Love and Solitude

I hate the very noise of troublous man
Who did and does me all the harm he can.
Free from the world I would a prisoner be
And my own shadow all my company;
And lonely see the shooting stars appear,
Worlds rushing into judgment all the year.
O lead me onward to the loneliest shade,
The darkest place that quiet ever made,
Where kingcups grow most beauteous to behold
And shut up green and open into gold.
Farewell to poesy--and leave the will;
Take all the world away--and leave me still
The mirth and music of a woman's voice,
That bids the heart be happy and rejoice.

Meet Me To-night

O meet me to-night by the bright starlight,
Now the pleasant Spring's begun.
My own dear maid, by the greenwood shade,
In the crimson set of the sun,
Meet me to-night.

The sun he goes down with a ruby crown
To a gold and crimson bed;
And the falling dew, from heaven so blue,
Hangs pearls on Phoebe's head.
Love, leave the town.

Come thou with me; 'neath the green-leaf tree
We'll crop the bonny sweet brere.
O come, dear maid, 'neath the hazlewood shade,
For love invites us there.
Come then with me.

The owl pops, scarce seen, from the ivy green,
With his spectacles on I ween:
See the moon's above and the stars twinkle, love;
Better time was never seen.
O come, my queen.

The fox he stops, and down he drops
His head beneath the grass.
The birds are gone; we're all alone;
O come, my bonny lass.
Come, O come!

The Sailor's Return

The whitethorn is budding and rushes are green,
The ivy leaves rustle around the ash tree,
On the sweet sunny bank blue violets are seen,
That tremble beneath the wild hum of the bee.
The sunbeams they play on the brook's plashy ripples,
Like millions of suns in each swirl looking on;
The rush nods and bows till its tasseled head tipples
Right into the wimpled flood, kissing the stones.

'T was down in the cow pasture, just at the gloaming,
I met a young woman sweet tempered and mild,
I said "Pretty maiden, say, where are you roving?"
"I'm walking at even," she answered, and smiled.
"Here my sweetheart and I gathered posies at even;
It's eight years ago since they sent him to sea.
Wild flowers hung with dew are like angels from heaven:
They look up in my face and keep whispering to me.

They whisper the tales that were told by my true love;
In the evening and morning they glisten with dew;
They say (bonny blossoms) 'I'll ne'er get a new love;
I love her; she's kindly.' I say, 'I love him too.'"
The passing-by stranger's a stranger no longer;
He kissed off the teardrop which fell from her e'e;
With blue-jacket and trousers he is bigger and stronger;
'T is her own constant Willy returned from the sea.


"Adieu, my love, adieu!
Be constant and be true
As the daisies gemmed with dew,
Bonny maid."
The cows their thirst were slaking,
Trees the playful winds were shaking;
Sweet songs the birds were making
In the shade.

The moss upon the tree
Was as green as green could be,
The clover on the lea
Ruddy glowed;
Leaves were silver with the dew,
Where the tall sowthistles grew,
And I bade the maid adieu
On the road.

Then I took myself to sea,
While the little chiming bee
Sung his ballad on the lea,
Humming sweet;
And the red-winged butterfly
Was sailing through the sky,
Skimming up and bouncing by
Near my feet.

I left the little birds,
And sweet lowing of the herds,
And couldn't find out words,
Do you see,
To say to them good bye,
Where the yellow cups do lie;
So heaving a deep sigh,
Took to sea.

My True Love is a Sailor

'T was somewhere in the April time,
Not long before the May,
A-sitting on a bank o' thyme
I heard a maiden say,
"My true love is a sailor,
And ere he went away
We spent a year together,
And here my lover lay.

The gold furze was in blossom,
So was the daisy too;
The dew-drops on the little flowers
Were emeralds in hue.
On this same Summer morning,
Though then the Sabbath day,
He crop't me Spring pol'ant'uses,
Beneath the whitethorn may.

He crop't me Spring pol'ant'uses,
And said if they would keep
They'd tell me of love's fantasies,
For dews on them did weep.
And I did weep at parting,
Which lasted all the week;
And when he turned for starting
My full heart could not speak.

The same roots grow pol'ant'us' flowers
Beneath the same haw-tree;
I crop't them in morn's dewy hours,
And here love's offerings be.
O come to me my sailor beau
And ease my aching breast;
The storms shall cease to rave and blow,
And here thy life find rest."

Maid of the Wilderness

Maid of the wilderness,
Sweet in thy rural dress,
Fond thy rich lips I press
Under this tree.

Morning her health bestows,
Sprinkles dews on the rose,
That by the bramble grows:
Maid happy be.
Womanhood round thee glows,
Wander with me.

