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So sleeping, so aroused from sleep
Through sunny decades new and strange,
Or gay quinquenniads, would we reap
The flower and quintessence of change.

Ah, yet would I—and would I might!

So much your eyes my fancy takeBe still the first to leap to light,

That I might kiss those eyes awake! For, am I right or am I wrong,

To choose your own you did not care; You'd have my moral from the song,

And I will take my pleasure there : And, am I right or am I wrong,

My fancy, ranging through and through, To search a meaning for the song,

Perforce will still revert to you; Nor finds a closer truth than this

All-graceful head, so richly curled, And evermore a costly kiss,

The prelude to some brighter world.

For since the time when Adam first
Embraced his Eve in happy hour,
And every bird of Eden burst
In carol, every bud to flower,

What eyes, like thine, have wakened hopes? What lips, like thine, so sweetly joined ? Where on the double rosebud droops

The fulness of the pensive mind; Which all too dearly self-involved,

Yet sleeps a dreamless sleep to me;
A sleep by kisses undissolved,

That lets thee neither hear nor see:
But break it. In the name of wife,
And in the rights that name may give,
Are clasped the moral of thy life,

And that for which I care to live.


So, Lady Flora, take my lay,
And, if you find a meaning there,
O whisper to your glass, and say,
"What wonder, if he thinks me fair?"
What wonder I was all unwise,

To shape the song for
your delight,
Like long-tailed birds of Paradise,

That float through Heaven, and cannot light? Or old-world trains, upheld at court By Cupid-boys of blooming hueBut take it earnest wed with sport, And either sacred unto you.


My father left a park to me,
But it is wild and barren,
A garden too with scarce a tree,
And waster than a warren :
Yet say the neighbors when they call,
It is not bad but good land,
And in it is the germ of all

That grows within the woodland.

O had I lived when song was great
In days of old Amphion,

And ta'en my fiddle to the gate,
Nor cared for seed or scion !
And had I lived when song was great,
And legs of trees were limber,
And ta'en my fiddle to the gate,
And fiddled in the timber!

'Tis said he had a tuneful tongue, Such happy intonation,

Wherever he sat down and sung
He left a small plantation;
Wherever in a lonely grove

He set up his forlorn pipes,
The gouty oak began to move,

And flounder into hornpipes.

The mountain stirred its bushy crown,
And, as tradition teaches,
Young ashes pirouetted down,

Coquetting with young beeches;
And briony-vine and ivy-wreath

Ran forward to his rhyming, And from the valleys underneath Came little copses climbing.

The linden broke her ranks and rent

The woodbine wreaths that bind her,
And down the middle buzz! she went
With all her bees behind her:
The poplars, in long order due,
With cypress promenaded,
The shock-head willows two and two
By rivers gallopaded.

Came wet-shod alder from the wave,
Came yews, a dismal coterie;

Each plucked his one foot from the grave, .
Poussetting with a sloe-tree:

Old elms came breaking from the vine,
The vine streamed out to follow,
And, sweating rosin, plumped the pine
From many a cloudy hollow.

And wasn't it a sight to see,
When, ere his song was ended,
Like some great landslip, tree by tree,
The country-side descended;
And shepherds from the mountain-caves

Looked down, half-pleased, half-frightened, As dashed about the drunken leaves The random sunshine lightened!

O, nature first was fresh to men,
And wanton without measure;
So youthful and so flexile then,

You moved her at your pleasure. Twang out, my fiddle! shake the twigs! And make her dance attendance: Blow, flute, and stir the stiff-set sprigs, And scirrhous roots and tendons.

'Tis vain! in such a brassy age

I could not move a thistle; The very sparrows in the hedge

Scarce answer to my whistle;
Or at the most, when three-parts-sick
With strumming and with scraping,
A jackass heehaws from the rick,"
The passive oxen gaping.

But what is that I hear? a sound
Like sleepy counsel pleading:
O Lord!-'tis in my neighbor's ground,
The modern Muses reading.

They read Botanic Treatises,

And Works on Gardening through there, And Methods of transplanting trees, To look as if they grew there.

The withered Misses! how they prose
O'er books of travelled seamen,
And show you slips of all that grows

From England to Van Diemen.
They read in arbors clipt and cut,
And alleys, faded places,
By squares of tropic summer shut,
And warmed in crystal cases.



But these, though fed with careful dirt,
Are neither green nor sappy ;.
Half-conscious of the garden-squirt,
The spindlings look unhappy.
Better to me the meanest weed

That blows upon its mountain, The vilest herb that runs to seed Beside its native fountain.

And I must work through months of toil,
And years of cultivation,
Upon my proper patch of soil,

To grow my own plantation.
I'll take the showers as they fall,
I will not vex my bosom:
Enough, if at the end of all
A little garden blossom.



DEEP on the convent-roof the snows
Are sparkling to the moon:
My breath to heaven like vapor goes:
May my soul follow soon!

The shadows of the convent-towers
Slant down the snowy sward,
Still creeping with the creeping hours
That lead me to my Lord:
Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
As are the frosty skies,
Or this first snowdrop of the year
That in my bosom lies.


As these white robes are soiled and dark, To yonder shining ground;

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