Old Albion sat on a crag of late,
And sung out—'Ahoy! ahoy!
Long life to the captain, good luck to the mate,
And this to my sailor boy
Subject given—'Light and Shade.'
She stepped upon Sicilian grass,
Demeter's daughter fresh and fair,
I took a year out of my life and story—
A dead year, and said, 'I will hew thee a tomb!
'All the kings of the nations lie in glory;'
One morning, oh! so early, my beloved, my beloved,
All the birds were singing blithely, as if never they would cease;
Haply some Rajah first in ages gone
Amid his languid ladies finger'd thee,
While a black nightingale, sun-swart as he,
Sang his one wife, love's passionate orison:
Living child or pictured cherub
Ne'er o'ermatched its baby grace;
And the mother, moving nearer,
While ripening corn grew thick and deep,
And here and there men stood to reap,
One morn I put my heart to sleep,
Come up the broad river, the Thames, my Dane,
My Dane with the beautiful eyes!
Thousands and thousands await thee full fain,
And talk of the wind and the skies.
White as white butterflies that each one dons
Her face their wide white wings to shade withal,
Many moon-daisies throng the water-spring.
While couched in rising barley titlarks call,
It was a village built in a green rent,
Between two cliffs that skirt the dangerous bay.