playful imagination…
Anyway, here you can find the story – and it is of the laugh-out-loud variety. One has to wonder at the sharp contrast with another, similarly named aunt, Helen Turrell, in The Gardener…
Ah well, we’ll come to that one too, sooner or later. For now, have fun with Aunt Ellen, and the eiderdown quilt, and cars that bound marsupially with a noise of ironmongery in revolt.