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LADY, would'st thou heiress be

To winter's cold and cruel part? When he sets the rivers free,

Thou dost still lock up thy heart: Thou that should'st outlast the snow, But in the whiteness of thy brow?

Scorn and cold neglect are made

For winter gloom and winter wind; But thou wilt wrong the summer air,

Breathing it to words unkind: Breath which only should belong To love, to sunlight, and to song!

When the little buds unclose,

Red, and white, and pied, and blue; And that virgin flower, the rose,

Opes her heart to hold the dew,— Wilt thou lock thy bosom up With no jewel in its cup?

Let not cold December sit

Thus in love's peculiar throne; Brooklets are not prison'd now,

But crystal frosts are all agone; And that which hangs upon the spray, It is no snow, but flower of May!


SHE stood breast high amid the corn,
Clasp'd by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun
Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripened :—such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell;
But long lashes veil'd a light,
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim ;—
Thus she stood amid the stooks
Praising God with sweetest looks:-

Sure, I said, heav'n did not mean, Where I reap thou should'st but glean; Lay thy sheaf adown and come,

Share my harvest and my home.


SHE'S up and gone, the graceless girl!
And robb'd my failing years;

My blood before was thin and cold,
But now 'tis turn'd to tears:

My shadow falls upon my grave,
So near the brink I stand;
She might have stayed a little yet,
And led me by the hand!

Ay, call her on the barren moor,
And call her on the hill;
'Tis nothing but the heron's cry,
And plovers answer shrill :
My child is flown on wilder wings
Than they have ever spread :
And I may even walk a waste

That widen'd when she fled.

Full many a thankless child has been,But never one like mine;

Her meat was served on plates of gold,
Her drink was rosy wine:

But now she'll share the robin's food,
And sup the common rill,
Before her feet will turn again
To meet her father's will!


I REMEMBER, I remember,

The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun

Came peeping in at morn:
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day;
But now,
I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,

The roses-red and white; The violets and the lily-cups,

Those flowers made of light! The lilacs where the robin built,

And where my brother set, The laburnum on his birth-day,— The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing;
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing:

My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,

And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:

It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy

To know I'm farther off from heav'n
Than when I was a boy.


OH! well may poets make a fuss
In summer time, and sigh, "O rus!"
Of London pleasures sick :

My heart is all at pant to rest
In greenwood shades,—my eyes detest
This endless meal of brick!

What joy have I in June's return?
My feet are parch'd, my eyeballs burn;
I scent no flowery gust:

But faint the flagging zephyr springs,
With dry Macadam on its wings,
And turns me "dust to dust."

My sun his daily course renews
Due east, but with no eastern dews;
The path is dry and hot!

His setting shows more tamely still,
He sinks behind no purple hill,
But down a chimney's pot!

Oh! but to hear the milk-maid blithe,
Or early mower whet his scythe
The dewy meads among!

My grass is of that sort,-alas!

That makes no hay, call'd sparrow-grass By folks of vulgar tongue!

Oh! but to smell the woodbine sweet!
I think of cowslip-cups,—but meet
With very vile rebuffs!

For meadow buds, I get a whiff
Of Cheshire cheese, or only sniff

The turtle made at Cuff's.

How tenderly Rousseau review'd
His periwinkles! mine are strew'd!

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