Endorsement To The Deed Of Separation In The April Of 1816

A year ago, you swore, fond she!
'To love, to honour,' and so forth:
Such was the vow you pledged to me,
And here's exactly what 'tis worth.

by George Gordon Byron.

The Winter Pear

Is always Age severe?
Is never Youth austere?
Spring-fruits are sour to eat;
Autumn's the mellow time.
Nay, very late in the year,
Short day and frosty rime,
Thought, like a winter pear,
Stone-cold in summer's prime,
May turn from harsh to sweet.

by William Allingham.

Anacreontics, The Swallow

FOOLISH prater, what dost thou
So early at my window do?
Cruel bird, thou'st ta'en away
A dream out of my arms to-day;
A dream that ne'er must equall'd be
By all that waking eyes may see.
Thou this damage to repair
Nothing half so sweet and fair,
Nothing half so good, canst bring,
Tho' men say thou bring'st the Spring.

by Abraham Cowley.

The Morning Lark

Feather'd lyric, warbling high,
Sweetly gaining on the sky,
Op'ning with thy matin lay
(Nature's hymn) the eye of day,
Teach my soul, on early wing,
Thus to soar and thus to sing.
While the bloom of orient light
Gilds thee in thy tuneful flight,
May the Day-spring from on high,
Seen by faith's religious eye,
Cheer me with His vital ray,
Promise of eternal day.

by James Thomson.

Now May He Who From The Dead

Now may He who from the dead
Brought the Shepherd of the sheep,
Jesus Christ, our King and Head,
All our souls in safety keep!

May He teach us to fulfill
What is pleasing in His sight;
Perfect us in all His will,
And preserve us day and night!

To that dear Redeemer's praise,
Who the cov'nant sealed with blood,
Let our hearts and voices raise
Loud thanksgivings to our God.

by John Newton.

Three Airs For The Beggar's Opera, Air Xxii

Youth's the season made for joys,
Love is then our duty;
She alone who that employs,
Well deserves her beauty.
Let's be gay,
While we may,
Beauty's a flower despis'd in decay.

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not tomorrow.
Love with youth flies swift away,
Age is nought but sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time's on the wing,
Life never knows the return of spring.

by John Gay.

Song On May Morning

Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

by John Milton.

To The Baron De Humboldt,


SOOTH'D I receive the flowers you bring,
Whose charm anticipates the Spring;
Whose tints in vernal freshness vie
With plants beneath an austral sky,--
Those glowing plants that, long unknown,
Your travell'd science made our own:--
Bright gift! in lavish grace array'd,
Thy flowers have only bloom'd to fade,--
Their transient being soon forgot:
How far unlike the giver's lot!

by Helen Maria Williams.

Among the changing months, May stands confest
The sweetest, and in fairest colours dressed!
Soft as the breeze that fans the smiling field;
Sweet as the breath that opening roses yield;
Fair as the colour lavish Nature paints
On virgin flowers free from unodorous taints! -
To rural scenes thou tempt'st the busy crowd,
Who, in each grove, thy praises sing aloud!
The blooming belles and shallow beaux, strange sight,
Turn nymphs and swains, and in their sports delight.

by James Thomson.

May And The Poets

There is May in books forever;
May will part from Spenser never;
May's in Milton, May's in Prior,
May's in Chaucer, Thomson, Dyer;
May's in all the Italian books:--
She has old and modern nooks,
Where she sleeps with nymphs and elves,
In happy places they call shelves,
And will rise and dress your rooms
With a drapery thick with blooms.
Come, ye rains, then if ye will,
May's at home, and with me still;
But come rather, thou, good weather,
And find us in the fields together.

by James Henry Leigh Hunt.

We May Live Together

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay.
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

by Anne Bradstreet.

Fragment Of An Ode To Maia. Written On May Day 1818

Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
May I sing to thee
As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baiae?
Or may I woo thee
In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles
Seek as they once were sought, in Grecian isles,
By bards who died content on pleasant sward,
Leaving great verse unto a little clan?
O give me their old vigour! and unheard
Save of the quiet primrose, and the span
Of heaven, and few ears,
Rounded by thee, my song should die away
Content as theirs,
Rich in the simple worship of a day.

by John Keats.

