The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2
Burton Egbert Stevenson

Part 11 out of 18

Wi' soul that still shall love thee,
I'll ask o' Heaven thy safe return,
Wi' a' that can improve thee.
I'll visit aft the birken bush
Where first thou kindly tauld me
Sweet tales o' love, and hid my blush,
Whilst round thou didst infauld me.

To a' our haunts I will repair,
By greenwood, shaw, or fountain,
Or where the summer day I'd share
Wi' thee upon yon mountain:
There will I tell the trees an' flooers,
From thoughts unfeigned an' tender;
By vows you're mine, by love is yours
A heart that cannot wander.

Allan Ramsay [1686-1758]


Farewell to Lochaber, an' farewell my Jean,
Where heartsome wi' thee I hae mony day been;
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more!
We'll maybe return to Lochaber no more!
These tears that I shed, they are a' for my dear,
An' no for the dangers attending on weir,
Though borne on rough seas to a far bloody shore,
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more.

Though hurricanes rise, an' rise every wind,
They'll ne'er mak' a tempest like that in my mind;
Though loudest o' thunders on louder waves roar,
That's naething like leaving my love on the shore.
To leave thee behind me my heart is sair pained;
By ease that's inglorious no fame can be gained;
An' beauty an' love's the reward o' the brave,
An' I must deserve it before I can crave.

Then glory, my Jeanie, maun plead my excuse;
Since honor commands me, how can I refuse?
Without it I ne'er can have merit for thee,
An' without thy favor I'd better not be,
I gae, then, my lass, to win honor an' fame,
An' if I should luck to come gloriously hame,
I'll bring a heart to thee wi' love running o'er,
An' then I'll leave thee an' Lochaber no more.

Allan Ramsay [1686-1758]


"Wharefore sou'd ye talk o' love,
Unless it be to pain us?
Wharefore sou'd ye talk o' love
Whan ye say the sea maun twain us?"

"It's no because my love is light,
Nor for your angry deddy;
It's a' to buy ye pearlins bright,
An' to busk ye like a leddy."

"O Willy, I can caird an' spin,
Sae ne'er can want for cleedin';
An' gin I hae my Willy's heart,
I hae a' the pearls I'm heedin'.

"Will it be time to praise this cheek
Whan years an' tears hae blenched it?
Will it be time to talk o' love
Whan cauld an' care hae quenched it?"

He's laid ae han' about her waist -
The ither's held to heaven;
An' his luik was like the luik o' man
Wha's heart in twa is riven.

Hew Ainslie [1792-1878]


With leaden foot Time creeps along
While Delia is away:
With her, nor plaintive was the song,
Nor tedious was the day.

Ah, envious Power! reverse my doom;
Now double thy career,
Strain every nerve, stretch every plume,
And rest them when she's here!

Richard Jago [1715-1781]


My mother bids me bind my hair
With bands of rosy hue;
Tie up my sleeves with ribbons rare,
And lace my bodice blue!

"For why," she cries, "sit still and weep,
While others dance and play?"
Alas! I scarce can go, or creep,
While Lubin is away!

'Tis sad to think the days are gone
When those we love were near!
I sit upon this mossy stone,
And sigh when none can hear:

And while I spin my flaxen thread,
And sing my simple lay,
The village seems asleep, or dead,
Now Lubin is away!

Anne Hunter [1742-1821]


Blow high, blow low! let tempest tear
The mainmast by the board!
My heart (with thoughts of thee, my dear!
And love well stored)
Shall brave all danger, scorn all fear,
The roaring wind, the raging sea,
In hopes, on shore,
To be once more
Safe moored with thee.

Aloft, while mountain-high we go,
The whistling winds that scud along,
And the surge roaring from below,
Shall my signal be
To think on thee.
And this shall be my Song,
Blow high, blow low! let tempest tear. . . .

And on that night (when all the crew
The memory of their former lives,
O'er flowing cans of flip renew,
And drink their sweethearts and their wives),
I'll heave a sigh,
And think of thee.
And, as the ship toils through the sea,
The burden of my Song shall be,
Blow high, blow low! let tempest tear. . . .

Charles Dibdin [1745-1814]


"And ye sall walk in silk attire,
And siller ha'e to spare,
Gin ye'll consent to be his bride,
Nor think o' Donald mair."

Oh, wha wad buy a silken goun
Wi' a puir broken heart?
Or what's to me a siller croun,
Gin' frae my luve I part?

The mind wha's every wish is pure
Far dearer is to me;
And ere I'm forced to break my faith,
I'll lay me doun and dee.

For I ha'e pledged my virgin troth
Brave Donald's fate to share;
And he has gi'en to me his heart,
Wi' a' its virtues rare.

His gentle manners wan my heart,
He gratefu' took the gift;
Could I but think to tak' it back,
It wad be waur than theft.

For langest life can ne'er repay
The love he bears to me;
And ere I'm forced to break my troth
I'll lay me doun and dee.

Susanna Blamire [1747-1794]


Now in her green mantle blithe Nature arrays,
An' listens the lambkins that bleat o'er the braes,
While birds warble welcome in ilka green shaw;
But to me it's delightless - my Nannie's awa'.

The snaw-drap an' primrose our woodlands adorn,
An' violets bathe in the weet o' the morn;
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw,
They mind me o' Nannie - an' Nannie's awa'.

Thou laverock that springs frae the dews of the lawn,
The shepherd to warn o' the gray-breaking dawn,
An' thou mellow mavis that hails the night-fa',
Give over for pity - my Nannie's awa'.

Come, autumn, sae pensive, in yellow an' gray,
An' soothe me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay;
The dark, dreary winter, an' wild-driving snaw
Alane can delight me - now Nannie's awa'.

