Where Innocent Bright-Eyed Daisies Are

Where innocent bright-eyed daisies are,
With blades of grass between,
Each daisy stands up like a star
Out of a sky of green.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Innocent heart, what has happened to you?
Alas, what is the cure to this pain?

We are interested, and they are displeased,
Oh Lord, what is this affair?

I too possess a tongue-
just ask me what I want to say.

Though there is none present without you,
then oh God, what is this noise about?

I expected faith from those
who do not even know what faith is.

by Mirza Ghalib.

Because The Bee May Blameless Hum

869

Because the Bee may blameless hum
For Thee a Bee do I become
List even unto Me.

Because the Flowers unafraid
May lift a look on thine, a Maid
Alway a Flower would be.

Nor Robins, Robins need not hide
When Thou upon their Crypts intrude
So Wings bestow on Me
Or Petals, or a Dower of Buzz
That Bee to ride, or Flower of Furze
I that way worship Thee.

by Emily Dickinson.

Fragment: A Gentle Story Of Two Lovers Young

A gentle story of two lovers young,
Who met in innocence and died in sorrow,
And of one selfish heart, whose rancour clung
Like curses on them; are ye slow to borrow
The lore of truth from such a tale?
Or in this world’s deserted vale,
Do ye not see a star of gladness
Pierce the shadows of its sadness,--
When ye are cold, that love is a light sent
From Heaven, which none shall quench, to cheer the innocent?

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I made a little funeral pyre,
And on it laid my youthful rhymes,
Those thoughts of innocent desire,
Dear foolish words of childhood times.

Poor things they were, misspelt and crude,
Yet void of guile or vain pretence,
They seemed like children thin and nude,
And unashamed through innocence.

And so, the while I struck the light
That should consume their humble bier
I kissed them, and as funeral rite
I mingled with the flame a tear.

by Radclyffe Hall.

White rose must die all in the youth and beauty of the year,
Though nightingale should sing the whole night through,
Though summer breezes woo,
She will not hear.
Too delicate for the sun's kiss so hot and passionate,
Or for the rude caresses of the wind,
She drooped and pined—
They mourned too late.
Birds carol clear
'Summer has come,' they say,
'O joy of living on a summer's day!'
White rose must die all in the youth and beauty of the year.

by Dora Sigerson Shorter.

Behind The Blameless Trees

Behind the blameless trees
old fate slowly builds
her mute countenance.
Wrinkles grow there . . .
What a bird shrieks here
springs there like a gasp of warning
from a soothsayer's hard mouth.

And the soon-to-be lovers
smile on each other, not yet knowing farewell,
and round about them, like a constellation,
their destiny casts
its nightly spell.
Still to come, it does not reach out to them,
it remains
a phantom
floating in its heavenly course.

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

First Love Remembered

PEACE in her chamber, wheresoe'er
It be, a holy place:
The thought still brings my soul such grace
As morning meadows wear.
Whether it still be small and light,
A maid's who dreams alone,
As from her orchard-gate the moon
Its ceiling showed at night:
Or whether, in a shadow dense
As nuptial hymns invoke,
Innocent maidenhood awoke
To married innocence:
There still the thanks unheard await
The unconscious gift bequeathed:
For there my soul this hour has breathed
An air inviolate.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

To An Unfortunate Woman, Whom The Author Had Known In The Days Of Her Innocence

Myrtle leaf, that ill besped
Pinest in the gladsome ray,
Soiled beneath the common tread
Far from thy protecting spray!

When the partridge o'er the sheaf
Whirred along the yellow vale,
Sad, I saw thee, heedless leaf!
Love the dalliance of the gale.

Lightly didst thou, foolish thing!
Heave and flutter to his sighs,
While the flatt'rer on his wing
Wooed and whispered thee to rise.

Gayly from thy mother stalk
Wert thou danced and wafted high;
Soon on this unsheltered walk
Flung to fade, to rot, and die!

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Verses Found In A Summerhouse At Hales-Owen

When Dryden's fool, 'unknowing what he sought,'
His hours in whistling spent, 'for want of thought,'
This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense
Supplied, and amply too, by innocence
Did modern swains, possess'd of Cymon's powers,
In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours,
Th' offended guests would not, with blushing, see
These fair green walks disgraced by infamy.
Severe the fate of modern fools, alas!

When vice and folly mark them as they pass.
Like noxious reptiles o'er the whiten'd wall,
The filth they leave still points out where they crawl.

by George Gordon Byron.

Guiltless Heart

The man of life upright, whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds and thoughts of vanity:
The man whose silent days in harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude, nor fortune discontent;
That man needs neither towers nor armor for defense,
Nor secret vaults to fly from thunder's violence:
He only can behold with unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep and terrors of the skies;
Thus scorning all the care that fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book, his wisdom heavenly things;
Good thoughts his only friends, his wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn and quiet pilgrimage.

by Sir Francis Bacon.

Songs Of Innocence: Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child.
And he laughing said to me.

Pipe a song about a Lamb:
So I piped with merry chear,
Piper, pipe that song again--
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear

Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read--
So he vanished from my sight
And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.

by William Blake.

