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A fairy shield your Genius made

And gave you on your natal day. Your sorrow, only sorrow's shade, Keeps real sorrow far away.

You move not in such solitudes,

You are not less divine,

But more human in your moods,

Than your twin-sister, Adeline.

Your hair is darker, and your eyes

Touch'd with a somewhat darker hue,

And less aërially blue,

But ever trembling thro' the dew

Of dainty-woeful sympathies.


O sweet pale Margaret,

O rare pale Margaret,

Come down, come down, and hear me speak:

Tie up the ringlets on your cheek:

The sun is just about to set,

The arching limes are tall and shady,
And faint, rainy lights are seen,

Moving in the leavy beech.

Rise from the feast of sorrow, lady,

Where all day long you sit between

Joy and woe, and whisper each

Or only look across the lawn,

Look out below your bower-eaves,

Look down, and let your blue eyes dawn

Upon me thro' the jasmine-leaves.

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I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground,

Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell.

The espaliers and the standards all

Are thine; the range of lawn and park:

The unnetted black-hearts ripen dark,

All thine, against the garden wall.

Yet, tho' I spared thee all the spring,

Thy sole delight is, sitting still,

With that cold dagger of thy bill

To fret the summer jenneting.

A golden bill! the silver tongue,

Cold February loved, is dry :

Plenty corrupts the melody

That made thee famous once, when

And in the sultry garden-squares,


Now thy flute-notes are changed to coarse,

I hear thee not at all, or hoarse

As when a hawker hawks his wares.

Take warning! he that will not sing
While yon sun prospers in the blue,
Shall sing for want, ere leaves are new,

Caught in the frozen palms of Spring.

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And tread softly and speak low,

For the old year lies a-dying.

Old year, you must not die;

You came to us so readily,

You lived with us so steadily,

Old year, you shall not die.

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