The First Swallow

The gorse is yellow on the heath,
The banks with speedwell flowers are gay,
The oaks are budding, and, beneath,
The hawthorn soon will bear the wreath,
The silver wreath, of May.

The welcome guest of settled Spring,
The swallow, too, has come at last;
Just at sunset, when thrushes sing,
I saw her dash with rapid wing,
And hailed her as she passed.

Come, summer visitant, attach
To my reed roof your nest of clay,
And let my ear your music catch,
Low twittering underneath the thatch
At the gray dawn of day.

by Charlotte Smith.

The Stream Of Life

Oh silvery streamlet of the fields,
That flowest full and free!
For thee the rains of spring return,
The summer dews for thee;
And when thy latest blossoms die
In autumn's chilly showers,
The winter fountains gush for thee,
Till May brings back the flowers.

Oh Stream of Life! the violet springs
But once beside thy bed;
But one brief summer, on thy path,
The dews of heaven are shed.
Thy parent fountains shrink away,
And close their crystal veins,
And where thy glittering current flowed
The dust alone remains.

by William Cullen Bryant.

The Spring is come, and Spring flowers coming too,
The crocus, patty kay, the rich hearts' ease;
The polyanthus peeps with blebs of dew,
And daisy flowers; the buds swell on the trees;
While oer the odd flowers swim grandfather bees
In the old homestead rests the cottage cow;
The dogs sit on their haunches near the pail,
The least one to the stranger growls 'bow wow,'
Then hurries to the door and cocks his tail,
To knaw the unfinished bone; the placid cow
Looks oer the gate; the thresher's lumping flail
Is all the noise the spring encounters now.

by John Clare.

To The Ladies Who Saw Me Crowned

WHAT is there in the universal Earth
More lovely than a Wreath from the bay tree?
Haply a Halo round the Moon a glee
Circling from three sweet pair of Lips in Mirth;
And haply you will say the dewy birth
Of morning Roses ripplings tenderly
Spread by the Halcyon's breast upon the Sea
But these Comparisons are nothing worth
Then is there nothing in the world so fair?
The silvery tears of April? Youth of May?
Or June that breathes out life for butterflies?
No none of these can from my favourite bear
Away the Palm yet shall it ever pay
Due Reverence to your most sovereign eyes.

by John Keats.

To Amanda - Come, Dear Amanda, Quit The Town

Come, dear Amanda, quit the town,
And to the rural hamlets fly;
Behold! the wintry storms are gone;
A gentle radiance glads the sky.
The birds awake, the flowers appear,
Earth spreads a verdant couch for thee;
'Tis joy and music all we hear,
'Tis love and beauty all we see.
Come, let us mark the gradual spring,
How peeps the bud, the blossom blows;
Till Philomel begins to sing,
And perfect May to swell the rose.
E'en so thy rising charms improve,
As life's warm season grows more bright;
And opening to the sighs of love,
Thy beauties glow with full delight.

by James Thomson.

Bright Be The Place Of Thy Soul!

Bright be the place of thy soul!
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control
In the orbs of the blessed to shine.

On earth thou wert all but divine,
As thy soul shall immortally be;
And our sorrow may cease to repine,
When we know that thy God is with thee.

Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be:
There should not be the shadow of gloom
In aught that reminds us of thee.

Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest:
But nor cypress nor yew let us see;
For why should we mourn for the blest?

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet: When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charactry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love; -- then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

by John Keats.

Sonnet I, Written At Cliefden Spring

Majestic Thames, whose ample current flows,
The wood reflecting in its silver tide,
Which, hanging from the hills that grace thy side,
O'er this clear fount its massy foliage throws;
Here on thy brink my limbs again repose:
Yet though thy waves Augusta's towers divide,
Or by the foot of princely Windsor glide;
Still with more heartfelt joy my bosom glows,
While memory shows by Isis' virgin stream,
Where first I woo'd the witching powers of song,
As wrapt in fancy's sweet delusive dream,
I desultory rov'd her banks along,
Nor ask'd a brighter wreath to grace my theme,
Than humbly grew her willowy shades among.

by Henry James Pye.

