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“ 'Tis little more: the day was warm;
At last, tired out with play,
And at my feet she lay.
“Her eyelids dropp'd their silken eaves.
I breathed upon her eyes
A welcome mix'd with sighs.
“ I took the swarming sound of life —
The music from the town —
And lull?d them in my own.
To light her shaded eye ;
Like a golden butterfly ;
To make the necklace shine ;
From head to ankle fine.
“ Then close and dark my arms I spread,
And shadow'd all her rest — Dropt dews upon her golden head,
An acorn in her breast.
LVIII. “But in a pet she started up,
And pluck'd it out, and drew My little oakling from the cup,
And flung him in the dew.
“ And yet it was a graceful gift
I felt a pang within
His axe to slay my kin.'
“ I shook him down because he was
The finest on the tree.
O kiss him once for me.
LXI. “O kiss him twice and thrice for me,
That have no lips to kiss, For never yet was oak on lea
Shall grow so fair as this.”
Step deeper yet in herb and fern,
Look further thro’ the chace, Spread upward till thy boughs discern
The front of Sumner-place.
That but a moment lay .
Some happy future day.
I kiss it twice, I kiss it thrice, .
The warmth it thence shall win To riper life may magnetise
The Baby-oak within.
But thou, while kingdoms overset,
Or lapse from hand to hand, Thy leaf shall never fail, nor yet
Thine acorn in the land.
May never saw dismember thee,
Nor wielded axe disjoint, That art the fairest-spoken tree
From here to Lizard-point.
O rock upon thy towery top
All throats that gurgle sweet! All starry culmination drop
Balm-dews to bathe thy feet!
All grass of silky feather grow –
And while he sinks or swells
The sound of minster bells.
The fat earth feed thy branchy root,
That under deeply strikes !
High up, in silver spikes !
Nor ever lightning char thy grain,
But, rolling as in sleep,
That makes thee broad and deep!
And hear me swear a solemn oath,
That only by thy side
And gain her for my bride.