Nurse's Song (Innocence)

When voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still

Then come home my children the sun is gone down
And the dews of night arise
Come come leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies

No no let us play, for it is yet day
And we cannot go to sleep
Besides in the sky, the little birds fly
And the hills are all covered with sheep

Well well go & play till the light fades away
And then go home to bed
The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh'd
And all the hills echoed

by William Blake.

Reeds Of Innocence

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

'Pipe a song about a Lamb!'
So I piped with merry cheer.
'Piper, pipe that song again;'
So I piped: he wept to hear.

'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer!'
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

'Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read.'
So he vanish'd from my sight;
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

by William Blake.

Introduction To The Songs Of Innocence

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

'Pipe a song about a Lamb!'
So I piped with merry cheer.
'Piper, pipe that song again;'
So I piped: he wept to hear.

'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer:!'
So I sang the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

'Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.'
So he vanish'd from my sight;
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

by William Blake.

Oft Have I Read That Innocence Retreats

Oft have I read that Innocence retreats
Where cooling streams salute ye summer Seats
Singing at ease she roves ye field of flowrs
Or safe with shepheards lys among the bowrs
But late alas I crossd a country fare
And found No Strephon nor Dorinda there
There Hodge & William Joynd to cully ned
While Ned was drinking Hodge & William dead
There Cicely Jeard by day the slips of Nell
& ere ye night was ended Cicely fell
Are these the Virtues which adorn the plain
Ye bards forsake your old Arcadian Vein
To sheep those tender Innocents resign
The place where swains & nymphs are said to shine
Swains twice as Wicked Nymphs but half as sage
Tis sheep alone retrieve ye golden age.

by Thomas Parnell.

Here in the little room
You sleep the sleep of innocent tired youth,
While I, in very sooth,
Tired, and awake beside you in the gloom,
Watch for the dawn, and feel the morning make
A loneliness about me for your sake.

You are so young, so fair,
And such a child, and might have loved so well;
And now, I cannot tell,
But surely one might love you anywhere,
Come to you as a lover, and make bold
To beg for that which all may buy with gold.

Your sweet, scarce lost, estate
Of innocence, the candour of your eyes,
Your childlike pleased surprise,
Your patience: these afflict me with a weight
As of some heavy wrong that I must share
With God who made, and man who found you, fair.

by Arthur Symons.

Holy Thursday (Innocence)

Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean
The children walking two & two in red & blue & green
Grey headed beadles walked before with wands as white as snow
Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow

O what a multitude they seemed these flowers of London town
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own
The hum of multitudes was there but multitudes of lambs
Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands

Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among
Beneath them sit the aged men wise guardians of the poor
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door

by William Blake.

The Successful Man Has Thrust Himself

The successful man has thrust himself
Through the water of the years,
Reeking wet with mistakes --
Bloody mistakes;
Slimed with victories over the lesser,
A figure thankful on the shore of money.
Then, with the bones of fools
He buys silken banners
Limned with his triumphant face;
With the skins of wise men
He buys the trivial bows of all.
Flesh painted with marrow
Contributes a coverlet,
A coverlet for his contented slumber.
In guiltless ignorance, in ignorant guilt,
He delivered his secrets to the riven multitude.
"Thus I defended: Thus I wrought."
Complacent, smiling,
He stands heavily on the dead.
Erect on a pillar of skulls
He declaims his trampling of babes;
Smirking, fat, dripping,
He makes speech in guiltless ignorance,
Innocence.

by Stephen Crane.

Go perjur'd Youth and court what Nymph you please,
Your Passion now is but a dull disease;
With worn-out Sighs deceive some list'ning Ear,
Who longs to know how 'tis and what Men swear;
She'll think they're new from you; 'cause so to her.
Poor cousin'd Fool, she ne'er can know the Charms
Of being first encircled in thy Arms,
When all Love's Joys were innocent and gay,
As fresh and blooming as the new-born day.
Your Charms did then with native Sweetness flow;
The forc'd-kind Complaisance you now bestow,
Is but a false agreeable Design,
But you had Innocence when you were mine,
And all your Words, and Smiles, and Looks divine.
How proud, methinks, thy Mistress does appear
In sully'd Clothes, which I'd no longer wear ;
Her Bosom too with wither'd Flowers drest,
Which lost their Sweets in my first chosen Breast ;
Perjur'd imposing Youth, cheat who you will,
Supply defect of Truth with amorous Skill :
Yet thy Address must needs insipid be,
For the first Ardour of thy Soul was all possess'd by me.

by Sarah Fyge.

The Innocent Thief

Not a flower can be found in the fields,
Or the spot that we till for our pleasure,
From the largest to the least, but it yields
The bee never wearied a treasure.

Scarce any she quits unexplored
With a diligence truly exact;
Yet, steal what she may for her hoard
Leaves evidence none of the fact.

Her lucrative task she pursues,
And pilfers with so much address,
That none of their odour they lose,
Nor charm by their beauty the less.

Not thus inoffensively preys
The cankerworm, in-dwelling foe!
His voracity not thus allays
The sparrow, the finch, or the crow.

The worm, more expensively fed,
The pride of the garden devours;
And birds peck the seed from the bed,
Still less to be spared than the flowers.

But she with such delicate skill
Her pillage so fits for her use,
That the chemist in vain with his still
Would labour the like to produce.