Robert Burns [1759-1796]


Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him
While the star of Hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met, or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Robert Burns [1759-1796]


The day returns, my bosom burns,
The blissful day we twa did meet;
Though winter wild in tempest toiled,
Ne'er summer sun was half sae sweet.
Than a' the pride that loads the tide,
And crosses o'er the sultry line, -
Than kingly robes, and crowns and globes,
Heaven gave me more, - it made thee mine.

While day and night can bring delight.
Or Nature aught of pleasure give, -
While joys above my mind can move,
For thee, and thee alone, I live.
When that grim foe of life below
Comes in between to make us part,
The iron hand that breaks our band,
It breaks my bliss, - it breaks my heart.

Robert Burns [1759-1796]


Go fetch to me a pint o' wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie,
That I may drink, before I go,
A service to my bonnie lassie.
The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith,
Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the ferry,
The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
And I maun leave my bonnie Mary.

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The glittering spears are ranked ready;
The shouts o' war are heard afar,
The battle closes thick and bloody;
But it's no the roar o' sea or shore
Wad mak me langer wish to tarry;
Nor shout o' war that's heard afar -
It's leaving thee, my bonnie Mary!

Robert Burns [1759-1796]


O, my luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O, my luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only luve!
And fare-thee-weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

Robert Burns [1759-1796]


Of a' the airts the wind can blaw
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill between;
But day and night my fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green,
There's not a bonnie bird that sings
But minds me o' my Jean.

O blaw ye westlin winds, blaw saft
Amang the leafy trees;
Wi' balmy gale, frae hill and dale
Bring hame the laden bees;
And bring the lassie back to me
That's aye sae neat and clean;
Ae smile o' her wad banish care,
Sae charming is my Jean.

What sighs and vows amang the knowes
Hae passed atween us twa!
How fond to meet, how wae to part
That night she gaed awa!
The Powers aboon can only ken
To whom the heart is seen,
That nane can be sae dear to me
As my sweet lovely Jean!

The first two stanzas by Robert Burns [1759-1796]
The last two by John Hamilton [1761-1814]

From "Rokeby"

"A weary lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,
A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green -
No more of me ye knew,
My Love!
No more of me ye knew.

"This morn is merry June, I trow,
The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
Ere we two meet again."
- He turned his charger as he spake
Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,
Said "Adieu for evermore,
My Love!
And adieu for evermore."

Walter Scott [1771-1832]


"Loudoun's bonnie woods and braes,
I maun lea' them a', lassie;
Wha can thole when Britain's faes
Wad gi'e Britons law, lassie?
Wha wad shun the field o' danger?
Wha frae fame wad live a stranger?
Now when freedom bids avenge her,
Wha wad shun her ca', lassie?
Loudoun's bonnie woods and braes
Hae seen our happy bridal days,
And gentle Hope shall soothe thy waes
When I am far awa', lassie."

"Hark! the swelling bugle sings,
Yielding joy to thee, laddie,
But the dolefu' bugle brings
Waefu' thoughts to me, laddie.
Lanely I maun climb the mountain,
Lanely stray beside the fountain,
Still the weary moments countin',
Far frae love and thee, laddie.
O'er the gory fields of war,
When Vengeance drives his crimson car,
Thou'lt maybe fa', frae me afar,
And nane to close thy e'e, laddie."

"O! resume thy wonted smile!
O! suppress thy fears, lassie!
Glorious honor crowns the toil
That the soldier shares, lassie;
Heaven will shield thy faithful lover
Till the vengeful strife is over;
Then we'll meet nae mair to sever;
Till the day we dee, lassie.
'Midst our bonnie woods and braes
We'll spend our peaceful, happy days,
As blithe's yon lightsome lamb that plays
On Loudoun's flowery lea, lassie."

Robert Tannahill [1774-1810]


Fare thee well and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well:
Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.

Would that breast were bared before thee
Where thy head so oft hath lain,
While that placid sleep came o'er thee
Which thou ne'er canst know again:

Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Every inmost thought could show!
Then thou wouldst at last discover
'Twas not well to spurn it so.

Though the world for this commend thee, -
Though it smile upon the blow,
Even its praises must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe:

Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found
Than the one which once embraced me,
To inflict a cureless wound?

Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not;
Love may sink by slow decay,
But by sudden wrench, believe not
Hearts can thus be torn away:

Still thine own its life retaineth; -
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
And the undying thought which paineth
Is - that we no more may meet.

These are words of deeper sorrow
Than the wail above the dead;
Both shall live, but every morrow
Wake us from a widowed bed.

And when thou wouldst solace gather,
When our child's first accents flow,
Wilt thou teach her to say "Father!"
Though his care she must forego?

When her little hands shall press thee,
When her lip to thine is pressed,
Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,
Think of him thy love had blessed!

Should her lineaments resemble
Those thou nevermore may'st see,
Then thy heart will softly tremble
With a pulse yet true to me.

All my faults perchance thou knowest,
All my madness none can know;
All my hopes, where'er thou goest,
Whither, yet with thee they go.

Every feeling hath been shaken;
Pride, which not a world could bow,
Bows to thee, - by thee forsaken,
Even my soul forsakes me now:

But 'tis done, - all words are idle, -
Words from me are vainer still;
But the thoughts we cannot bridle
Force their way without the will.

Fare thee well! - thus disunited,
Torn from every nearer tie,
Seared in heart, and lone, and blighted,
More than this I scarce can die.

George Gordon Byron [1788-1824]


Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh, give me back my heart!
Or, since that has left my breast,
Keep it now, and take the rest!
Hear my vow before I go,
Zoe mou, sas agapo. (My life, I love you.)

By those tresses unconfined,
Wooed by each Aegean wind;
By those lids whose jetty fringe
Kiss thy soft cheeks' blooming tinge;
By those wild eyes like the roe,
Zoe mou, sas agapo. (My life, I love you.)

