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Scene ii_.

O may, thou art a merry time,
Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
And summer-flowers to sow the dale.

When lasses and their lovers meet
Beneath the early village-thorn,
And to the sound of tabor sweet
Bid welcome to the Maying-morn!

O May, thou art a merry time,
Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
And summer-flowers to sow the dale.

When grey-beards and their gossips come
With crutch in hand our sports to see,
And both go tottering, tattling home,
Topful of wine as well as glee!

O May, thou art a merry time,
Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
And summer-flowers to sow the dale.

But Youth was aye the time for bliss,
So taste it, Shepherds! while ye may:
For who can tell that joy like this
Will come another holiday?

O May, thou art a merry time,
Sing hi! the hawthorn pink and pale!
When hedge-pipes they begin to chime,
And summer-flowers to sow the dale.



I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
Where the meadow dew is sweet,
And like a queen I 'm coming
With its pearls upon my feet.

I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
O'er red rose and lily fair,
And like a sylph I 'm coming
With their blossoms in my hair.

I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
Where the honeysuckle creeps,
And like a bee I 'm coming
With its kisses on my lips.

I 've been roaming! I 've been roaming!
Over hill and over plain,
And like a bird I 'm coming
To my bower back again!

[Illustration: Full-page Plate]


The streams that wind amid the hills
And lost in pleasure slowly roam,
While their deep joy the valley fills,--
Even these will leave their mountain home;
So may it, Love! with others be,
But I will never wend from thee.

The leaf forsakes the parent spray,
The blossom quits the stem as fast;
The rose-enamour'd bird will stray
And leave his eglantine at last:
So may it, Love! with others be,
But I will never wend from thee.


FROM "SYLVIA": _Act IV. Scene I_.

Romanzo sings:

Awake thee, my Lady-love!
Wake thee, and rise!
The sun through the bower peeps
Into thine eyes!

Behold how the early lark
Springs from the corn!
Hark, hark how the flower-bird
Winds her wee horn!

The swallow's glad shriek is heard
All through the air!
The stock-dove is murmuring
Loud as she dare!

Apollo's winged bugleman
Cannot contain,
But peals his loud trumpet-call
Once and again!

Then wake thee, my Lady-love,
Bird of my bower!
The sweetest and sleepiest
Bird at this hour!






When the snow begins to feather,
And the woods begin to roar
Clashing angry boughs together,
As the breakers grind the shore
Nature then a bankrupt goes,
Full of wreck and full of woes.

When the swan for warmer forelands
Leaves the sea-firth's icebound edge,
When the gray geese from the morelands
Cleave the clouds in noisy wedge,
Woodlands stand in frozen chains,
Hung with ropes of solid rains.

Shepherds creep to byre and haven,
Sheep in drifts are nipped and numb;
Some belated rook or raven
Rocks upon a sign-post dumb;
Mere-waves, solid as a clod,
Roar with skaters, thunder-shod.

All the roofs and chimneys rumble;
Roads are ridged with slush and sleet;
Down the orchard apples tumble;
Ploughboys stamp their frosty feet;
Millers, jolted down the lanes,
Hardly feel for cold their reins.

Snipes are calling from the trenches,
Frozen half and half at flow;
In the porches servant wenches
Work with shovels at the snow;
Rusty blackbirds, weak of wing,
Clean forget they once could sing.

Dogs and boys fetch down the cattle,
Deep in mire and powdered pale;
Spinning-wheels commence to rattle;
Landlords spice the smoking ale.
Hail, white winter, lady fine,
In a cup of elder wine!



Woo thy lass while May is here;
Winter vows are colder.
Have thy kiss when lips are near;
To-morrow you are older.

Think, if clear the throstle sing,
A month his note will thicken;
A throat of gold in a golden spring
At the edge of the snow will sicken.

Take thy cup and take thy girl,
While they come for asking;
In thy heyday melt the pearl
At the love-ray basking.

