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The Peasant Poet

He loved the brook’s soft sound,

The swallow swimming by.

He loved the daisy—covered ground,

The cloud—bedappled sky.

To him the dismal storm appeared

The very voice of God;

And when the evening rack was reared

Stood Moses with his rod.

And everything his eyes surveyed,

The insects in the brake,

Were creatures God Almighty made,

He loved them for His sake—

A silent man in life’s affairs,

A thinker from a boy,

A peasant in his daily cares,

A poet in his joy.

Winter Evening

The crib stock fothered, horses suppered up,

And cows in sheds all littered down in straw,

The threshers gone, the owls are left to whoop,

The ducks go waddling with distended craw

Through little hole made in the hen-roost door,

And geese with idle gabble never o`er

Bait careless hog until he tumbles down,

Insult provoking spite to noise the more;

While fowl high-perched blink with contemptuous frown

On all the noise and bother heard below;

Over the stable-ridge in crowds, the crow,

With jackdaws intermixed, known by their noise,

To the warm woods behind the village go;

And whistling home for bed go weary boys.

First Love

I ne'er was struck before that hour

With love so sudden and so sweet,

Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower

And stole my heart away complete.

My face turned pale as deadly pale.

My legs refused to walk away,

And when she looked, what could I ail?

My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face

And took my eyesight quite away,

The trees and bushes round the place

Seemed midnight at noonday.

I could not see a single thing,

Words from my eyes did start --

They spoke as chords do from the string,

And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter's choice?

Is love's bed always snow?

She seemed to hear my silent voice,

Not love's appeals to know.

I never saw so sweet a face

As that I stood before.

My heart has left its dwelling-place

And can return no more

I am

I am -- yet what I am, none cares or knows;

My friends forsake me like a memory lost:

I am the self-consumer of my woes;

They rise and vanish in oblivion's host,

Like shadows in love's frenzied stifled throes:

And yet I am, and live -- like vapours toss't

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise --

Into the living sea of waking dreams,

Where there is neither sense of life or joys,

But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;

Even the dearest, that I love the best

Are strange -- nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod

A place where woman never smiled or wept

There to abide with my Creator, God,

And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,

Untroubling, and untroubled where I lie,

The grass below -- above the vaulted sky.

Summer Images
I love the south-west wind, or low or loud,

And not the less when sudden drops of rain

Moisten my glowing cheek from ebon cloud,

Threatening soft showers again,

That over lands new ploughed and meadow grounds,

Summer's sweet breath unchain,

And wake harmonious sounds.

Rich music breathes in Summer's every sound;

And in her harmony of varied greens,

Woods, meadows, hedge-rows, corn-fields, all around

Much beauty intervenes,

Filling with harmony the ear and eye;

While o'er the mingling scenes

Far spreads the laughing sky.

See, how the wind-enamoured aspen leaves

Turn up their silver lining to the sun!

And hark! the rustling noise, that oft deceives,

And makes the sheep-boy run:

The sound so mimics fast-approaching showers,

He thinks the rain's begun,

And hastes to sheltering bowers.

Loves Lives Beyond the Tomb

Love lives beyond

The tomb—the earth—which fades like dew

I love the fond

The faithfull & the true

Love lives in sleep

The happiness of healthy dreams

Eve's dews may weep

But love delightfull seems.

Tis seen in flowers

& in the evens pearly dew

On earths green hours

& in the heavens eternal blue.

Tis heard in spring

When light & sunbeams warm & kind

On angels wing

Bring love & music to the mind.

& where is voice

So young & beautifully sweet

As natures choice

When spring & lovers meet.

Love lives beyond

The tomb the earth the flowers & dew

I love the fond

The faithfull young & true.

What is Life?

And what is Life ? an hour-glass on the run

A mist retreating from the morning sun

A busy bustling still repeated dream

Its length ? A moment’s pause, a moment’s thought

And happiness ? A bubble on the stream

That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought

Vain hopes—what are they ? Puffing gales of morn

That of its charms divests the dewy lawn

And robs each flowret of its gem and dies

A cobweb hiding disappointments thorn

Which stings more keenly thro’ the thin disguise

And thou, O trouble ? Nothing can suppose,

And sure the Power of Wisdom only knows,

What need requireth thee.

So free and lib’ral as thy bounty flows,

Some necessary cause must surely be.

And what is death ? Is still the cause unfound

The dark mysterious name of horrid sound

A long and ling’ring sleep the weary crave—

And peace—where can its happiness abound ?

No where at all but Heaven and the grave

Then what is Life ? When stript of its disguise

A thing to be desir’d it cannot be

Since every thing that meets our foolish eyes

Gives proof sufficient of its vanity

’Tis but a trial all must undergo

To teach unthankful mortals how to prize

That happiness vain man’s denied to know

Untill he’s call’d to claim it in the skies.

An Invite To Eternity

Wilt thou go with me sweet maid

Say maiden wilt thou go with me

Through the valley depths of shade

Of night and dark obscurity

Where the path hath lost its way

Where the sun forgets the day

Where there's nor life nor light to see

Sweet maiden wilt thou go with me

Where stones will turn to flooding streams

Where plains will rise like ocean waves

Where life will fade like visioned dreams

And mountains darken into caves

Say maiden wilt thou go with me

Through this sad non-identity

Where parents live and are forgot

And sisters live and know us not

Say maiden wilt thou go with me

In this strange death of life to be

To live in death and be the same

Without this life or home or name

At once to be or not to be

That was and is not—yet to see

Things pass like shadows—and the sky

Above, below, around us lie.

The land of shadows wilt thou trace

And look nor know each other's face

The present mixed with reasons gone

And past and present all as one

Say maiden can thy life be led

To join the living with the dead

Then trace thy footsteps on with me

We're wed to one eternity

Wild Flowers

Beautiful mortals of the glowing earth

And children of the season crowd together

In showers and sunny weather

Ye beautiful spring hours

Sunshine and all together

I love wild flowers

The rain drops lodge on the swallows wing

Then fall on the meadow flowers

Cowslips and enemonies all come with spring

Beaded with first showers

The skylarks in the cowslips sing

I love wild flowers

Blue-bells and cuckoo's in the wood

And pasture cuckoo's too

Red yellow white and blue

Growing where herd cows meet the showers

And lick the morning dew

I love wild flowers

The lakes and rivers—summer hours

All have their bloom as well

But few of these are childrens flowers

They grow where dangers dwell

In sun and shade and showers

I love wild flowers

They are such lovely things

And make the very seasons where they come

The nightingale is smothered where she sings

Above their scented bloom

O what delight the cuckoo music brings

I love wild flowers