By that lip I long to taste;
By that zone-encircled waist;
By all the token-flowers that tell
What words can never speak so well;
By love's alternate joy and woe,
Zoe mou, sas agapo. (My life, I love you.)

Maid of Athens! I am gone:
Think of me, sweet! when alone.
Though I fly to Istambol,
Athens holds my heart and soul:
Can I cease to love thee? No!
Zoe mou, sas agapo. (My life, I love you.)

George Gordon Byron [1788-1824]


When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this!

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow;
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me -
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met:
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? -
With silence and tears.

George Gordon Byron [1788-1824]


Go, forget me! Why should sorrow
O'er that brow a shadow fling?
Go, forget me, - and to-morrow
Brightly smile and sweetly sing.
Smile - though I shall not be near thee.
Sing - though I shall never hear thee.
May thy soul with pleasure shine,
Lasting as the gloom of mine.

Like the sun, thy presence glowing
Clothes the meanest things in light;
And when thou, like him, art going,
Loveliest objects fade in night.
All things looked so bright about thee,
That they nothing seem without thee;
By that pure and lucid mind
Earthly things are too refined.

Go, thou vision, wildly gleaming,
Softly on my soul that fell;
Go, for me no longer beaming -
Hope and Beauty, fare ye well!
Go, and all that once delighted
Take - and leave me, all benighted,
Glory's burning, generous swell,
Fancy, and the poet's shell.

Charles Wolfe [1791-1823]


I sat with one I love last night,
She sang to me an olden strain;
In former times it woke delight,
Last night - but pain.

Last night we saw the stars arise,
But clouds soon dimmed the ether blue:
And when we sought each other's eyes
Tears dimmed them too!

We paced along our favorite walk,
But paced in silence broken-hearted:
Of old we used to smile and talk;
Last night - we parted.

George Darley [1795-1846]


Let time and chance combine, combine,
Let time and chance combine;
The fairest love from heaven above,
That love of yours was mine,
My dear,
That love of yours was mine.

The past is fled and gone, and gone,
The past is fled and gone;
If naught but pain to me remain,
I'll fare in memory on,
My dear,
I'll fare in memory on.

The saddest tears must fall, must fall,
The saddest tears must fall;
In weal or woe, in this world below,
I love you ever and all,
My dear,
I love you ever and all.

A long road full of pain, of pain,
A long road full of pain;
One soul, one heart, sworn ne'er to part, -
We ne'er can meet again,
My dear,
We ne'er can meet again.

Hard fate will not allow, allow,
Hard fate will not allow;
We blessed were as the angels are, -
Adieu forever now,
My dear,
Adieu forever now.

Thomas Carlyle [1795-1881]


I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
Through mony a weary way;
But never, never can forget
The luve o' life's young day!
The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en,
May weel be black gin Yule;
But blacker fa' awaits the heart
Where first fond luve grows cule.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
The thochts o' bygane years
Still fling their shadows owre my path,
And blind my een wi' tears:
They blind my een wi' saut, saut tears;
And sair and sick I pine,
As Memory idly summons up
The blithe blinks o' langsyne.

'Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel,
'Twas then we twa did part;
Sweet time, sad time! - twa bairns at schule,
Twa bairns, and but ae heart!
'Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink,
To leir ilk ither lear;
And tones, and looks, and smiles were shed,
Remembered evermair.

I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet,
When sitting on that bink,
Cheek touchin' cheek, loof locked in loof,
What our wee heads could think!
When baith bent doun owre ae braid page,
Wi' ae buik on our knee,
Thy lips were on thy lesson, but
My lesson was in thee.

Oh, mind ye how we hung our heads,
How cheeks brent red wi' shame,
Whene'er the schule-weans, laughin', said,
We cleek'd thegither hame?
And mind ye o' the Saturdays
(The schule then skail't at noon),
When we ran aff to speel the braes -
The broomy braes o' June?

My head rins round and round about,
My heart flows like a sea,
As, ane by ane, the thochts rush back
O' schule-time and o' thee.
Oh, mornin' life! Oh, mornin' luve!
Oh, lichtsome days and lang,
When hinnied hopes around our hearts,
Like simmer blossoms, sprang!

Oh, mind ye, luve, how aft we left
The deavin' dinsome toun,
To wander by the green burnside,
And hear its waters croon?
The simmer leaves hung owre our heads,
The flowers burst round our feet,
And in the gloamin' o' the wud
The throssil whusslit sweet.

The throssil whusslit in the wud,
The burn sung to the trees,
And we, with Nature's heart in tune,
Concerted harmonies;
And on the knowe abune the burn
For hours thegither sat
In the silentness o' joy, till baith
Wi' very gladness grat.

Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Tears trinkled doun your cheek,
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane
Had ony power to speak!
That was a time, a blessed time,
When hearts were fresh and young,
When freely gushed all feelings forth,
Unsyllabled - unsung!

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,
Gin I hae been to thee
As closely twined wi' earliest thochts
As ye hae been to me?
Oh! tell me gin their music fills
Thine ear as it does mine;
Oh! say gin e'er your heart grows great
Wi' dreamings o' langsyne?

I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
I've borne a weary lot;
But in my wanderings, far or near,
Ye never were forgot.
The fount that first burst frae this heart,
Still travels on its way;
And channels deeper as it rins
The luve o' life's young day.

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
Since we were sindered young,
I've never seen your face, nor heard
The music o' your tongue;
But I could hug all wretchedness,
And happy could I dee,
Did I but ken your heart still dreamed
O' bygane days and me!

William Motherwell [1797-1835]


Would I were on the sea-lands,
Where winds know how to sting;
And in the rocks at midnight
The lost long murmurs sing.

Would I were with my first love
To hear the rush and roar
Of spume below the doorstep
And winds upon the door.

My first love was a fair girl
With ways forever new;
And hair a sunlight yellow,
And eyes a morning blue.

