Where she told her love

I saw her crop a rose
Right early in the day,
And I went to kiss the place
Where she broke the rose away
And I saw the patten rings
Where she o'er the stile had gone,
And I love all other things
Her bright eyes look upon.

If she looks upon the hedge or up the leafing tree,
The whitethorn or the brown oak are made dearer things to me.

I have a pleasant hill
Which I sit upon for hours,
Where she cropt some sprigs of thyme
And other little flowers;
And she muttered as she did it
As does beauty in a dream,
And I loved her when she hid it
On her breast, so like to cream.

Near the brown mole on her neck that to me a diamond shone;
Then my eye was like to fire, and my heart was like to stone.

There is a small green place
Where cowslips early curled,
Which on Sabbath day I traced,
The dearest in the world.
A little oak spreads o'er it,
And throws a shadow round,
A green sward close before it,
The greenest ever found.

There is not a woodland nigh nor is there a green grove,
Yet stood the fair maid nigh me and told me all her love.

The Flitting (excerpt)

I’ve left mine own old home of homes
Green fields & every pleasant place
The summer like a stranger comes
I pause & hardly know her face.

I miss the hazels happy green
The bluebells quiet hanging blooms
Where envy’s sneer was never seen
Where staring malice never comes.

I miss the heath its yellow furze
Molehills & rabbit tracts that lead
Through beesom, ling & teazle burrs
That spread a wilderness indeed.

The woodland oaks & all below
That their white powdered branches shield
The mossy paths—the very crow
Croaks music in my native field.

Sonnet: On a Lane in Spring

A Little Lane, the brook runs close beside
And spangles in the sunshine while the fish glide swiftly by
And hedges leafing with the green spring tide
From out their greenery the old birds fly
And chirp and whistle in the morning sun
The pilewort glitters 'neath the pale blue sky
The little robin has its nest begun
And grass green linnets round the bushes fly
How Mild the Spring Comes in; the daisy buds
Lift up their golden blossoms to the sky
How lovely are the pingles and the woods
Here a beetle runs; and there a fly
Rests on the Arum leaf in bottle green
And all the Spring in this Sweet lane is seen

'O Death, where is thy victory'

[Image: ‘Easter Springtide’ by Vitali Linitsky]

‘O Death, where is thy victory! O Grave, were is thy sting’
The inspired Bard & holy prophet sung;
His hands exulting swept the trembling string —
And all around with heavenly Music rung.

More loud & louder thrills the trembling chords,
His hands more Faster moves along the lyre —
The Bard’s strong faith triumphant joy affords,
And all his soul's enrapt in heavenly Fire

The sounds vibrating still the Notes prolong,
And listening Seraphs throng the Bard around
On Wings of Easter— flock to hear the song;
And smile in concert to the pleasing sound

T'was thou O Jesus! Saviour of the World
T'was thou that filled the Bard’s prophetic eye
He saw thy flag of ‘Peace on Earth’ unfurled
And heard ‘Glad tidings’ melt along the Sky

But O! a Tear! — The Magic Scenes ensue
The Saviour dies — that sinners might be blest.
Dies! — Death & Hell's grim terrors to subdue,
And make the grave a-wished-for-place of rest.

The Botanist's Walk

The Forest meets the blessings of the Spring;
The chestnut throws her sticky buds away,
And shows her pleasant leaves and snow-white flowers;
The nightingale is loud, and often heard
The notes of every song, and hardly known,
She hides and sings, a stranger all the day;
The spurge, with caper-flowers of yellow green—
And called ‘wild capers’, when I went in woods
To look for nests and hear the nightingale;
Dog-mercury shoots; the sloe is full of flowers;
A willow flowers, and just above the ground,
The furze, like myrtle, scarce a finger long,
Is everywhere, and full of golden flowers;
And butterflies, the colour of the flowers—
As if the winds had blown them from their stalks—
Are all about, and every where is Spring!


[Image from Carry Akroyd’s linocut illustrating April from “The Shepherd’s Calendar 2007” published by Carcanet Publications]

In April time, flowers come like dreams;
The nightingales, and cuckoo's sing,
The may-fly settling on the streams,
Makes wrinkles with its russet wing.
The rivers sedge is sprouting green,
The mare-blobs are in burnished gold,
The daisies spread about the green,
And all is lovely to behold.

The skylark winnows in the air,
And cheers the valley with his song.
The slopes are green, the scene is fair,
And herd-boys whistle all day long.
The ash tree's they are full of flower,
The fallen ones float on the stream.
The sun through haze like misty shower,
Shines warmly on the lovely scene.

The meadows they are emerald green,
The river sparkles with the light.
Like snow storms are the orchard seen—
The fields are with daisies white,
The buttercups are buds of green—
That bye-and bye-are flowers of Gold.
The fields look warm, the air serene,
And all is lovely to behold.

'Tis Spring, the April of the year,
The holiday of birds and flowers,
Some build ere yet the leaves appear,
While others wait for safer hours.
Hid in green leaves that shun the shower,
They're safe and happy all along—
The meanest weed now finds a flower,
The simplest bird will learn a song.