Ale is good for careless bards,
Wine for wayworn sinners.
They who hold the strongest cards
Rise from life as winners.






Softly, O midnight Hours!
Move softly o'er the bowers
Where lies in happy sleep a girl so fair!
For ye have power, men say,
Our hearts in sleep to sway,
And cage cold fancies in a moonlight snare.
Round ivory neck and arm
Enclasp a separate charm:
Hang o'er her poised; but breathe nor sigh nor prayer:
Silently ye may smile,
But hold your breath the while,
And let the wind sweep back your cloudy hair!


Bend down your glittering urns
Ere yet the dawn returns,
And star with dew the lawn her feet shall tread;
Upon the air rain balm;
Bid all the woods be calm;
Ambrosial dreams with healthful slumbers wed.
That so the Maiden may
With smiles your care repay
When from her couch she lifts her golden head;
Waking with earliest birds,
Ere yet the misty herds
Leave warm 'mid the grey grass their dusky bed.



Seek not the tree of silkiest bark
And balmiest bud,
To carve her name--while yet 't is dark--
Upon the wood!
The world is full of noble tasks
And wreaths hard-won:
Each work demands strong hearts, strong hands,
Till day is done.

Sing not that violet-veinèd skin,
That cheek's pale roses;
The lily of that form wherein
Her soul reposes!
Forth to the fight, true man, true knight!
The clash of arms
Shall more prevail than whispered tale
To win her charms.

The warrior for the True, the Right,
Fights in Love's name:
The love that lures thee from that fight
Lures thee to shame.
That love which lifts the heart, yet leaves
The spirit free,--
That love, or none, is fit for one,
Man-shaped like thee.




When I was young, I said to Sorrow,
"Come, and I will play with thee:"--
He is near me now all day;
And at night returns to say,
"I will come again to-morrow,
I will come and stay with thee."


Through the woods we walk together;
His soft footsteps rustle nigh me;
To shield an unregarded head,
He hath built a winter shed;
And all night in rainy weather,
I hear his gentle breathings by me.





Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o'er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings,
And a staunch old heart has he.
How closely he twineth, how tight he clings,
To his friend, the huge Oak tree!
And slily he traileth along the ground,
And his leaves he gently waves,
As he joyously hugs and crawleth round
The rich mould of dead men's graves.
Creeping where grim death has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.

Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed,
And nations have scattered been;
But the stout old Ivy shall never fade
From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant in its lonely days
Shall fatten upon the past:
For the stateliest building man can raise
Is the Ivy's food at last.
Creeping on, where time has been,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.






The ladies of St. James's
Go swinging to the play;
Their footmen run before them,
With a "Stand by! Clear the way!"
But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
She takes her buckled shoon,
When we go out a-courting
Beneath the harvest moon.

The ladies of St. James's
Wear satin on their backs;
They sit all night at _Ombre_,
With candles all of wax:
But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
She dons her russet gown,
And runs to gather May dew
Before the world is down.

The ladies of St. James's
They are so fine and fair,
You 'd think a box of essences
Was broken in the air:
But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
The breath of heath and furze,
When breezes blow at morning,
Is scarce so fresh as hers.

The ladies of St. James's
They 're painted to the eyes;
Their white it stays forever,
Their red it never dies:
But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
Her color comes and goes;
It trembles to a lily,
It wavers to a rose.

The ladies of St. James's,
With "Mercy!" and with "Lud!"
They season all their speeches
(They come of noble blood):
But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
Her shy and simple words
Are sweet as, after rain-drops,
The music of the birds.

The ladies of St. James's,
They have their fits and freaks;
They smile on you--for seconds,
They frown on you--for weeks:
But Phyllida, my Phyllida!
Come either storm or shine,
From Shrovetide unto Shrovetide
Is always true--and mine.

My Phyllida, my Phyllida!
I care not though they heap
The hearts of all St.

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