The roses, have they tarried
Or are they dun and frayed?
If we had stayed together,
Would love, indeed, have stayed?

Ah, years are filled with learning,
And days are leaves of change!
And I have met so many
I knew . . . and found them strange.

But on the sea-lands tumbled
By winds that sting and blind,
The nights we watched, so silent,
Come back, come back to mind . . .

I mind about my first love,
And hear the rush and roar
Of spume below the doorstep
And winds upon the door.

Orrick Johns [1887-


O saw ye not fair Ines?
She's gone into the West,
To dazzle when the sun is down,
And rob the world of rest:
She took our daylight with her,
The smiles that we love best,
With morning blushes on her cheek,
And pearls upon her breast.

O turn again, fair Ines,
Before the fall of night,
For fear the Moon should shine alone,
And stars unrivaled bright;
And blessed will the lover be
That walks beneath their light,
And breathes the love against thy cheek
I dare not even write!

Would I had been, fair Ines,
That gallant cavalier,
Who rode so gaily by thy side,
And whispered thee so near!
Were there no bonny dames at home,
Or no true lovers here,
That he should cross the seas to win
The dearest of the dear?

I saw thee, lovely Ines,
Descend along the shore,
With bands of noble gentlemen,
And banners waved before;
And gentle youth and maidens gay,
And snowy plumes they wore:
It would have been a beauteous dream, -
If it had been no more!

Alas, alas! fair Ines,
She went away with song,
With Music waiting on her steps,
And shoutings of the throng;
But some were sad, and felt no mirth,
But only Music's wrong,
In sounds that sang Farewell, farewell,
To her you've loved so long.

Farewell, farewell, fair Ines!
That vessel never bore
So fair a lady on its deck,
Nor danced so light before, -
Alas for pleasure on the sea,
And sorrow on the shore!
The smile that blessed one lover's heart
Has broken many more!

Thomas Hood [1799-1845]


God be with thee, my beloved, - God be with thee!
Else alone thou goest forth,
Thy face unto the north,
Moor and pleasance all around thee and beneath thee
Looking equal in one snow;
While I, who try to reach thee,
Vainly follow, vainly follow
With the farewell and the hollo,
And cannot reach thee so.
Alas, I can but teach thee!
God be with thee, my beloved, - God be with thee!

Can I teach thee, my beloved, - can I teach thee?
If I said, "Go left or right,"
The counsel would be light,
The wisdom, poor of all that could enrich thee;
My right would show like left;
My raising would depress thee,
My choice of light would blind thee,
Of way - would leave behind thee,
Of end - would leave bereft.
Alas, I can but bless thee!
May God teach thee, my beloved, - may God teach thee!

Can I bless thee, my beloved, - can I bless thee?
What blessing word can I
From mine own tears keep dry?
What flowers grow in my field wherewith to dress thee?
My good reverts to ill;
My calmnesses would move thee,
My softnesses would prick thee,
My bindings up would break thee,
My crownings curse and kill.
Alas, I can but love thee!
May God bless thee, my beloved, - may God bless thee!

Can I love thee, my beloved, - can I love thee?
And is this like love, to stand
With no help in my hand,
When strong as death I fain would watch above thee?
My love-kiss can deny
No tear that falls beneath it;
Mine oath of love can swear thee
From no ill that comes near thee,
And thou diest while I breathe it,
And I - I can but die!
May God love thee, my beloved, - may God love thee!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning [1806-1861]


Thou goest; to what distant place
Wilt thou thy sunlight carry?
I stay with cold and clouded face:
How long am I to tarry?
Where'er thou goest, morn will be;
Thou leavest night and gloom to me.

The night and gloom I can but take;
I do not grudge thy splendor:
Bid souls of eager men awake;
Be kind and bright and tender.
Give day to other worlds; for me
It must suffice to dream of thee.

John Addington Symonds [1840-1893]


I do not love thee! - no! I do not love thee!
And yet when thou art absent I am sad;
And envy even the bright blue sky above thee,
Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.

I do not love thee! - yet, I know not why,
Whate'er thou dost seems still well done, to me:
And often in my solitude I sigh
That those I do love are not more like thee!

I do not love thee! - yet, when thou art gone,
I hate the sound (though those who speak be near)
Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.

I do not love thee! - yet thy speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue,
Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.

I know I do not love thee! - yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
And oft I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where thou art.

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton [1808-1870]


Beneath an Indian palm a girl
Of other blood reposes,
Her cheek is clear and pale as pearl,
Amid that wild of roses.

Beside a northern pine a boy
Is leaning fancy-bound,
Nor listens where with noisy joy
Awaits the impatient hound.

Cool grows the sick and feverish calm, -
Relaxed the frosty twine, -
The pine-tree dreameth of the palm,
The palm-tree of the pine.

As soon shall nature interlace
Those dimly-visioned boughs,
As these young lovers face to face
Renew their early vows!

Richard Monckton Milnes [1809-1885]

From "The Princess"

O Swallow, Swallow, flying, flying South,
Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves,
And tell her, tell her what I tell to thee.

O, tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each,
That bright and fierce and fickle is the South,
And dark and true and tender is the North.

O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light
Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill,
And cheep and twitter twenty million loves.

O, were I thou that she might take me in,
And lay me on her bosom, and her heart
Would rock the snowy cradle till I died!

Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love,
Delaying as the tender ash delays
To clothe herself, when all the woods are green?

O, tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown;
Say to her, I do but wanton in the South,
But in the North long since my nest is made.

O, tell her, brief is life but love is long,
And brief the sun of summer in the North,
And brief the moon of beauty in the South.

O Swallow, flying from the golden woods,
Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine,
And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.

Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]


Here's the garden she walked across,
Arm in my arm, such a short while since:
Hark, now I push its wicket, the moss
Hinders the hinges and makes them wince!
She must have reached this shrub ere she turned,
As back with that murmur the wicket swung;
For she laid the poor snail, my chance foot spurned,
To feed and forget it the leaves among.

