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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 3 - 80/88 -

Then we go To and fro, With our knacks At our backs, To such streams As the Thames, If we have the leisure.

When we please to walk abroad For our recreation, In the fields is our abode, Full of delectation, Where, in a brook, With a hook, - Or a lake, - Fish we take; There we sit, For a bit, Till we fish entangle.

We have gentles in a horn, We have paste and worms too; We can watch both night and morn, Suffer rain and storms too; None do here Use to swear: Oaths do fray Fish away; We sit still, Watch our quill: Fishers must not wrangle.

If the sun's excessive heat Make our bodies swelter, To an osier hedge we get, For a friendly shelter; Where, in a dike, Perch or pike, Roach or dace, We do chase, Bleak or gudgeon, Without grudging; We are still contented.

Or we sometimes pass an hour Under a green willow, That defends us from a shower, Making earth our pillow; Where we may Think and pray, Before death Stops our breath; Other joys Are but toys, And to be lamented.

John Chalkhill [fl. 1648]



Best and Brightest, come away! Fairer far than this fair day, Which, like thee, to those in sorrow, Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow To the rough year just awake In its cradle on the brake. The brightest hour of unborn Spring Through the winter wandering, Found, it seems, the halcyon morn To hoar February born; Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth, It kissed the forehead of the earth, And smiled upon the silent sea, And bade the frozen streams be free, And waked to music all their fountains, And breathed upon the frozen mountains, And like a prophetess of May Strewed flowers upon the barren way, Making the wintry world appear Like one on whom thou smilest, Dear.

Away, away, from men and towns, To the wild wood and the downs - To the silent wilderness Where the soul need not repress Its music, lest it should not find An echo in another's mind, While the touch of Nature's art Harmonizes heart to heart.

I leave this notice on my door For each accustomed visitor: - "I am gone into the fields To take what this sweet hour yields; - Reflection, you may come to-morrow, Sit by the fireside with Sorrow. - You with the unpaid bill, Despair, - You tiresome verse-reciter, Care, - I will pay you in the grave, - Death will listen to your stave. Expectation too, be off! To-day is for itself enough; Hope, in pity mock not Woe With smiles, nor follow where I go; Long having lived on thy sweet food, At length I find one moment's good Alter long pain - with all your love, This you never told me of."

Radiant Sister of the Day Awake! arise! and come away! To the wild woods and the plains, To the pools where winter rains Image all their roof of leaves, Where the pine its garland weaves Of sapless green, and ivy dun, Round sterns that never kiss the sun. Where the lawns and pastures be, And the sandhills of the sea; - Where the melting hoar-frost wets The daisy-star that never sets, And wind-flowers, and violets, Which yet join not scent to hue, Crown the pale year weak and new; When the night is left behind In the deep east, dun and blind, And the blue noon is over us, And the multitudinous Billows murmur at our feet, Where the earth and ocean meet, And all things seem only one In the universal sun.

Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822]


My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, - My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birthplace of valor, the country of worth; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow; Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods; Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer, A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, - My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

Robert Burns [1759-1796]


Afar in the desert I love to ride, With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side. When the sorrows of life the soul o'ercast, And, sick of the present, I cling to the past; When the eye is suffused with regretful tears, From the fond recollections of former years; And shadows of things that have long since fled Flit over the brain, like the ghosts of the dead: Bright visions of glory that vanished too soon; Day-dreams that departed ere manhood's noon; Attachments by fate or falsehood reft; Companions of early days lost or left - And my native land - whose magical name Thrills to the heart like electric flame; The home of my childhood; the haunts of my prime; All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time When the feelings were young, and the world was new, Like the fresh bowers of Eden unfolding to view; All - all now forsaken - forgotten - foregone! And I - a lone exile remembered of none - My high aims abandoned, - my good acts undone - Aweary of all that is under the sun - With that sadness of heart which no stranger may scan, I fly to the desert afar from man.

The Home Book of Verse, Volume 3 - 80/88

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