Then grudge not her temperate meals,
Nor a benefit blame as a theft;
Since, stole she not all that she steals,
Neither honey nor wax would be left.

by William Cowper.

Such innocent companionship
Is hers, whether she wake or sleep,
'Tis scarcely strange her face should wear
The young child's grave and innocent air.

All the night long she hath by her
The quiet breathing, the soft stir,
Nor knows how in that tender place
The children's angels veil the face.

She wakes at dawn with bird and child
To earth new-washed and reconciled,
The hour of silence and of dew,
When God hath made His world anew.

She sleeps at eve, about the hour
Of bedtime for the bird and flower,
When daisies, evening primroses,
Know that the hour of closing is.

Her daylight thoughts are all on toys
And games for darling girls and boys,
Lest they should fret, lest they should weep,
Strayed from their heavenly fellowship.

She is as pretty and as brown
As the wood's children far from town,
As bright-eyed, glancing, shy of men,
As any squirrel, any wren.

Tender she is to beast and bird,
As in her breast some memory stirred
Of days when those were kin of hers
Who go in feathers and in furs.

A child, yet is the children's law,
And rules by love and rules by awe.
And, stern at times, is kind withal
As a girl-baby with her doll.

Outside the nursery door there lies
The world with all its griefs and sighs,
Its needs, its sins, its stains of sense:
Within is only innocence.

by Katharine Tynan.

COME to the grave--the silent grave! and dream
Of a light, happy voice--so full of joy,
That those who heard her laugh, would laugh again,
Echoing the mirth of such an innocent spirit;
And pause in their own converse, to look round,
Won by the witchery of that gleesome tone.
Come to the grave--the lone dark grave! and dream
Of eyes whose brilliancy was of the soul,
Eyes which, with one bright flash from their dark lids,
Seemed at a glance to read the thoughts of others;
Or, with a full entire tenderness,
The pure expression of all-perfect love,
(Of woman's love, which is for you alone,
While your's is for yourself)--gave in that look
The promise of a life of meek affection.
Come to the grave--the mouldering grave! and dream
Of a fair form that glided over earth
One of its happiest creatures:--to her cheek

The lightest word might bring the blushing blood
In pure carnation;--down her graceful neck,
The long rich curls of jet hung carelessly,
Untortured by the cunning hand of art:
And on her brow, bright purity and joy,
Twin sisters, sate,--as on a holy throne.
Come yet unto the grave--the still, damp grave!
And dream of a young heart that beat with life,
And all life's best affections; of a heart
Where sorrow never came, nor fear, nor sin--
Nor aught save innocence, and perfect love:
And, having dreamed of such a lovely being--
So gay, so bright, so pure, so fond, so meek--
Having thus conjured up a form of love
In thine own pausing and regretful mind;--
A vision will be present to thy soul,
A faint, but faithful portraiture, of one
Most dearly loved, and now for ever lost!

by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton.

Elegy On The Death Of A Child

Fair was thy blossom, tender flower,
That open'd like the rose in May,
Though nursed beneath the chilly shower
Of fell regret, for love's decay.

How oft thy mother heaved the sigh
O'er wreaths of honour early shorn,
Before thy sweet and guiltless eye
Had open'd on the dawn of morn!

How oft, above thy lowly bed,
When all in silence slumber'd low,
The fond and filial tear was shed,
Thou child of love, of shame, and woe!

Her wrong'd but gentle bosom burn'd
With joy thy opening bloom to see;
The only breast that o'er thee yearn'd;
The only heart that cared for thee.

Oft her young eye, with tear-drops bright,
Pleaded with Heaven for her sweet child,
When faded dreams of past delight
O'er recollection wander'd wild.

Fair was thy blossom, bonnie flower,
Fair as the softest wreaths of spring,
When late I saw thee seek the bower
In peace thy morning hymn to sing.

Thy little foot across the lawn
Scarce from the primrose press'd the dew;
I thought the spirit of the dawn
Before me to the greenwood flew.

E'en then the shaft was on the wing,
Thy spotless soul from earth to sever,
A tear of pity wet the string
That twang'd, and seal'd thy doom for ever.

I saw thee late, the emblem fair
Of beauty, innocence, and truth,
Start tiptoe on the verge of air,
'Twixt childhood and unstable youth;

But now I see thee stretch'd at rest:
To break that rest shall wake no morrow -
Pale as the grave-flower on thy breast!
Poor child of love, of shame, and sorrow!

May thy long sleep be sound and sweet;
Thy visions fraught with bliss to be;
And long the daisy, emblem meet,
Shall shed its earliest tear o'er thee!

by James Hogg.

On A Tuft Of Grass

WEAK, slender blades of tender green,
With little fragrance, little sheen,
What maketh ye so dear to all?
Nor bud, nor flower, nor fruit have ye,
So tiny, it can only be
'Mongst fairies ye are counted tall.

No beauty is in this,— ah, yea,
E'en as I gaze on you to-day,
Your hue and fragrance bear me back
Into the green, wide fields of old,
With clear, blue air, and manifold
Bright buds and flowers in blossoming track.

All bent one way like flickering flame,
Each blade caught sunlight as it came,
Then rising, saddened into shade;
A changeful, wavy, harmless sea,
Whose billows none could bitterly
Reproach with wrecks that they had made.