Down this side of the gravel-walk
She went while her robe's edge brushed the box:
And here she paused in her gracious talk
To point me a moth on the milk-white phlox.
Roses, ranged in valiant row,
I will never think that she passed you by!
She loves you, noble roses, I know;
But yonder see where the rock-plants lie!

This flower she stopped at, finger on lip,
Stooped over, in doubt, as settling its claim;
Till she gave me, with pride to make no slip,
Its soft meandering Spanish name:
What a name! Was it love or praise?
Speech half-asleep, or song half-awake?
I must learn Spanish, one of these days,
Only for that slow sweet name's sake.

Roses, if I live and do well,
I may bring her, one of these days,
To fix you fast with as fine a spell,
Fit you each with his Spanish phrase:
But do not detain me now; for she lingers
There, like sunshine over the ground,
And ever I see her soft white fingers
Searching after the bud she found.

Flower, you Spaniard, look that you grow not,
Stay as you are and be loved forever!
Bud, if I kiss you, 'tis that you blow not,
Mind, the shut pink mouth opens never!
For while it pouts, her fingers wrestle,
Twinkling the audacious leaves between,
Till round they turn, and down they nestle -
Is not the dear mark still to be seen?

Where I find her not, beauties vanish;
Whither I follow her, beauties flee;
Is there no method to tell her in Spanish
June's twice June since she breathed it with me?
Come, bud, show me the least of her traces,
Treasure my lady's lightest footfall!
- Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces, -
Roses, you are not so fair after all!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]


Yes: in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.

But when the moon their hollows lights,
And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour;

O then a longing like despair
Is to their farthest caverns sent!
For surely once, they feel, we were
Parts of a single continent.
Now round us spreads the watery plain -
O might our marges meet again!

Who ordered that their longing's fire
Should be, as soon as kindled, cooled?
Who renders vain their deep desire? -
A God, a God their severance ruled;
And bade betwixt their shores to be
The unplumbed, salt, estranging sea.

Matthew Arnold [1822-1888]


Stop! - not to me, at this bitter departing,
Speak of the sure consolations of time!
Fresh be the wound, still-renewed be its smarting,
So but thy image endure in its prime.

But, if the steadfast commandment of Nature
Wills that remembrance should always decay -
If the loved form and the deep-cherished feature
Must, when unseen, from the soul fade away -

Me let no half-effaced memories cumber!
Fled, fled at once, be all vestige of thee!
Deep be the darkness and still be the slumber -
Dead be the past and its phantoms to me!

Then, when we meet, and thy look strays towards me,
Scanning my face and the changes wrought there:
Who, let me say, is this stranger regards me,
With the gray eyes, and the lovely brown hair?

Matthew Arnold [1822-1888]


Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth;
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say: My love! why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day

Matthew Arnold [1822-1888]


An empty sky, a world of heather,
Purple of foxglove, yellow of broom;
We two among them wading together,
Shaking out honey, treading perfume.

Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet.

Flusheth the rise with her purple favor,
Gloweth the cleft with her golden ring,
'Twixt the two brown butterflies waver,
Lightly settle, and sleepily swing.

We two walk till the purple dieth,
And short dry grass under foot is brown,
But one little streak at a distance lieth
Green like a ribbon to prank the down.

Over the grass we stepped unto it,
And God He knoweth how blithe we were!
Never a voice to bid us eschew it:
Hey the green ribbon that showed so fair!

Hey the green ribbon! we kneeled beside it,
We parted the grasses dewy and sheen:
Drop over drop there filtered and slided
A tiny bright beck that trickled between.

Tinkle, tinkle, sweetly it sung to us,
Light was our talk as of fairy bells; -
Fairy wedding-bells faintly rung to us
Down in their fortunate parallels.

Hand in hand, while the sun peered over,
We lapped the grass on that youngling spring;
Swept back its rushes, smoothed its clover,
And said, "Let us follow it westering."

A dappled sky, a world of meadows,
Circling above us the black rooks fly
Forward, backward; lo their dark shadows
Flit on the blossoming tapestry; -

Flit on the beck; for her long grass parteth
As hair from a maid's bright eyes blown back:
And, lo, the sun like a lover darteth
His flattering smile on her wayward track.

Sing on! we sing in the glorious weather
Till one steps over the tiny strand,
So narrow, in sooth, that still together
On either brink we go hand in hand.

The beck grows wider, the hands must sever.
On either margin, our songs all done,
We move apart, while she singeth ever,
Taking the course of the stooping sun.

He prays, "Come over," - I may not follow;
I cry, "Return," - but he cannot come:
We speak, we laugh, but with voices hollow;
Our hands are hanging, our hearts are numb.

A breathing sigh, a sigh for answer,
A little talking of outward things:
The careless beck is a merry dancer,
Keeping sweet time to the air she sings.

A little pain when the beck grows wider;
"Cross to me now; for her wavelets swell";
"I may not cross," - and the voice beside her
Faintly reacheth, though heeded well.

No backward path; ah! no returning;
No second crossing that ripple's flow:
"Come to me now, for the west is burning;
Come ere it darkens. - Ah, no! ah, no!"

Then cries of pain, and arms outreaching, -
The beck grows wider and swift and deep:
Passionate words as of one beseeching:
The loud beck drowns them: we walk, and weep.

A yellow moon in splendor drooping,
A tired queen with her state oppressed,
Low by rushes and swordgrass stooping,
Lies she soft on the waves at rest.

The desert heavens have felt her sadness;
Her earth will weep her some dewy tears;
The wild beck ends her tune of gladness,
And goeth stilly as soul that fears.

We two walk on in our grassy places
On either marge of the moonlit flood,
With the moon's own sadness in our faces,
Where joy is withered, blossom and bud.

