There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair!
At La Chaudeau,--'tis long since then:
I was young,--my years twice ten;
All things smiled on the happy boy,
Dreams of love and songs of joy,
Peradventure of old, some bard in Ionian Islands,
Walking alone by the sea, hearing the wash of the waves,
A mist was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun,
And through the window-panes, on floor and panel,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
Oh that a Song would sing itself to me
Out of the heart of Nature, or the heart
Of man, the child of Nature, not of Art,
Where are the Poets, unto whom belong
The Olympian heights; whose singing shafts were sent
Straight to the mark, and not from bows half bent,
To gallop off to town post-haste,
So oft, the times I cannot tell;
To do vile deed, nor feel disgraced,--
Friar Lubin will do it well.
Have I dreamed? or was it real,
What I saw as in a vision,
When to marches hymeneal
Little sweet wine of Jurançon,
You are dear to my memory still!
With mine host and his merry song,
Under the rose-tree I drank my fill.