No gold ever was buried there
More rich, more precious, or more fair
Than buttercups with yellow gloss.
No ships of mighty forest trees
E'er foundered in these guiltless seas
Of grassy waves and tender moss.

Ah, no! ah, no! not guiltless still,
Green waves on meadow and on hill,
Not wholly innocent are ye;
For what dead hopes and loves, what graves,
Lie underneath your placid waves,
While breezes kiss them lovingly!

Calm sleepers with sealed eyes lie there;
They see not, neither feel nor care
If over them the grass be green.
And some sleep here who ne'er knew rest,
Until the grass grew o'er their breast,
And stilled the aching pain within.

Not all the sorrow man hath known,
Not all the evil he hath done,
Have ever cast thereon a stain.
It groweth green and fresh and light,
As in the olden garden bright,
Beneath the feet of Eve and Cain.

It flutters, bows, and bends, and quivers,
And creeps through forests and by rivers,
Each blade with dewy brightness wet,
So soft, so quiet, and so fair,
We almost dream of sleeping there,
Without or sorrow or regret.

by Emma Lazarus.

Happiness Of A Country Life

Oh! knew he but his happiness, of men
The happiest he, who, far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retired
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
What though the dome be wanting, whose proud gate
Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd
Of flatt'rers false, and in their turn abused?
Vile intercourse! What though the glitt'ring robe,
Of every hue reflected light can give,
Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold -
The pride and gaze of fools! - oppress him not?
What though, from utmost land and sea purvey'd,
For him each rarer tributary life
Bleeds not, and his insatiatic table heaps
With luxury and death? What though his bowl
Flames not with costly juice; nor sunk in beds,
Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night,
Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state?
What though he knows not those fantastic joys
That still amuse the wanton, still deceive,
A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain;
Their hollow moments undelighted all?
Sure peace is his; a solid life, estranged
From disappointment and fallacious hope,
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs and fruits. Whatever greens the spring,
When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough,
When summer reddens, and when autumn beams;
Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies
Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap,
These are not wanting; nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale;
Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay;
Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottos, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear.
Here, too, dwell simple truth, plain innocence,
Unsallied beauty, sound unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleased,
Health ever blooming, unambitious toil,
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.

by James Thomson.

The Innocent Ill

Though all thy gestures and discourses be
Coin'd and stamp'd by modesty;
Though from thy tongue ne'er slipp'd away
One word which nuns at th' altar might not say;
Yet such a sweetness, such a grace,
In all thy speech appear,
That what to th' eye a beauteous face,
That thy tongue is to th' ear:
So cunningly it wounds the heart,
It strikes such heat through every part,
That thou a tempter worse than Satan art.

Though in thy thoughts scarce any tracks have been
So much as of original sin,
Such charms thy beauty wears as might
Desires in dying confess'd saints excite:
Thou, with strange adultery,
Dost in each breast a brothel keep;
Awake all men do lust for thee,
And some enjoy thee when they sleep.
Ne'er before did woman live,
Who to such multitudes did give
The root and cause of sin, but only Eve.

Though in thy breast so quick a pity be,
That a fly's death 's a wound to thee;
Though savage and rock-hearted those
Appear, that weep not ev'n Romance's woes;
Yet ne'er before was tyrant known,
Whose rage was of so large extent;
The ills thou dost are whole thine own;
Thou 'rt principal and instrument:
In all the deaths that come from you,
You do the treble office do
Of judge, of torturer, and of weapon too.

Thou lovely instrument of angry Fate,
Which God did for our faults create!
Thou pleasant, universal ill,
Which, sweet as health, yet like a plague dost kill!
Thou kind, well-natur'd tyranny!
Thou chaste committer of a rape!
Thou voluntary destiny,
Which no man can, or would, escape!
So gentle, and so glad to spare,
So wondrous good, and wondrous fair,
(We know) ev'n the destroying-angels are.

by Abraham Cowley.

On The Yong Baronett Portman Dying Of An Impostume In's Head

Is Death so cunning now that all her blowe
Aymes at the heade? Doth now her wary Bowe
Make surer worke than heertofore? The steele
Slew warlike heroes onely in the heele.
New found out slights, when men themselves begin
To be theyr proper Fates by new found sinne.
Tis cowardize to make a wound so sure;
No Art in killing where no Art can cure.
Was it for hate of learning that she smote
This upper shoppe where all the Muses wrought?
Learning shall crosse her drift, and duly trie
All wayes and meanes of immortalitie.
Because her heade was crusht, doth shee desire
Our equall shame? In vayne she doth aspire.
No: noe: Wee know where ere shee make a breach
Her poysened Sting onely the Heele can reach.
Looke on the Soule of man, the very Heart;
The Head itselfe is but a lower parte:
Yet hath shee straynde her utmost tyranny,
And done her worst in that she came so high.
Had she reservde this stroke for haughty men,
For politique Contrivers; justly then
The Punishment were matcht with the offence:
But when Humility and Innocence
So indiscreetly in the Heade are hitt,
Death hath done Murther, and shall die for itt:
Thinke it no Favour showne because the Braine
Is voyde of sence, and therefore free from payne.
Thinke it noe kindness when so stealingly
He rather seemde to jest away than die,
And like that Innocent, the Widdows childe
Cryde out, My head, my head: and so it dyde.
Thinke it was rather double cruelty,
Slaughter intended on his Name, that Hee
Whose thoughts were nothing taynted, nothing vayne,
Might seeme to hide Corruption in his brayne.
How easy might this Blott bee wipte away
If any Pen his worth could open lay?
For which those Harlott-prayses, which wee reare
In common dust, as much too slender are
As great for others. Boasting Elegies
Must here bee dumbe. Desert that overweighs
All our Reward stoppes all our Prayse: lest wee
Might seeme to give alike to Them and Thee:
Wherfore an humble Verse, and such a strayne
As mine will hide the truth while others fayne.

by William Strode.

