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I asked—'twas whispered–The device
THOUGH many suns have risen and set
Since thou, blithe May, wert born, And bards, who hailed thee, may forget
Thy gifts, thy beauty scorn;
Confine not harp and voice,
Are grateful and rejoice!
Delicious odours! music sweet,
Too sweet to pass away!
The soul's desire-a lay
Should praise thee, genial power! Through summer heat, autumnal cold,
And winter's dreariest hour.
Earth, sea, thy presence feel--nor less
If yon ethereal blue
The heavens have felt it too.
Partakes a livelier cheer;
Let fall a brightened tear.
Since thy return, through days and weeks
Of hope that grew by stealth,
Have kindled into health!
"Another year is ours;"
Have smiled upon thy flowers.
Who tripping lisps a merry song
Amid his playful peers ?
A prisoner of fond fears;
Is quiet in its sheath,
Earth's sweetness in thy breath.
Thy help is with the weed that creeps
Along the humblest ground; No cliff so bare but on its steeps
Thy favours may be found; But most on some peculiar nook
That our own hands have dressed, Thou and thy train are proud to look,
And seem to love it best.
And yet how pleased we wander forth
When May is whispering. “Come! Choose from the bowers of virgin earth
The happiest for your home; Heaven's bounteous love through me is spread
From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves, Drops on the mouldering turret's head,
And on your turf-clad graves!"
Such greeting heard, away with sighs
For lilies that must fade,
Forsaken" in the shade!
Are linked in endless chase ; While, as one kindly growth retires,
Another takes its place.
And what if thou, sweet May, hast known
Mishap by worm and blight; If expectations newly blown
Have perished in thy sight; If loves and joys, while up they sprung,
Were caught as in a snare; Such is the lot of all the young,
However bright and fair.
Lo! streams that April could not check
Are patient of thy rule;
Loitering in glassy pool :
Such gentle mists as glide,
On that green mountain's side.
How delicate the leafy veil
Through which yon house of God Gleams, mid the peace of this deep dale,
By few but shepherds trod!
No sooner stand attired
Peep forth, and are admired.
Season of fancy and of hope,
Permit not for one hour
Nor add to it a flower!
Of self-restraining art,
Part seen, imagined part !
A WREN'S NEST. AMONG the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care, Is none that with the little wren's
In snugness may compare.
No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof; Still is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious and storm-proof.
So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim, That to the kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.
An opportune recess,
For shadowy quietness.
These find, mid ivied abbey walls,
A canopy in some still nook ; Others are penthoused by a brae
That overhangs a brook.
There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song ;
Are sung to all day long.
Where, till the flitting bird's return,
Like relics in an urn.
There is a better and a best ;
Are fairer than the rest;
In a green covert, where, from out
The leafy antlers sprout;
Mistrusting her evasive skill,
Her wishes to fulfil.
And fixed an infant's span above
The prettiest of the grove! The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things, but once
Looked up for it in vain : 'Tis gone-a ruthless spoiler's prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, "Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
Indignant at the wrong.