Sonnet To The Strawberry

THE Strawberry blooms upon its lowly bed,
Plant of my native soil!--the Lime may fling
More potent fragrance on the zephyr's wing,
The milky Cocoa richer juices shed,
The white Guava lovelier blossoms spread--
But not, like thee, to fond remembrance bring
The vanished hours of life's enchanting spring;
Short calendar of joys for ever fled!
Thou bid'st the scenes of childhood rise to view,
The wild wood-path which fancy loves to trace;
Where, veil'd in leaves, thy fruit of rosy hue
Lurk'd on its pliant stem with modest grace.
But ah! when thought would later years renew,
Alas, successive sorrows crowd the space!

by Helen Maria Williams.

Sonnet Ii, Written At Cliefden Spring

Here from the rifted rock, where boldly rise
The ilex shining with perennial green,
The gloomy pine, the beech's vivid skreen,
Hoar oaks that throw their branches to the skies;
While 'mid the boles the zephyr gently sighs,
And woodbines sweet, and lychen, creep between,
Amid the stillness of the sylvan scene,
Tranquil the silver-bosom'd Naiad lies;
While from her urn the rills redundant glide,
Where his broad flood majestic Thames displays.
Nor thou with haughty look, Imperial Tide,
Upon the clear though scanty tribute gaze;
Ne'er will the powers of Heaven itself deride
The humblest gift the unsullied bosom pays.

by Henry James Pye.

To A Lady, On Being Asked My Reasons For Quitting England In The Spring

When Man, expell'd from Eden's bowers,
A moment linger'd near the gate,
Each scene recall'd the vanish'd hours,
And bade him curse his future fate.

But, wandering on through distant climes,
He learnt to bear his load of grief;
Just gave a sigh to other times,
And found in busier scenes relief.

Thus, lady! will it be with me,
And I must view thy charms no more;
For, while I linger near to thee,
I sigh for ail I knew before.

In flight I shall be surely wise,
Escaping from temptation's snare;
I cannot view my paradise
Without the wish of dwelling there.

December 2, 1808

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet Viii. To Spring

AGAIN the wood and long-withdrawing vale
In many a tint of tender green are drest,
Where the young leaves, unfolding, scarce conceal
Beneath their early shade, the half-form'd nest
Of finch or woodlark; and the primrose pale,
And lavish cowslip, wildly scatter'd round,
Give their sweet spirits to the sighing gale.
Ah! season of delight!--could aught be found
To soothe awhile the tortured bosom's pain,
Of sorrow's rankling shaft to cure the wound,
And bring life's first delusions once again,
'Twere surely met in thee!--thy prospect fair,
Thy sounds of harmony, thy balmy air,
Have power to cure all sadness--but despair.

by Charlotte Smith.

A Spring Sonnet

Last night beneath the mockery of the moon
I heard the sudden startled whisperings
Of wakened birds settling their restless wings;
The North-east brought his word of gladness, "Soon!"
And all the night with wonder was a-swoon.
A soul had breathed into long-dreaming things;
Some unseen hand hovered above the strings:
Some cosmic chord had set the earth in tune.
And when I rose I saw the Bay arrayed
In her grey robe against the coming heat.
A pulse awoke within the stirring street--
The wattle-gold upon the pavements thrown,
And through the quiet of the colonnade
The smoky perfume of boronia blown.

by Arthur Henry Adams.

As A Beam O'Er The Face Of The Waters May Glow

As a beam o'er the face of the waters may glow
While the tide runs in darkness and coldness below,
So the cheek may be tinged with a warm sunny smile,
Though the cold heart to ruin runs darkly the while.

One fatal remembrance, one sorrow that throws
Its bleak shade alike o'er our joys and our woes,
To which life nothing darker or brighter can bring,
For which joy has no balm and affliction no sting --

Oh! this thought in the midst of enjoyment will stay,
Like a dead, leafless branch in the summer's bright ray;
The beams of the warm sun play round it in vain;
It may smile in his light, but it blooms not again.

by Thomas Moore.

To The Author Of A Sonnet, Beginning, '

Thy verse is 'sad' enough, no doubt:
A devilish deal more sad than witty!
Why we should weep I can't find out,
Unless for thee we weep in pity.