These recollections with the scent of ferns
Are the idyll of early years
(Gregorio Gutierrez González)

Accompanying the hazy memories
Time so generously glorifies,
Returning to a welcoming heart
And flocking like white butterflies,
Come fantasies of happy childhood days.

Blue Beard, Little Red Ridinghood,
Lilliputians and the giant Gulliver,
All of you, floating in the mist of dreams,
Spread your wings, fly,
So I, the happy journeyer
Through storybooks, may summon you
To join with other, beloved characters.

O blessed youth! Eyes aglimmer
With dawning discovery
Follow the weary teacher’s hand
Across the big red figures
In the tattered primer,
Where traces of vague recognition,
Rewarding periods of youthful despondency,
Beneath indifferent shadows
Begin forming letters into words

On a dewy, white,
Luminous, restless August morning,
Helping a blazing sun rise
On wings of the breeze
Toward skies dotted with drifting clouds;
Listening to a grandmother’s
Exemplary fairy tales;
Skipping school
To organize a clamorous battle
In which rocks rattle like bullets
And a rumpled kerchief becomes a flag.
Constructing a manger scene
Of materials gathered from the woods,
Then, after the long, rowdy outing
Arranging the grasses,
Coral twigs, and treasured mosses,
And on strange and alien landscapes,
Perspectives never seen or dreamed,
Creating roads of golden sand
And waterfalls of gleaming tinsel.

Positioning the Wise Men on the hill
And overhead
The star that led them from afar;
In the crib, the laughing Baby Jesus
In his bed of
Softest mosses and leafy ferns.

Pristine soul, blush-pink cheeks,
Skin like ermine on the snow,
Flaxen curls,
Sparkling yet peaceful eyes, how fair
In memory the innocent babe!

Childhood, hallowed valley
Of blessed calm and coolness,
Where rays that will later blast our days
So softly shine,
How saintly your pure innocence,
How fleeting your brief happiness,
How sweet in hours of bitterness
To turn back to the past
And call upon those memories!

by Jose Asuncion Silva.

But that which most I wonder at, which most
I did esteem my bliss, which most I boast,
And ever shall enjoy, is that within
I felt no stain, nor spot of sin.

No darkness then did overshade,
But all within was pure and bright,
No guilt did crush, nor fear invade
But all my soul was full of light.

A joyful sense and purity
Is all I can remember;
The very night to me was bright,
'Twas summer in December.

A serious meditation did employ
My soul within, which taken up with joy
Did seem no outward thing to note, but fly
All objects that do feed the eye.

While it those very objects did
Admire, and prize, and praise, and love,
Which in their glory most are hid,
Which presence only doth remove.

Their constant daily presence I
Rejoicing at, did see;
And that which takes them from the eye
Of others, offer'd them to me.

No inward inclination did I feel
To avarice or pride: my soul did kneel
In admiration all the day. No lust, nor strife,
Polluted then my infant life.

No fraud nor anger in me mov'd,
No malice, jealousy, or spite;
All that I saw I truly lov'd.
Contentment only and delight

Were in my soul. O Heav'n! what bliss
Did I enjoy and feel!
What powerful delight did this
Inspire! for this I daily kneel.

Whether it be that nature is so pure,
And custom only vicious; or that sure
God did by miracle the guilt remove,
And make my soul to feel his love

So early: or that 'twas one day,
Wherein this happiness I found;
Whose strength and brightness so do ray,
That still it seems me to surround;

What ere it is, it is a light
So endless unto me
That I a world of true delight
Did then and to this day do see.

That prospect was the gate of Heav'n, that day
The ancient light of Eden did convey
Into my soul: I was an Adam there
A little Adam in a sphere

Of joys! O there my ravish'd sense
Was entertain'd in Paradise,
And had a sight of innocence
Which was beyond all bound and price.

An antepast of Heaven sure!
I on the earth did reign;
Within, without me, all was pure;
I must become a child again.

by Thomas Traherne.

An Answer In The Behalf Of A Woman.

