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But we will downward with the Tweed,

Nor turn aside to Yarrow.

“There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs,

Both lying right before us;
And Dryburgh, where with chiming Tweed

The lintwhites sing in chorus;
There's pleasant Tiviot-dale, a land

Made blithe with plow and harrow: Why throw away a needful day

To go in search of Yarrow?

“What's Yarrow but a river bare

That glides the dark hills under?
There are a thousand such elsewhere

As worthy of your wonder.”
-Strange words they seemed of slight and scorn;

My True-love sighed for sorrow,
And looked me in the face, to think

I thus could speak of Yarrow!

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“O green,” said I, "are Yarrow's holms,

And sweet is Yarrow flowing! Fair hangs the apple fræ the rock,

But we will leave it growing. O'er hilly path and open Strath

We'll wander Scotland thorough; But, though so near, we will not turn

Into the dale of Yarrow.

“Let beeves and home-bred kine partake

The sweets of Burn-mill meadow; The swan on still St. Mary's Lake

Float double, swan and shadow!

We will not see them; will not go

To-day, nor yet to-morrow;
Enough if in our hearts we know

There's such a place as Yarrow.

“Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown!

It must, or we shall rue it:
We have a vision of our own,

Ah! why should we undo it?
The treasured dreams of times long past,

We'll keep them, winsome Marrow!
For when we're there, although 'tis fair,

'Twill be another Yarrow!

“If Care with freezing years should come,

And wandering seem but folly,-
Should we be loath to stir from home,

And yet be melancholy;
Should life be dull, and spirits low,

'Twill soothe us in our sorrow
That earth has something yet to show,
The bonny holms of Yarrow!”

William Wordsworth

208 SONNET TO THE ISLAND OF SIRMIO1

EM of all isthmuses and isles that lie,

Greshof , lake

Or ampler ocean: with what joy do I

Approach thee, Sirmio! Oh! am I awake,
Or dream that once again mine eye beholds
Thee, and has looked its last on Thracian wolds?

1 The translation is by Charles Stuart Calverley, and is reprinted with the permission of Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc.—The poem cele. brates the home-coming of its author after a sojourn in the East.

Sweetest of sweets to me that pastime seems,
When the mind drops her burden: when—the pain
Of travel past—our own cot we regain,

And nestle on the pillow of our dreams!
'Tis this one thought that cheers us as we roam.

Hail, O fair Sirmio! Joy, thy lord is here!

Joy too, ye waters of the Golden Mere!
And ring out, all ye laughter-peals of home!

Catullus

209

HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD

OH, to be in England

Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge-
That's the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Robert Browning

210 A CHORUS FROM ATALANTA IN CALYDON

WH

HEN the hounds of spring are on winter's traces,

The mother of months in meadow or plain
Fills the shadows and windy places

With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;
And the brown bright nightingale amorous
Is half assuaged for Itylus,
For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces,

The tongueless vigil, and all the pain.

Come with bows bent and with emptying of quivers,

Maiden most perfect, lady of light,
With a noise of winds and many rivers,

With a clamor of waters, and with might;
Bind on thy sandals, O thou most fleet,
Over the splendor and speed of thy feet;
For the faint east quickens, the wan west shivers,

Round the feet of the day and the feet of the night.

Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her,

Fold our hands round her knees, and cling? O that man's heart were as fire and could spring to her,

Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring! For the stars and the winds are unto her As raiment, as songs of the harp-player; For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her,

And the southwest-wind and the west-wind sing.

For winter's rains and ruins are over,

· And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover,

The light that loses, the night that wins;

And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover

Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

The full streams feed on flower of rushes,

Ripe grasses trammel a traveling foot,
The faint fresh flame of the young year Alushes

From leaf to flower and flower to fruit;
And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire,
And the oat is heard above the lyre,
And the hoofèd heel of a satyr crushes

The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root.

And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night,

Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid,
Follows with dancing and fills with delight

The Mänad and the Bassarid;
And soft as lips that laugh and hide,
The laughing leaves of the trees divide,
And screen from seeing and leave in sight

The god pursuing, the maiden hid.

The ivy falls with the Bacchanal's hair

Over her eyebrows hiding her eyes;
The wild vine slipping down leaves bare

Her bright breast shortening into sighs;
The wild vine slips with the weight of its leaves,
But the berried ivy catches and cleaves
To the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare
The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

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