A shady freshness, chafers whirring;
A little piping of leaf-hid birds;
A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring;
A cloud to the eastward snowy as curds.

Bare grassy slopes, where kids are tethered,
Round valleys like nests all ferny-lined,
Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,
Swell high in their freckled robes behind.

A rose-flush tender, a thrill, a quiver,
When golden gleams to the tree-tops glide;
A flashing edge for the milk-white river,
The beck, a river - with still sleek tide.

Broad and white, and polished as silver,
On she goes under fruit-laden trees:
Sunk in leafage cooeth the culver,
And 'plaineth of love's disloyalties.

Glitters the dew, and shines the river,
Up comes the lily and dries her bell;
But two are walking apart forever,
And wave their hands for a mute farewell.

A braver swell, a swifter sliding;
The river hasteth, her banks recede.
Wing-like sails on her bosom gliding
Bear down the lily, and drown the reed.

Stately prows are rising and bowing
(Shouts of mariners winnow the air),
And level sands for banks endowing
The tiny green ribbon that showed so fair.

While, O my heart! as white sails shiver,
And clouds are passing, and banks stretch wide,
How hard to follow, with lips that quiver,
That moving speck on the far-off side.

Farther, farther; I see it, know it -
My eyes brim over, it melts away:
Only my heart to my heart shall show it
As I walk desolate day by day.

And yet I know past all doubting, truly, -
A knowledge greater than grief can dim, -
I know, as he loved, he will love me duly, -
Yea, better, e'en better than I love him.

And as I walk by the vast calm river,
The awful river so dread to see,
I say, "Thy breadth and thy depth forever
Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me."

Jean Ingelow [1820-1897]


The pines were dark on Ramoth hill,
Their song was soft and low;
The blossoms in the sweet May wind
Were falling like the snow.

The blossoms drifted at our feet,
The orchard birds sang clear;
The sweetest and the saddest day
It seemed of all the year.

For, more to me than birds or flowers,
My playmate left her home,
And took with her the laughing spring,
The music and the bloom.

She kissed the lips of kith and kin,
She laid her hand in mine:
What more could ask the bashful boy
Who fed her father's kine?

She left us in the bloom of May:
The constant years told o'er
Their seasons with as sweet May morns,
But she came back no more.

I walk, with noiseless feet, the round
Of uneventful years;
Still o'er and o'er I sow the spring
And reap the autumn ears.

She lives where all the golden year
Her summer roses blow;
The dusky children of the sun
Before her come and go.

There haply with her jeweled hands
She smooths her silken gown, -
No more the homespun lap wherein
I shook the walnuts down.

The wild grapes wait us by the brook,
The brown nuts on the hill,
And still the May-day flowers make sweet
The woods of Follymill.

The lilies blossom in the pond,
The bird builds in the tree,
The dark pines sing on Ramoth hill
The slow song of the sea.

I wonder if she thinks of them,
And how the old time seems, -
If ever the pines of Ramoth wood
Are sounding in her dreams.

I see her face, I hear her voice:
Does she remember mine?
And what to her is now the boy
Who fed her father's kine?

What cares she that the orioles build
For other eyes than ours, -
That other laps with nuts are filled,
And other hands with flowers?

O playmate in the golden time!
Our mossy seat is green,
Its fringing violets blossom yet,
The old trees o'er it lean.

The winds so sweet with birch and fern
A sweeter memory blow;
And there in spring the veeries sing
The song of long ago.

And still the pines of Ramoth wood
Are moaning like the sea, -
The moaning of the sea of change
Between myself and thee!

John Greenleaf Whittier [1807-1892]


With all my will, but much against my heart,
We two now part.
My Very Dear,
Our solace is, the sad road lies so clear.
It needs no art,
With faint, averted feet
And many a tear,
In our opposed paths to persevere.
Go thou to East, I West.
We will not say
There's any hope, it is so far away.
But, O, my Best,
When the one darling of our widowhead,
The nursling Grief
Is dead,
And no dews blur our eyes
To see the peach-bloom come in evening skies,
Perchance we may,
Where now this night is day,
And even through faith of still averted feet,
Making full circle of our banishment,
Amazed meet;
The bitter journey to the bourne so sweet
Seasoning the termless feast of our content
With tears of recognition never dry.

Coventry Patmore [1823-1896]


It was not like your great and gracious ways!
Do you, that have naught other to lament,
Never, my Love, repent
Of how, that July afternoon,
You went,
With sudden, unintelligible phrase,
And frightened eye,
Upon your journey of so many days
Without a single kiss, or a good-bye?
I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon;
And so we sate, within the low sun's rays,
You whispering to me, for your voice was weak,
Your harrowing praise.
Well, it was well
To hear you such things speak,
And I could tell
What made your eyes a glowing gloom of love,
As a warm South-wind sombers a March grove.

And it was like your great and gracious ways
To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear,
Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash
To let the laughter flash,
Whilst I drew near,
Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear.
But all at once to leave me at the last,
More at the wonder than the loss aghast,
With huddled, unintelligible phrase,
And frightened eye,
And go your journey of all days
With not one kiss, or a good-bye,
And the only loveless look the look with which you passed:
'Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways.

Coventry Patmore [1823-1896]


My dear, the time has come to say
Farewell to London town,
Farewell to each familiar street,
The room where we looked down
Upon the people going by,
The river flowing fast:
The innumerable shine of lamps,
The bridges and - our past.

Our past of London days and nights,
When every night we dreamed
Of Love and Art and Happiness,
And every day it seemed
Ah! little room, you held my life,
In you I found my all;
A white hand on the mantelpiece,
A shadow on the wall.

My dear, what dinners we have had,
What cigarettes and wine
In faded corners of Soho,
Your fingers touching mine!
And now the time has come to say
Farewell to London town;
The prologue of our play is done,
So ring the curtain down.

