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But any man that walks the mead,

In bud or blade, or bloom, may find, According as his humours lead,

A meaning suited to his mind. And liberal applications lie

In Art like Nature, dearest friend; So 'twere to cramp its use, if I

Should hook it to some useful end.

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 thro' and thro', 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 curld, And evermore a costly kiss

The prelude to some brighter world.



You shake your head. A random string

Your finer female sense offends. Well - were it not a pleasant thing

To fall asleep with all one's friends ; To pass with all our social ties

To silence from the paths of men ; And every hundred years to rise

And learn the world, and sleep again ; To sleep thro' terms of mighty wars,

And wake on science grown to more, On secrets of the brain, the stars,

As wild as aught of fairy lore ;
And all that else the years will show,

The Poet-forms of stronger hours,
The vast Republics that may grow,

The Federations and the Powers; Titanic forces taking birth

In divers seasons, divers climes ; For we are Ancients of the earth,

And in the morning of the times.

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 waken'd

hopes, What lips, like thine, so sweetly join'd ? Where on the double rosebud droops

The fullness 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 clasp'd the moral of thy life,

And that for which I care to live.



So sleeping, so aroused from sleep

Thro’ sundy decads 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 take--
Be still the first to leap to light

That I might kiss those eyes awake !

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-tail'd birds of Paradise That float thro' Heaven, and cannot


Or old-world trains, upheld at court

By Cupid-boys of blooming hueBut take it-earnest wed with sport,

And either sacred unto you.

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.


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 neighbours 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 !

Came wet-shot alder from the wave,

Came yews, a dismal coterie ; Each pluck'd his one foot from the

Poussetting with a sloe-tree :
Old elms came breaking from the vine,

The vine stream'd out to follow,
And, sweating rosin, plump'd 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-eaves
Look'd down, half-pleased, half-

frighten'a, As dash'd about the drunken leaves

The random sunshine lighten'd !

'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 stirr'd 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,

Oh, 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.

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