GIRT in my guiltless gown, as I sit here and sow,
I see that things are not in deed, as to the outward show.
And who so list to look and note things somewhat near,
Shall find where plainness seems to haunt, nothing but craft appear.
For with indifferent eyes, myself can well discern,
How some to guide a ship in storms stick not 2 to take the stern ;
Whose skill and courage tried3 in calm to steer a barge,
They would soon shew, you should foresee, 4 it were too great a charge.
And some I see again sit still and say but small,
That can5 do ten times more than they that say they can do all.
Whose goodly gifts are such, the more they understand,
The more they seek to learn and know, and take less charge in hand.
And to declare more plain, the time flits not so fast,
But I can bear right 6 well in mind the song now sung, and past ;
The author whereof came, wrapt in a crafty cloak,
In 7 will to force a flaming fire where he could raise no smoke.
If power and will had met,8as it appeareth plain,
The 9 truth nor right had ta'en no place ; their virtues had been vain.
So that you may perceive, and I may safely see,
The innocent that guiltless is, condemned should have be.
Much like untruth to this the story doth declare,
Where the Elders laid to Susan's charge meet matter to compare.
They did her both accuse, and eke condemn her too,
And yet no reason, right, nor truth, did lead them so to do !
And she thus judg'd to die, toward her death went forth,
Fraughted with faith, a patient pace, taking her wrong in worth.
But he that doth defend all those that in him trust,
Did raise a child for her defence to shield her from th' unjust.
And Daniel chosen was then of this wrong to weet,
How, in what place, and eke with whom, she did this crime commit.
He caused the Elders part the one from th' other's sight,
And did examine one by one, and charg'd them both say right.
' Under a mulberry tree it was ;' first said the one.
The next named a pomegranate tree, whereby the truth was known.
Then Susan was discharg'd, and they condemn'd to die,
As right requir'd, and they deserv'd, that fram'd so foul a lie.
And He that her preserv'd, and lett them of their lust,
Hath me defended hitherto, and will do still I trust.

by Henry Howard.

The Fate Of An Innocent Dog

When Tiger left his native yard,
He did not many ills regard,
A fleet and harmless cur;
Indeed, he was a trusty dog,
And did not through the pastures prog;
The grazing flocks to stir, poor dog,
The grazing flocks to stir.

He through a field by chance was led,
In quest of game not far ahead,
And made one active leap;
When all at once, alarm'd, he spied,
A creature welt'ring on its side,
A deadly wounded sheep, alas!
A deadly wounded sheep.

He there was fill'd with sudden fear,
Apprized of lurking danger near,
And there he left his trail;
Indeed, he was afraid to yelp,
Nor could he grant the creature help,
But wheel'd and drop'd his tail, poor dog,
But wheel'd and drop'd his tail.

It was his pass-time, pride and fun,
At morn the nimble hare to run,
When frost was on the grass;
Returning home who should he meet?
The weather's owner, coming fleet,
Who scorn'd to let him pass, alas!
Who scorn'd to let him pass.

Tiger could but his bristles raise,
A surly compliment he pays,
Insulted shows his wrath;
Returns a just defensive growl,
And does not turn aside to prowl,
But onward keeps the path, poor dog,
But onward keeps the path.

The raging owner found the brute,
But could afford it no recruit,
Nor raise it up to stand;
'Twas mangled by some other dogs,
A set of detrimental rogues,
Raised up at no command, alas!
Raised up at no command.

Sagacious Tiger left his bogs,
But bore the blame of other dogs,
With powder, fire and ball;
They kill'd the poor, unlawful game,
And then came back and eat the same ;
But Tiger paid for all, poor dog,
But Tiger paid for all.

Let ev'ry harmless dog beware
Lest he be taken in the snare,
And scorn such fields to roam;
A creature may be fraught with grace,
And suffer for the vile and base,
By straggling off from home, alas!
By straggling off from home.

The blood of creatures oft is spilt,
Who die without a shade of guilt;
Look out, or cease to roam;
Whilst up and down the world he plays
For pleasure, man in danger strays
Without a friend from home, alas!
Without a friend from home.

by George Moses Horton.

The Haunted Oak

Pray why are you so bare, so bare,
Oh, bough of the old oak-tree;
And why, when I go through the shade you throw,
Runs a shudder over me?
My leaves were green as the best, I trow,
And sap ran free in my veins,
But I say in the moonlight dim and weird
A guiltless victim's pains.
They'd charged him with the old, old crime,
And set him fast in jail:
Oh, why does the dog howl all night long,
And why does the night wind wail?
He prayed his prayer and he swore his oath,
And he raised his hand to the sky;
But the beat of hoofs smote on his ear,
And the steady tread drew nigh.
Who is it rides by night, by night,
Over the moonlit road?
And what is the spur that keeps the pace,
What is the galling goad?
And now they beat at the prison door,
"Ho, keeper, do not stay!
We are friends of him whom you hold within,
And we fain would take him away
"From those who ride fast on our heels
With mind to do him wrong;
They have no care for his innocence,
And the rope they bear is long."
They have fooled the jailer with lying words,
They have fooled the man with lies;
The bolts unbar, the locks are drawn,
And the great door open flies.
Now they have taken him from the jail,
And hard and fast they ride,
And the leader laughs low down in his throat,
As they halt my trunk beside.

