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No! those days are gone away,
No, the bugle sounds no more,
On the fairest time of June
Gone, the merry morris din; Gone, the song of Gamelyn; Gone, the tough-belted outlaw Idling in the "grene shawe;" All are gone away and past! And if Robin should be cast Sudden from his tufted grave, And if Marian should have Once again her forest days, She would weep, and he would craze: He would swear, for all his oaks, Fall'n beneath the dock-yard strokes, Have rotted on the briny seas; She would weep that her wild bees Sang not to her—strange! that honey Can't be got without hard money!
So it is; yet let us sing Honour to the old bow-string! Honour to the Bugle-horn! Honour to the woods unshorn! Honour to the Lincoln green! Honour to the archer keen! Honour to tight Little John, And the horse he rode upon! Honour to bold Robin Hood, Sleeping in the underwood! Honour to Maid Marian, And to all the Sherwood clan! Though their days have hurried by, Let us two a burden try.
TO MY BROTHER GEORGE.
Many the wonders I this day have seen:
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean ;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,— Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
But what, without the social thought of thee,
Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?
Had I a man's fair form, then might my sighs
Would passion arm me for the enterprise:
But ah! I am no knight whose foeman dies;
Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes.
Yet must I doat upon thee,—call thee sweet,
Ah! I will taste that dew, for me 't is meet,
O Solitude ! if I must with thee dwell,
Nature's observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.
But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Whose words are images of thoughts refined,
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.
How many bards gild the lapses of time!
A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy,—I could brood Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime: And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,
These will in throngs before my mind intrude:
But no confusion, no disturbance rude
The songs of birds—the whispering of the leaves— The voice of waters—the great bell that heaves
With solemn sound,—and thousand others more, That distance of recognizance bereaves,
Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.
TO A FRIEND WHO SENT ME SOME ROSES.
As late I rambled in the happy fields,
What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew
Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields:
I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
A fresh-blown musk-rose; 't was the first that threw Its sweets upon the summer : graceful it grew
As is the wand that queen Titania wields.
And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,
I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd; But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me,
My sense with their deliciousness was spell'd: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea
Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquell'd
To G. A. w.
Nymph of the downward smile and sidelong glance!
In what diviner moments of the day
Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray
Of sober thought? Or when starting away,
With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
And so remain, because thou listenest:
That I can never tell what mood is best,
Trips it before Apollo than the rest.
WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT LEFT PRISON.
What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,
Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he,
In his immortal spirit, been as free
Think you he nought but prison-walls did see,
Till, so unwilling, thou untum'dst the key?
Culling enchanted flowers ; and he flew
To regions of his own his genius true
When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew?