Reward that only rovers earn

From Vita Sackville-West’s The Land, an old-fashioned poem in the tradition of Virgil’s Georgics. This passage is the only thing I know of it and came to mind when rereading Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story (Traumnovelle) last night. The full text is online here.

But meadow, shaw, and orchard keep
The glaucous country like a hilly sea
Pure in its monotone. Sad eyes that tire
Of dangerous landscape, sadder minds
That search impossible regions of their quest,
Find clement haven after truancy,
A temperate answer, and a makeshift rest.
This is the thing familiar, known;
The safety that the wanderer finds,
Out of the world, one thing his own.
A pause, a lull in journeying, return
After the querying and astonishment;
Reward that only rovers earn
Who have strayed, departed from the peace,
Whether in soul or body widely flown,
Gone after Arabian Nights, the Golden Fleece,
And come back empty-handed, as they went.

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