There lies a crowded life ahead
In field and sleepy lane,
A fairer picture than we saw
Framed in our window-pane.
There'll be the stars on summer nights,
The white moon through the trees,
Moths, and the song of nightingales
To float along the breeze.

And in the morning we shall see
The swallows in the sun,
And hear the cuckoo on the hill
Welcome a day begun.
And life will open with the rose
For me, sweet, and for you,
And on our life and on the rose
How soft the falling dew!

So let us take this tranquil path,
But drop a parting tear
For town, whose greatest gift to us
Was to be lovers here.

H. C. Compton Mackenzie [1833-

From "The Earthly Paradise"

Fair is the night, and fair the day,
Now April is forgot of May,
Now into June May falls away:
Fair day! fair night! O give me back
The tide that all fair things did lack
Except my Love, except my Sweet!

Blow back, O wind! thou art not kind,
Though thou art sweet: thou hast no mind
Her hair about my Sweet to bind.
O flowery sward! though thou art bright,
I praise thee not for thy delight, -
Thou hast not kissed her silver feet.

Thou know'st her not, O rustling tree!
What dost thou then to shadow me,
Whose shade her breast did never see?
O flowers! in vain ye bow adown:
Ye have not felt her odorous gown
Brush past your heads my lips to meet.

Flow on, great river! thou mayst deem
That far away, a summer stream,
Thou saw'st her limbs amidst the gleam,
And kissed her foot, and kissed her knee:
Yet get thee swift unto the sea!
With naught of true thou wilt me greet.

And Thou that men call by my name!
O helpless One! hast thou no shame
That thou must even look the same
As while agone, as while agone
When Thou and She were left alone,
And hands and lips and tears did meet?

Grow weak and pine, lie down to die,
O body! in thy misery,
Because short time and sweet goes by.
O foolish heart! how weak thou art:
Break, break, because thou needs must part
From thine own Love, from thine own Sweet!

William Morris [1834-1896]


For a day and a night Love sang to us, played with us,
Folded us round from the dark and the light;
And our hearts were fulfilled of the music he made with us,
Made with our hearts and our lips while he stayed with us,
Stayed in mid passage his pinions from flight
For a day and a night.

From his foes that kept watch with his wings had he hidden us,
Covered us close from the eyes that would smite,
From the feet that had tracked and the tongues that had chidden us
Sheltering in shade of the myrtles forbidden us
Spirit and flesh growing one with delight
For a day and a night.

But his wings will not rest and his feet will not stay for us:
Morning is here in the joy of its might;
With his breath has he sweetened a night and a day for us:
Now let him pass, and the myrtles make way for us;
Love can but last in us here at his height
For a day and a night.

Algernon Charles Swinburne [1837-1909]


If she but knew that I am weeping
Still for her sake,
That love and sorrow grow with keeping
Till they must break,
My heart that breaking will adore her,
Be hers and die;
If she might hear me once implore her,
Would she not sigh?

If she but knew that it would save me
Her voice to hear,
Saying she pitied me, forgave me,
Must she forbear?
If she were told that I was dying,
Would she be dumb?
Could she content herself with sighing?
Would she not come?

Arthur O'Shaughnessy [1844-1881]


Kathleen Mavourneen! the gray dawn is breaking,
The horn of the hunter is heard on the hill;
The lark from her light wing the bright dew is shaking, -
Kathleen Mavourneen! what, slumbering still?
Oh, hast thou forgotten how soon we must sever?
Oh! hast thou forgotten this day we must part?
It may be for years, and it may be forever!
Oh, why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
Oh! why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?

Kathleen Mavourneen, awake from thy slumbers!
The blue mountains glow in the sun's golden light;
Ah, where is the spell that once hung on my numbers?
Arise in thy beauty, thou star of my night!
Mavourneen, Mavourneen, my sad tears are falling,
To think that from Erin and thee I must part!
It may be for years, and it may be forever!
Then why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
Then why art thou silent, Kathleen Mavourneen?

Louisa Macartney Crawford [1790-1858]


What's this dull town to me?
Robin's not near, -
He whom I wished to see,
Wished for to hear;
Where's all the joy and mirth
Made life a heaven on earth?
O, they're all fled with thee,
Robin Adair!

What made the assembly shine?
Robin Adair:
What made the ball so fine?
Robin was there:
What, when the play was o'er,
What made my heart so sore?
O, it was parting with
Robin Adair!

But now thou art far from me,
Robin Adair;
But now I never see
Robin Adair;
Yet him I loved so well
Still in my heart shall dwell;
O, I can ne'er forget
Robin Adair!

Welcome on shore again,
Robin Adair!
Welcome once more again,
Robin Adair!
I feel thy trembling hand;
Tears in thy eyelids stand,
To greet thy native land,
Robin Adair!

Long I ne'er saw thee, love,
Robin Adair;
Still I prayed for thee, love,
Robin Adair;
When thou wert far at sea,
Many made love to me,
But still I thought on thee,
Robin Adair!

Come to my heart again,
Robin Adair;
Never to part again,
Robin Adair;
And if thou still art true,
I will be constant too,
And will wed none but you,
Robin Adair!

Caroline Keppel [1735- ? ]

A Song In Winter

O love, if you were here
This dreary, weary day, -
If your lips, warm and dear,
Found some sweet word to say, -
Then hardly would seem drear
These skies of wintry gray.

But you are far away, -
How far from me, my dear!
What cheer can warm the day?
My heart is chill with fear,
Pierced through with swift dismay;
A thought has turned Life sere:

If you, from far away,
Should come not back, my dear;
If I no more might lay
My hand on yours, nor hear
That voice, now sad, now gay,
Caress my listening ear;

If you, from far away,
Should come no more, my dear, -
Then with what dire dismay
Year joined to hostile year
Would frown, if I should stay
Where memories mock and jeer!

