Here you will find the Long Poem Jump-To-Glory Jane of poet George Meredith
I A revelation came on Jane, The widow of a labouring swain: And first her body trembled sharp, Then all the woman was a harp With winds along the strings; she heard, Though there was neither tone nor word. II For past our hearing was the air, Beyond our speaking what it bare, And she within herself had sight Of heaven at work to cleanse outright, To make of her a mansion fit For angel hosts inside to sit. III They entered, and forthwith entranced, Her body braced, her members danced; Surprisingly the woman leapt; And countenance composed she kept: As gossip neighbours in the lane Declared, who saw and pitied Jane. IV These knew she had been reading books, The which was witnessed by her looks Of late: she had a mania For mad folk in America, And said for sure they led the way, But meat and beer were meant to stay. V That she had visited a fair, Had seen a gauzy lady there, Alive with tricks on legs alone, As good as wings, was also known: And longwhiles in a sullen mood, Before her jumping, Jane would brood. VI A good knee's height, they say, she sprang; Her arms and feet like those who hang: As if afire the body sped, And neither pair contributed. She jumped in silence: she was thought A corpse to resurrection caught. VII The villagers were mostly dazed; They jeered, they wondered, and they praised. 'Twas guessed by some she was inspired, And some would have it she had hired An engine in her petticoats, To turn their wits and win their votes. VIII Her first was Winny Earnes, a kind Of woman not to dance inclined; But she went up, entirely won, Ere Jump-to-glory Jane had done; And once a vixen wild for speech, She found the better way to preach. IX No long time after, Jane was seen Directing jumps at Daddy Green; And that old man, to watch her fly, Had eyebrows made of arches high; Till homeward he likewise did hop, Oft calling on himself to stop! X It was a scene when man and maid, Abandoning all other trade, And careless of the call to meals, Went jumping at the woman's heels. By dozens they were counted soon, Without a sound to tell their tune. XI Along the roads they came, and crossed The fields, and o'er the hills were lost, And in the evening reappeared; Then short like hobbled horses reared, And down upon the grass they plumped: Alone their Jane to glory jumped. XII At morn they rose, to see her spring All going as an engine thing; And lighter than the gossamer She led the bobbers following her, Past old acquaintances, and where They made the stranger stupid stare. XIII When turnips were a filling crop, In scorn they jumped a butcher's shop: Or, spite of threats to flog and souse, They jumped for shame a public-house: And much their legs were seized with rage If passing by the vicarage. XIV The tightness of a hempen rope Their bodies got; but laundry soap Not handsomer can rub the skin For token of the washed within. Occasionally coughers cast A leg aloft and coughed their last. XV The weaker maids and some old men, Requiring rafters for the pen On rainy nights, were those who fell. The rest were quite a miracle, Refreshed as you may search all round On Club-feast days and cry, Not found! XVI For these poor innocents, that slept Against the sky, soft women wept: For never did they any theft; 'Twas known when they their camping left, And jumped the cold out of their rags; In spirit rich as money-bags. XVII They jumped the question, jumped reply; And whether to insist, deny, Reprove, persuade, they jumped in ranks Or singly, straight the arms to flanks, And straight the legs, with just a knee For bending in a mild degree. XVIII The villagers might call them mad; An endless holiday they had, Of pleasure in a serious work: They taught by leaps where perils lurk, And with the lambkins practised sports For 'scaping Satan's pounds and quarts. XIX It really seemed on certain days, When they bobbed up their Lord to praise, And bobbing up they caught the glance Of light, our secret is to dance, And hold the tongue from hindering peace; To dance out preacher and police. XX Those flies of boys disturbed them sore On Sundays and when daylight wore: With withies cut from hedge or copse, They treated them as whipping-tops, And flung big stones with cruel aim; Yet all the flock jumped on the same. XXI For what could persecution do To worry such a blessed crew, On whom it was as wind to fire, Which set them always jumping higher?