The restharrow blooming,
The sun just a-coming,
Grass and bushes illuming,
And the spreading oak tree;

Come hither, sweet Nelly,

* ********* *

The morning is loosing
Its incense for thee.
The pea-leaf has dews on;
Love wander with me.

We'll walk by the river,
And love more than ever;
There's nought shall dissever
My fondness from thee.

Soft ripples the water,
Flags rustle like laughter,
And fish follow after;
Leaves drop from the tree.
Nelly, Beauty's own daughter,
Love, wander with me.

November (III)

The boy, that scareth from the spiry wheat
The melancholy crow - in hurry weaves,
Beneath an ivied tree, his sheltering seat,
Of rushy flags and sedges tied in sheaves,
Or from the field a shock of stubble thieves.
There he doth dithering sit, and entertain
His eyes with marking the storm-driven leaves;
Oft spying nests where he spring eggs had ta'en,
And wishing in his heart twas summer-time again.

Thus wears the month along, in checkered moods,
Sunshine and shadows, tempests loud, and calms;
One hour dies silent oer the sleepy woods,
The next wakes loud with unexpected storms;
A dreary nakedness the field deforms -
Yet many a rural sound, and rural sight,
Lives in the village still about the farms,
Where toil's rude uproar hums from morn till night
Noises, in which the ears of industry delight.

At length the stir of rural labour's still,
And industry her care awhile foregoes;
When winter comes in earnest to fulfil
His yearly task, at bleak November's close,
And stops the plough, and hides the field in snows;
When frost locks up the stream in chill delay
And mellows on the hedge the jetty sloes,
For little birds--then toil hath time for play,
And nought but threshers' flails awake the dreary day.

November (II)

Yet but awhile the slumbering weather flings
Its murky prison round--then winds wake loud;
With sudden stir the startled forest sings
Winter's returning song-cloud races cloud.
And the horizon throws away its shroud,
Sweeping a stretching circle from the eye;
Storms upon storms in quick succession crowd,
And oer the sameness of the purple sky
Heaven paints, with hurried hand, wild hues of every dye.

At length it comes among the forest oaks,
With sobbing ebbs, and uproar gathering high;
The scared, hoarse raven on its cradle croaks,
And stockdove-flocks in hurried terrors fly,
While the blue hawk hangs oer them in the sky.--
The hedger hastens from the storm begun,
To seek a shelter that may keep him dry;
And foresters low bent, the wind to shun,
Scarce hear amid the strife the poacher's muttering gun.

The ploughman hears its humming rage begin,
And hies for shelter from his naked toil;
Buttoning his doublet closer to his chin,
He bends and scampers oer the elting soil,
While clouds above him in wild fury boil,
And winds drive heavily the beating rain;
He turns his back to catch his breath awhile,
Then ekes his speed and faces it again,
To seek the shepherd's hut beside the rushy plain.

November (I)

The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
Had found him sleeping, and supplied his place.
For days the shepherds in the fields may be,
Nor mark a patch of sky--blindfold they trace,
The plains, that seem without a bush or tree,
Whistling aloud by guess, to flocks they cannot see.

The timid hare seems half its fears to lose,
Crouching and sleeping neath its grassy lair,
And scarcely startles, though the shepherd goes
Close by its home, and dogs are barking there;
The wild colt only turns around to stare
At passer by, then knaps his hide again;
And moody crows beside the road forbear
To fly, though pelted by the passing swain;
Thus day seems turned to night, and tries to wake in vain.

The owlet leaves her hiding-place at noon,
And flaps her grey wings in the doubling light;
The hoarse jay screams to see her out so soon,
And small birds chirp and startle with affright;
Much doth it scare the superstitious wight,
Who dreams of sorry luck, and sore dismay;
While cow-boys think the day a dream of night,
And oft grow fearful on their lonely way,
Fancying that ghosts may wake, and leave their graves by day.

Shepherd's Calendar - November

The cleanly maiden thro the village streets
In pattens clicks down causways never drye
While eves above head drips-where oft she meets
The schoolboy leering on wi mischiefs eye
Trying to splash her as he hurrys bye
While swains afield returning to their ploughs
Their passing aid wi gentle speech apply
And much loves rapture thrills when she alows
Their help wi offerd hand to lead her oer the sloughs
The hedger soakd wi the dull weather chops
On at his toils which scarcly keeps him warm
And every stroke he takes large swarms of drops
Patter about him like an april storm
The sticking dame Wi cloak upon her arm
To guard against a storm walks the wet leas
Of willow groves or hedges round the farm
Picking up aught her splashy wanderings sees
Dead sticks the sudden winds have shook from off the trees