But I would come away
To dwell with you, my dear;
Through unknown worlds to stray, -
Or sleep; nor hope, nor fear,
Nor dream beneath the clay
Of all our days that were.

Philip Bourke Marston [1850-1887]


Come to me, dearest, I'm lonely without thee;
Daytime and night-time, I'm thinking about thee;
Night-time and daytime in dreams I behold thee;
Unwelcome the waking which ceases to fold thee.
Come to me, darling, my sorrows to lighten,
Come in thy beauty to bless and to brighten;
Come in thy womanhood, meekly and lowly,
Come in thy lovingness, queenly and holy.

Swallows will flit round the desolate ruin,
Telling of spring and its joyous renewing;
And thoughts of thy love and its manifold treasure,
Are circling my heart with a promise of pleasure.
O Spring of my spirit, O May of my bosom,
Shine out on my soul, till it bourgeon and blossom;
The waste of my life has a rose-root within it,
And thy fondness alone to the sunshine can win it.

Figure that moves like a song through the even;
Features lit up by a reflex of heaven;
Eyes like the skies of poor Erin, our mother,
Where shadow and sunshine are chasing each other;
Smiles coming seldom, but childlike and simple,
Planting in each rosy cheek a sweet dimple; -
O, thanks to the Saviour, that even thy seeming
Is left to the exile to brighten his dreaming.

You have been glad when you knew I was gladdened;
Dear, are you sad now to hear I am saddened?
Our hearts ever answer in tune and in time, love,
As octave to octave, and rhyme unto rhyme, love:
I cannot weep but your tears will be flowing,
You cannot smile but my cheek will be glowing;
I would not die without you at my side, love,
You will not linger when I shall have died, love.

Come to me, dear, ere I die of my sorrow,
Rise on my gloom like the sun of to-morrow;
Strong, swift, and fond are the words which I speak, love,
With a song on your lip and a smile on your cheek, love.
Come, for my heart in your absence is weary, -
Haste, for my spirit is sickened and dreary, -
Come to my arms which alone should caress thee,
Come to the heart which is throbbing to press thee!

Joseph Brenan [1829-1857]


'Tis said that absence conquers love!
But, oh! believe it not;
I've tried, alas! its power to prove,
But thou art not forgot.
Lady, though fate has bid us part,
Yet still thou art as dear,
As fixed in this devoted heart,
As when I clasped thee here.

I plunge into the busy crowd,
And smile to hear thy name;
And yet, as if I thought aloud,
They know me still the same;
And when the wine-cup passes round,
I toast some other fair, -
But when I ask my heart the sound,
Thy name is echoed there.

And when some other name I learn,
And try to whisper love,
Still will my heart to thee return
Like the returning dove.
In vain! I never can forget,
And would not be forgot;
For I must bear the same regret,
Whate'er may be my lot.

E'en as the wounded bird will seek
Its favorite bower to die,
So, lady! I would hear thee speak,
And yield my parting sigh.
'Tis said that absence conquers love!
But, oh! believe it not;
I've tried, alas! its power to prove,
But thou art not forgot.

Frederick William Thomas [1811-1864]


Too fair, I may not call thee mine:
Too dear, I may not see
Those eyes with bridal beacons shine;
Yet, Darling, keep for me -
Empty and hushed, and safe apart, -
One little corner of thy heart.

Thou wilt be happy, dear! and bless
Thee: happy mayst thou be.
I would not make thy pleasure less;
Yet, Darling, keep for me -
My life to light, my lot to leaven, -
One little corner of thy Heaven.

Good-by, dear heart! I go to dwell
A weary way from thee;
Our first kiss is our last farewell;
Yet, Darling, keep for me -
Who wander outside in the night, -
One little corner of thy light.

Gerald Massey [1828-1907]


Not yet, dear love, not yet: the sun is high;
You said last night, "At sunset I will go."
Come to the garden, where when blossoms die
No word is spoken; it is better so:
Ah! bitter word "Farewell."

Hark! how the birds sing sunny songs of spring!
Soon they will build, and work will silence them;
So we grow less light-hearted as years bring
Life's grave responsibilities - and then
The bitter word "Farewell."

The violets fret to fragrance 'neath your feet,
Heaven's gold sunlight dreams aslant your hair:
No flower for me! your mouth is far more sweet.
O, let my lips forget, while lingering there,
Love's bitter word "Farewell."

Sunset already! have we sat so long?
The parting hour, and so much left unsaid!
The garden has grown silent - void of song,
Our sorrow shakes us with a sudden dread!
Ah! bitter word "Farewell."

Olive Custance [1874-


All through the golden weather
Until the autumn fell,
Our lives went by together
So wildly and so well.

But autumn's wind uncloses
The heart of all your flowers;
I think, as with the roses,
So hath it been with ours.

Like some divided river
Your ways and mine will be,
To drift apart for ever,
For ever till the sea.

And yet for one word spoken,
One whisper of regret,
The dream had not been broken,
And love were with us yet.

Rennell Rodd [1858-


The dames of France are fond and free,
And Flemish lips are willing,
And soft the maids of Italy,
And Spanish eyes are thrilling;
Still, though I bask beneath their smile,
Their charms fail to bind me,
And my heart falls back to Erin's Isle,
To the girl I left behind me.

For she's as fair as Shannon's side,
And purer than its water,
But she refused to be my bride
Though many a year I sought her;
Yet, since to France I sailed away,
Her letters oft remind me
That I promised never to gainsay
The girl I left behind me.

She says, "My own dear love, come home,
My friends are rich and many,
Or else abroad with you I'll roam,
A soldier stout as any;
If you'll not come, nor let me go,
I'll think you have resigned me," -
My heart nigh broke when I answered "No,"
To the girl I left behind me.


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