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ENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that shed
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread

Of Spring's unclouded weather,
In this sequestered nook how sweet
To fit upon my orchard-seat !
And flowers and birds once more to greet,

My last year's friends together.

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One have I marked, the happiest guest
In all this covert of the bleft:
Hail to thee, far above the rest

In joy of voice and pinion !
Thou, Linnet, in thy green array,
Presiding spirit here to-day,
Doft lead the revels of the May,
And this is thy dominion.


While birds, and butterflies, and Aowers,
Make all one band of paramours,
Thou, ranging up and down the bowers,

Art sole in thy employment; :
A life, a presence like the air,
Scattering thy gladness without care,
Too bleft with any one to pair,

Thyself thy own enjoyment.

Upon yen tuft of hazel trees,
That twinkle to the gusty breeze,
Behold him perched in ecstacies,

: Yet seeming still to hover ;
There! where the futter of his wings
Upon his back and body Aings
Shadows and sunny glimmerings,

That cover him all over.

While thus before my eyes he gleams, A brother of the leaves he seems; When in a moment forth he teems

His little song in gushes : As if it pleased him to disdain And mock the form which he did feign While he was dancing with the train

Of leaves among the bushes.


Up with me! up with me into the clouds !

For thy song, Lark, is strong;
Up with me, up with me into the clouds !

Singing, singing,
With all the heavens about thee ringing,

Lift me, guide me till I find
That spot which seems so to thy mind!
I have walked through wildernesses dreary,

And to-day my heart is weary ;
Had I now the wings of a faery,

Up to thee would I Ay.
There is madness about thee, and joy divine

In that song of thine :
Up with me, up with me, high and high,
To thy banqueting-place in the sky !

Joyous as morning,

Thou art laughing and scorning : Thou hast a nest for thy love and thy rest : And, though little troubled with sloth, Drunken Lark! thou would'st be loth To be such a traveller as I.

Happy, happy liver ! With a soul as strong as a mountain river, Pouring out praise to the Almighty giver,

Joy and jollity be with us both! Hearing thee, or else some other,

As merry a brother, I on the earth will go plodding on, By myself, cheerfully, till the day is done.

O blithe new-comer! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice:
O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird,

Or but a wandering voice ?

While I am lying on the grass,

Thy loud note smites my ear! From hill to hill it seems to pass,

At once far off and near !

I hear thee babbling to the vale

Of sunshine and of flowers; And unto me thou bring'st a tale

Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring !

Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,

A voice, a mystery ;

'The same whom in my school-boy days

I listened to ; that cry
Which made me look a thousand ways

In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove

Through woods and on the green ; And thou wert still a hope, a love ;

Still longed for, never seen!

And I can listen to thee yet;

Can lie upon the plain And listen, till I do beget

That golden time again.

O blessed bird ! the earth we pace

Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place;

That is fit home for thee!


O Nightingale ! thou surely art
A creature of a fiery heart :-
These notes of thine—they pierce and pierce ;
Tumultuous harmony and fierce !

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