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Now thin mists temper the slow-ripening beams
Of the September sun: his golden gleams
On gaudy flowers shine, that prank the rows
Of high-grown hollyhocks, and all tall shows
That Autumn flaunteth in his bushy bowers;
Where tomtits, hanging from the drooping heads
Of giant sunflowers, peck the nutty seeds;
And in the feathery aster bees on wing
Seize and set free the honied flowers,
Till thousand stars leap with their visiting:
While ever across the path mazily flit,

Unpiloted in the sun,

The dreamy butterflies

With dazzling colours powdered and soft glooms, White, black and crimson stripes, and peacock eyes,

Or on chance flowers sit,

With idle effort plundering one by one

The nectaries of deepest-throated blooms.

With gentle flaws the western breeze

Into the garden saileth,

Scarce here and there stirring the single trees,

For his sharpness he vaileth :

So long a comrade of the bearded corn,

Now from the stubbles whence the shocks are borne,

O'er dewy lawns he turns to stray,

As mindful of the kisses and soft play

Wherewith he enamoured the light-hearted May,

Ere he deserted her;

Lover of fragrance, and too late repents;
Nor more of heavy hyacinth now may drink,
Nor spicy pink,

Nor summer's rose, nor garnered lavender, But the few lingering scents

Of streaked pea, and gillyflower, and stocks Of courtly purple, and aromatic phlox.

And at all times to hear are drowsy tones Of dizzy flies, and humming drones, With sudden flap of pigeon wings in the sky, Or the wild cry

Of thirsty rooks, that scour ascare

The distant blue, to watering as they fare With creaking pinions, or-on business bent, If aught their ancient polity displease,Come gathering to their colony, and there Settling in ragged parliament,

Some stormy council hold in the high trees.


So sweet love seemed that April morn,
When first we kissed beside the thorn,
So strangely sweet, it was not strange
We thought that love could never change.

But I can tell-let truth be told-
That love will change in growing old;
Though day by day is nought to see,
So delicate his motions be.

And in the end 'twill come to pass
Quite to forget what once he was,
Nor even in fancy to recall
The pleasure that was all in all.

His little spring, that sweet we found,
So deep in summer floods is drowned,
I wonder, bathed in joy complete,
How love so young could be so sweet.



WHAT Voice of gladness, hark!
In heaven is ringing?
From the sad fields the lark
Is upward winging.

High through the mournful mist that blots our day
Their songs betray them soaring in the grey.
See them! Nay, they

In sunlight swim; above the furthest stain
Of cloud attain; their hearts in music rain
Upon the plain.

Sweet birds, far out of sight
Your songs of pleasure
Dome us with joy as bright
As heaven's best azure.



SEE, whirling snow sprinkles the starvèd fields,
The birds have stayed to sing;

No covert yet their fairy harbour yields.
When cometh Spring?

Ah! in their tiny throats what songs unborn
Are quenched each morn.

The lenten lilies, through the frost that push,
Their yellow heads withhold:

The woodland willow stands a lonely bush
Of nebulous gold;

There the Spring-goddess cowers in faint attire

Of frightened fire.



In this May-month, by grace
of heaven, things shoot apace.
The waiting multitude

of fair boughs in the wood,
How few days have arrayed
their beauty in green shade.
What have I seen or heard?
it was the yellow bird
Sang in the tree: he flew
a flame against the blue;
Upward he flashed. Again,
hark! 'tis his heavenly strain.

Another! Hush! Behold, many, like boats of gold, From waving branch to branch

their airy bodies launch.

What music is like this,

where each note is a kiss?

The golden willows lift

their boughs the sun to sift: Their sprays they droop to screen the sky with veils of green, A floating cage of song,

where feathered lovers throng.

How the delicious notes

come bubbling from their throats! Full and sweet how they are shed

like round pearls from a thread!

The motions of their flight

are wishes of delight.

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