Oh, the judge, he wore a mask of black,
And the doctor one of white,
And the minister, with his oldest son,
Was curiously bedight.
Oh, foolish man, why weep you now?
'Tis but a little space,
And the time will come when these shall dread
The mem'ry of your face.
I feel the rope against my bark,
And the weight of him in my grain,
I feel in the throe of his final woe
The touch of my own last pain.
And never more shall leaves come forth
On the bough that bears the ban;
I am burned with dread, I am dried and dead,
From the curse of a guiltless man.
And ever the judge rides by, rides by,
And goes to hunt the deer,
And ever another rides his soul
In the guise of a mortal fear.
And ever the man he rides me hard,
And never a night stays he;
For I feel his curse as a haunted bough,
On the trunk of a haunted tree.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Composed At Clevedon, Somersetshire

My pensive Sara, thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown
With white-flowered jasmine and the broad-leaved myrtle
(Meet emblems they of innocence and love),
And watch the clouds that late were rich with light
Slow-sad'ning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatched from yon bean-field! And the world so hushed!
The stilly murmur of the distant sea
Tells us of silence. And that simplest lute
Placed lengthways in the clasping casement-hark
How by desultory breeze caressed!
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraidings as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong. And now its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight elfins make when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from fairyland,
Where melodies round honey-dropping flowers
Footless and wild, like birds of paradise,
Nor pause nor perch, hov'ring on untamed wing.
And thus, my love, as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst through my half-closed eyelids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility,
Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,
And many idle flitting fantasies
Traverse my indolent and passive brain-
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject lute!
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps,
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the soul of each, and God of all?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, oh beloved woman!-nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek daughter in the family of Christ,
Well hast thou said and holily dispraised
These shapings of the unregenerate mind,
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of Him,
Th'Incomprehensible! save when with awe
I praise him, and with faith that inly feels-
I praise him, and with faith that inly feels-
Who with his saving mercies healed me,
A sinful and most miserable man
Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this cot, and the, heart-honoured maid!

Aug. 20th, 1795

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Aeolian Harp

My pensive SARA ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddenning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field ! and the world so hush'd !
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.

[Image] [Image]And that simplest Lute,
Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark !
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong ! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Faery-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing !
O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where--
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro' my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman ! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the Family of Christ !
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible ! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid !

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Aeolian Harp, The

My pensive SARA ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddenning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field ! and the world so hush'd !
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.

[Image] [Image]And that simplest Lute,
Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark !
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong ! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Faery-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing !
O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where--
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro' my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman ! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the Family of Christ !
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible ! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid !

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Eolian Harp

(Composed at Clevedon, Somersetshire)

My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love!)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field! and the world so hushed!
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.
And that simplest Lute,
Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark!
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dripping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing!
O! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where—
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

And thus, my Love! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst through my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main.
And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute!
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?

But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the family of Christ!
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid!

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Art thou indeed among these,
Thou of the tyrannous crew,
The kingdoms fed upon blood,
O queen from of old of the seas,
England, art thou of them too
That drink of the poisonous flood,
That hide under poisonous trees?



Nay, thy name from of old,
Mother, was pure, or we dreamed
Purer we held thee than this,
Purer fain would we hold;
So goodly a glory it seemed,
A fame so bounteous of bliss,
So more precious than gold.



A praise so sweet in our ears,
That thou in the tempest of things
As a rock for a refuge shouldst stand,
In the bloodred river of tears
Poured forth for the triumph of kings;
A safeguard, a sheltering land,
In the thunder and torrent of years.



Strangers came gladly to thee,
Exiles, chosen of men,
Safe for thy sake in thy shade,
Sat down at thy feet and were free.
So men spake of thee then;
Now shall their speaking be stayed?
Ah, so let it not be!


Not for revenge or affright,
Pride, or a tyrannous lust,
Cast from thee the crown of thy praise.
Mercy was thine in thy might;
Strong when thou wert, thou wert just;
Now, in the wrong-doing days,
Cleave thou, thou at least, to the right.



How should one charge thee, how sway,
Save by the memories that were?
Not thy gold nor the strength of thy ships,
Nor the might of thine armies at bay,
Made thee, mother, most fair;
But a word from republican lips
Said in thy name in thy day.



Hast thou said it, and hast thou forgot?
Is thy praise in thine ears as a scoff?
Blood of men guiltless was shed,
Children, and souls without spot,
Shed, but in places far off;
Let slaughter no more be, said
Milton; and slaughter was not.



Was it not said of thee too,
Now, but now, by thy foes,
By the slaves that had slain their France,
And thee would slay as they slew -
"Down with her walls that enclose
Freemen that eye us askance,
Fugitives, men that are true!"



This was thy praise or thy blame
From bondsman or freeman--to be
Pure from pollution of slaves,
Clean of their sins, and thy name
Bloodless, innocent, free;
Now if thou be not, thy waves
Wash not from off thee thy shame.



Freeman he is not, but slave,
Whoso in fear for the State
Cries for surety of blood,
Help of gibbet and grave;
Neither is any land great
Whom, in her fear-stricken mood,
These things only can save.



Lo, how fair from afar,
Taintless of tyranny, stands
Thy mighty daughter, for years
Who trod the winepress of war;
Shines with immaculate hands;
Slays not a foe, neither fears;
Stains not peace with a scar.