Yet there is one I pity more;
And much, alas! I think he needs it;
For he, I'm sure, will suffer sore,
Who, to his own misfortune, reads it.

Thy rhymes, without the aid of magic,
May once be read - but never after:
Yet their effect's by no means tragic,
Although by far too dull for laughter.

But would you make our bosoms bleed,
And of no common pang complain -
If you would make us weep indeed,
Tell us, you'll read them o'er again.

March 8, 1807

by George Gordon Byron.

Written at the close of Spring.

THE garlands fade that Spring so lately wove,
Each simple flower, which she had nursed in dew,
Anemonies, that spangled every grove,
The primrose wan, and hare-bell mildly blue.
No more shall violets linger in the dell,
Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
Till Spring again shall call forth every bell,
And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.-
Ah! poor humanity! so frail, so fair,
Are the fond visions of thy early day,
Till tyrant passion and corrosive care
Bid all thy fairy colours fade away!
Another May new buds and flowers shall bring;
Ah! why has happiness-no second spring?

by Charlotte Smith.

In A Spring Grove

Here the white-ray'd anemone is born,
Wood-sorrel, and the varnish'd buttercup;
And primrose in its purfled green swathed up,
Pallid and sweet round every budding thorn,
Gray ash, and beech with rusty leaves outworn.
Here, too the darting linnet hath her nest
In the blue-lustred holly, never shorn,
Whose partner cheers her little brooding breast,
Piping from some near bough. O simple song!
O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet,
And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng
The vernal world, and unexhausted seas
Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it,
Each and all of these,--and more, and more than these!

by William Allingham.

To A Very Young Lady

Why came I so untimely forth
Into a world which, wanting thee,
Could entertain us with no worth
Or shadow of felicity?
That time should me so far remove
From that which I was born to love.

Yet, fairest blossom, do not slight
That age which you may know so soon;
The rosy morn resigns her light,
And milder glory to the noon:
And then what wonder shall you do,
When dawning beauty warns us so?

Hope waits upon the flowery prime,
And summer, though it be less gay,
Yet is not looked on as a time
Of declination and decay.
For with a full hand that does bring
All that was promised by the spring.

by Edmund Waller.

On A Forenoon Of Spring

I'm glad I am alive, to see and feel
The full deliciousness of this bright day,
That's like a heart with nothing to conceal;
The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue-grey
Rimming the cloudless ether far away;
Brairds, hedges, shadows; mountains that reveal
Soft sapphire; this great floor of polished steel
Spread out amidst the landmarks of the bay.

I stoop in sunshine to our circling net
From the black gunwale; tend these milky kine
Up their rough path; sit by yon cottage-door
Plying the diligent thread; take wings and soar--
O hark how with the season's laureate
Joy culminates in song! If such a song were mine!

by William Allingham.

He, When Young Spring Protrudes The Bursting Gems

He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Into his freshened soul; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows
And not an opening blossom breathes in vain.
In summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave
Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung:
Or what she dictates writes: and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world,
And tempts the sickled swain into the field,
Seiz'd by the general joy, his heart distends
With gentle throes, and through the tepid gleams
Deep-musing, then he best exerts his song.

by James Thomson.

O Thou Breeze Of Spring!

O thou breeze of spring!
Gladdening sea and shore,
Wake the woods to sing,
Streams have felt the sighing
Of thy scented wing,
Let each found replying,
Hail thee, breeze of spring,
Once more!

O'er long-buried flowers
Passing, not in vain,
Odours in soft showers
Thou hast brought again,
Let the primrose greet thee,
Incense forth to meet thee -
Wake my heart no more!
No more!

From a funeral urn
Bower'd in leafy gloom,
soft return
Calls not song or bloom.
Leave my spirit sleeping
Like that silent thing;
Stir the founts of weeping

, O breeze of spring,
No more!

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

These Little Songs

These little Songs,
Found here and there,
Floating in air
By forest and lea,
Or hill-side heather,
In houses and throngs,
Or down by the sea -
Have come together,
How, I can't tell:
But I know full well
No witty goose-wing
On an inkstand begot 'em;
Remember each place
And moment of grace,
In summer or spring,
Winter or autumn
By sun, moon, stars,
Or a coal in the bars,
In market or church,
Graveyard or dance,
When they came without search,
Were found as by chance.
A word, a line,
You may say are mine;
But the best in the songs,
Whatever it be,
To you, and to me,
And to no one belongs.

by William Allingham.

