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The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May! that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;

Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

JOHN MILTON

FROM “STRANGE MEETINGS".

The stars must make an awful noise
In whirling round the sky;
Yet somehow I can't even hear
Their loudest song or sigh.

So it is wonderful to think
One blackbird can outsing
· The voice of all the swarming stars
On any day in Spring.

HAROLD MONRO

THE BROOK

I come from haunts of coot and hern,

I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,

To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,

Or slip between the ridges,

THE BROOK

25

By twenty thorpe, a little town,

And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,

In little sharps and trebles, I bubble into eddying bays,

I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret

By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set

With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

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I wind about, and in and out,

With here a blossom sailing And here and there a lusty trout,

And here and there a grayling.

And here and there a foamy flake

Upon me, as I travel

With many a silvery waterbreak

Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,

I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots

That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,

Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeam dance

Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars

In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;

I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

ALFRED TENNYSON INSCRIPTION FOR AN OLD BED

27

DREAM-PEDLARY

If there were dreams to sell,

What would you buy?
Some cost a passing bell;

Some a light sigh,
That shakes from Life's fresh crown
Only a rose-leaf down.
If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rang the bell,

What would you buy?

A cottage lone and still,

With bowers nigh,
Shadowy, my woes to still,

Until I die.
Such pearl from Life's fresh crown
Fain would I shake me down,
Were dreams to have at will,
This would best heal my ill,
This would I buy.

THOMAS LOVELL BEDDOES

INSCRIPTION FOR AN OLD BED

The wind's on the wold
And the night is a-cold,
And Thames runs chill
Twixt mead and hill.

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But kind and dear
Is the old house here
And
my

heart is warm
'Midst winter's harm.
Rest then and rest,
And think of the best
"Twixt summer and spring,
When all birds sing
In the town of the tree,
And

ye

lie in me
And scarce dare move
Lest the earth and its love
Should fade away
Ere the full of the day. .
I am old and have seen
Many things that have been;
Both grief and peace
And wane and increase.
No tale I tell
Of ill or well
But this I say;
Night treadeth on day,
And for worst or best
Right good is rest.

WILLIAM MORRIS

1

A LETTER

My noble, lovely, little Peggy,
Let this my First Epistle beg ye,

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