Be not as tyrant or slave,
England; be not as these,
Thou that wert other than they.
Stretch out thine hand, but to save;
Put forth thy strength, and release;
Lest there arise, if thou slay,
Thy shame as a ghost from the grave.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Out of the heart of the city begotten
Of the labour of men and their manifold hands,
Whose souls, that were sprung from the earth in her morning,
No longer regard or remember her warning,
Whose hearts in the furnace of care have forgotten
Forever the scent and the hue of her lands;

Out of the heat of the usurer's hold,
From the horrible crash of the strong man's feet;
Out of the shadow were pity is dying;
Out of the clamour where beauty is lying,
Dead in the depth of the struggle for gold;
Out of the din and the glare of the street;

Into the arms of our mother we come,
Our broad strong mother, the innocent earth,
Mother of all things beautiful, blameless,
Mother of hopes that her strength makes tameless,
Where the voices of grief and of battle are dumb,
And the whole world laughs with the light of her mirth.

Over the fields, where the cool winds sweep,
Black with the mould and brown with the loam,
Where the thin green spears of the wheat are appearing,
And the high-ho shouts from the smoky clearing;
Over the widths, where the cloud shadows creep;
Over the fields and the fallows we come;

Over the swamps with their pensive noises,
Where the burnished cup of the marigold gleams;
Skirting the reeds, where the quick winds shiver
On the swelling breast of the dimpled river,
And the blue of the king-fisher hangs and poises,
Watching a spot by the edge of the streams;

By the miles of the fences warped and dyed
With the white-hot noons and their withering fires,
Where the rough bees trample the creamy bosoms
Of the hanging tufts of the elder blossoms,
And the spiders weave, and the grey snakes hide,
In the crannied gloom of the stones and the briers;

Over the meadow land sprouting with thistle,
Where the humming wings of the blackbirds pass,
Where the hollows are banked with the violets flowering,
And the long-limbed pendulous elms are towering,
Where the robins are loud with their voluble whistle,
And the ground sparrow scurries away through the grass,

Where the restless bobolink loiters and woos
Down in the hollows and over the swells,
Dropping in and out of the shadows,
Sprinkling his music about the meadows,
Whistles and little checks and coos,
And the tinkle of glassy bells;

Into the dim woods full of the tombs
Of the dead trees soft in their sepulchres,
Where the pensive throats of the shy birds hidden,
Pipe to us strangely entering unbidden,
And tenderly still in the tremulous glooms
The trilliums scatter their white-winged stars;

Up to the hills where our tired hearts rest,
Loosen, and halt, and regather their dreams;
Up to the hills, where the winds restore us,
Clearing our eyes to the beauty before us,
Earth with the glory of life on her breast,
Earth with the gleam of her cities and streams.

Here we shall commune with her and no other;
Care and the battle of life shall cease;
Men her degenerate children behind us,
Only the might of her beauty shall bind us,
Full of rest, as we gaze on the face of our mother,
Earth in the health and the strength of her peace.

by Archibald Lampman.

Eclogue The Third Abra

SCENE, a forest TIME, the Evening

In Georgia's land, where Tefflis' towers are seen,
In distant view along the level green,
While evening dews enrich the glittering glade,
And the tall forests cast a longer shade,
Amidst the maids of Zagen's peaceful grove,
Emyra sung the pleasing cares of love.
Of Abra first began the tender strain,
Who led her youth with flocks upon the plain.
At morn she came those willing flocks to lead,
Where lilies rear them in the watery mead;

From early dawn the livelong hours she told,
Till late at silent ev'n she penned the fold.
Deep in the grove beneath the secret shade,
A various wreath of odorous flowers she made.
Gay-motleyed pinks and sweet jonquils she chose,
The violet-blue that on the moss-bank grows;
All-sweet to sense, the flaunting rose was there;
The finished chaplet well-adorned her hair.
Great Abbas chanced that fated morn to stray,
By love conducted from the chase away;

Among the vocal vales he heard her song,
And sought the vales and echoing groves among.
At length he found and wooed the rural maid:
She knew the monarch, and with fear obeyed.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
The royal lover bore her from the plain,
Yet still her crook and bleating flock remain:
Oft as she went, she backward turned her view,
And bade that crook and bleating flock adieu.

Fair happy maid! to other scenes remove,
To richer scenes of golden power and love!
Go leave the simple pipe and shepherd's strain,
With love delight thee, and with Abbas reign.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
Yet midst the blaze of courts she fixed her love
On the cool fountain or the shady grove;
Still with the shepherd's innocence her mind
To the sweet vale and flowery mead inclined,

And oft as spring renewed the plains with flowers,
Breathed his soft gales and led the fragrant hours,
With sure return she sought the sylvan scene,
The breezy mountains and the forests green.
Her maids around her moved, a duteous band!
Each bore a crook all-rural in her hand.
Some simple lay of flocks and herds they sung;
With joy the mountain and the forest rung.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
And oft the royal lover left the care
And thorns of state, attendant on the fair:
Oft to the shades and low-roofed cots retired,
Or sought the vale where first his heart was fired;
A russet mantle, like a swain, he wore,
And thought of crowns and busy courts no more.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
Blest was the life that royal Abbas led:
Sweet was his love and innocent his bed.

What if in wealth the noble maid excel;
The simple shepherd girl can love as well.
Let those who rule on Persia's jewelled throne,
Be famed for love and gentlest love alone:
Or wreathe, like Abbas, full of fair renown,
The lover's myrtle with the warrior's crown.
Oh happy days! the maids around her say,
Oh haste, profuse of blessings, haste away!

Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.

by William Collins.