The kiss, dear maid! thy lip has left
Shall never part from mine,
Till happier hours restore the gift
Untainted back to thine.

Thy parting glance, which fondly beams,
An equal love may see:
The tear that from thing eyelid streams
Can weep no change in me.

I ask no pledge to make me blest
In gazing when alone;
Nor one memorial for a breast,
Whose thoughts are all thine own.

Nor need I write to tell the tale
My pen were doubly weak:
Oh! what can idle words avail,
Unless the heart could speak?

By day or night, in weal or woe,
That heart, no longer free,
Must bear the love it cannot show,
And silent ache for thee.

March 1811.

by George Gordon Byron.

Love Lives Beyond The Tomb

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, which fades like dew-
I love the fond,
The faithful, and the true.
Love lies in sleep,
The happiness of healthy dreams,
Eve's dews may weep,
But love delightful seems.
'Tis seen in flowers,
And in the even's pearly dew
On earth's green hours,
And in the heaven's eternal blue.

'Tis heard in spring
When light and sunbeams, warm and kind,
On angels wing
Bring love and music to the wind.
And where is voice
So young, so beautiful, so sweet
As nature's choice,
Where spring and lovers meet?
Love lies beyond
The tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew.
I love the fond,
The faithful, young, and true.

by John Clare.

The Self Banished

It is not that I love you less
Than when before your feet I lay,
But to prevent the sad increase
Of hopeless love, I keep away.

In vain (alas!) for everything
Which I have known belong to you,
Your form does to my fancy bring,
And makes my old wounds bleed anew.

Who in the spring from the new sun
Already has a fever got,
Too late begins those shafts to shun,
Which Phœbus through his veins has shot.

Too late he would the pain assuage,
And to thick shadows does retire;
About with him he bears the rage,
And in his tainted blood the fire.

But vow'd I have, and never must
Your banish'd servant trouble you;
For if I break, you may distrust
The vow I made to love you, too.

by Edmund Waller.

With Wild Flowers To A Sick Friend

Rise from the dells where ye first were born,
From the tangled beds of the weed and thorn,
Rise! for the dews of the morn are bright,
And haste away with your brows of light.--
--Should the green-house patricians with gathering frown,
On your plebian vestures look haughtily down,
Shrink not,--for His finger your heads hath bow'd,
Who heeds the lowly and humbles the proud.--
--The tardy spring, and the frosty sky,
Have meted your robes with a miser's eye,
And check'd the blush of your blossoms free,--
With a gentler friend your home shall be;
To a kinder ear you may tell your tale
Of the zephyr's kiss and the scented vale;--
Ye are charm'd! ye are charm'd! and your fragrant sigh
Is health to the bosom on which ye die.

by Lydia Huntley Sigourney.

The Young May Moon

The young May moon is beaming, love.
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love.
How sweet to rove,
Through Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake! -- the heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear,
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!

Now all the world is sleeping, love,
But the Sage, his star-watch keeping, love,
And I, whose star,
More glorious far,
Is the eye from that casement peeping, love.
Then awake! -- till rise of sun, my dear,
The Sage's glass we'll shun, my dear,
Or, in watching the flight
Of bodies of light,
He might happen to take thee for one, my dear.

by Thomas Moore.

To The Snowdrop

Like pendent flakes of vegetating snow,
The early herald of the infant year,
Ere yet the adventurous crocus dares to blow,
Beneath the orchard boughs thy buds appear.

While still the cold north-east ungenial lours,
And scarce the hazel in the leafless copse,
Or sallows shew their downy powder'd flowers,
The grass is spangled with thy silver drops.

Yet when those pallid blossoms shall give place
To countless tribes, of richer hue and scent,
Summer's gay blooms, and autumn's yellow race,
I shall thy pale inodorous bells lament.

So journeying onward in life's varying track,
Ev'n while warm youth its bright illusion lends,
Fond memory often with regret looks back
To childhood's pleasures, and to infant friends.

by Charlotte Smith.