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BEHOLD, within the leafy shade,
Those bright-blue eggs together laid!
On me the chance-discovered sight
Gleamed like a vision of delight.
I started--seeming to espy
The home and sheltered bed,-
The sparrow's dwelling, which, hard by
My father's house, in wet or dry,
My sister Emmeline and I
She looked at it as if she feared it ;
Still wishing, dreading to be near it :
Such heart was in her, being then
A little prattler among men.
The blessing of my later years
Was with me when a boy :
She gave me eyes, she gave me ears :
And humble cares, and delicate fears;
A heart, the fountain of sweet tears;
And love, and thought, and joy.
I've watched you now a full half-hour
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little butterfly! indeed,
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless !-not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
This plot of orchard ground is ours;
My trees they are, my sister's flowers}
Here rest your wings when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days when we were young
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
FAREWELL, thou little nook of mountain ground,
Thou rocky corner in the lowest stair
Of that magnificent temple which doth bound
One side of our whole vale with grandeur rare;
Sweet garden-orchard, eminently fair,
The loveliest spot that man hath ever found,
Farewell!-we leave thee to Heaven's peaceful care,
Thee, and the cottage which thou dost surround.
Our boat is safely anchored by the shore,
And there will safely ride when we are gone;
The flowering shrubs that decorate our door
Will prosper, though untended and alone;
Fields, goods, and far-off chattles we have none;
These narrow bounds contain our private store
Of things earth makes and sun doth shine upon,
Here are they in our sight-we have no more.
Sunshine and shower be with you, bud and bell!
For two months now in vain we shall be sought :
We leave you here in solitude to dwell
With these our latest gifts of tender thought;
Thou, like the morning, in thy saffron coat
Bright gowan, and marsh-marigold, farewell;
Whom from the borders of the lake we brought,
And placed together near our rocky well.
We go for one of whom you will be dear;
And she will prize this bower, this Indian shed,
Our own contrivance, building without peer!
A gentle maid, whose heart is lowly bred,
Whose pleasures are in wild fields gathered,
With joyousness, and with a thoughtful cheer,
She'll come to you,-to you herself will wed,-
And love the blessed life which we lead here.
Dear spot! which we have watched with tender heed,
Bringing the chosen plants and blossoms blown
Among the distant mountains, flower and weed,
Which thou has taken to thee as thy own,
Making all kindness register'd and known :
Thou for our sakes, though Nature's child indeed,
Fair in thyself and beautiful alone,
Hast taken gifts which thou dost little need.
And O most constant, yet most fickle place,
That hast thy wayward moods, as thou dost show
To them who look not daily on thy face;
Who, being loved, in love no bounds dost know.
And sayest when we forsake thee, "Let them go;"
Thou easy-hearted thing, with thy wild race
Of weeds and flowers, till we return be slow,
And travel with the year at a soft pace.
Help us to tell her tales of years gone by,
And this sweet spring the best beloved and best.
Joy will be flown in its mortality;
Something must stay to tell us of the rest.
Here, thronged with primroses, the steep rock's breast
Glittered at evening like a starry sky;
And in this bush our sparrow built her nest,
Of which I sang one song that will not die.
O happy garden! whose seclusion deep
Hath been so friendly to industrious hours;
And to soft slumbers, that did gently steep
Our spirits, carrying with them dreams of flowers,
And wild notes warbled among leafy bowers;
Two burning months let summer overleap,
And, coming back with her who will be ours,
Into thy bosom we again shall creep.