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0, LADY, twine no wreath for me,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree !
Too lively glow the lilies light,
The varnished holly 's all too bright,
The May-flower and the eglantine
May shade a brow less sad than mine ;
But, Lady, weave no wreath for me,
Or weave it of the cypress-tree !
Let dimpled Mirth his temples twine
With tendrils of the laughing vine;
The manly oak, the pensive yew,
To patriot and to sage be due ;
The myrtle bough bids lovers live,
But that Matilda will not give;
Then, Lady, twine no wreath for me,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree!
Let merry England proudly rear
Her blended roses, bought so dear;
Let Albin bind her bonnet blue
With heath and harebell dipped in dew;
On favoured Erin's crest be seen
The flower she loves of emerald green
But, Lady, twine no wreath for me,
Or twine it of the cypress-tree.
Strike the wild harp, while maids prepare
The ivy, meet for minstrel's hair ;
And, while his crown of laurel-leaves
With bloody hand the victor weaves,
Let the loud trump his triumph tell ;
But when you hear the passing bell,
Then, Lady, twine a wreath for me,
And twine it of the cypress-tree.
Yes! twine for me the cypress bough;
But 0, Matilda, twine not now!
Stay till a few brief months are past,
And I have looked and loved
last! When villagers my shroud bestrew With pansies, rosemary, and rue, Then, Lady, weave a wreath for me, And weave it of the cypress-tree.
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 veiled 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, heaven did not mean,
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean,
Lay thy sheaf adown, and come,
Share my harvest and my home.
Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher,
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire ;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,
In the broad day-light
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.
Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.
What thou art, we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.
Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:
Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:
Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view :
Like a rose embowered
In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,
Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves.