William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

The Nymph Of Arcadie - Poem by William Bell Scott

‘Young Loves to sell!’ a voice calls out
Beneath the trees, ‘Young loves to sell!’
From porch and garden round about,
Child, maid, and matron hasten out—
The voice was like a silver bell,
‘Young loves to sell!’
She took the basket from her head,
This cunning nymph of Arcadie—
‘Look at the soft wings, grey and red,
Fluttering in their pleachen bed,
Who'll buy? I will not wait, you see,
Who'll come to me?’
‘Young loves to sell!’ The children run
About her, ‘O take all our toys,
Take all we have and give us one!’
Old Laia spinning in the sun
Cries, ‘Long since lost I all my joys,
Give me but one!’

‘Young loves to sell! I will not stay,
So maidens, maidens, come and buy,
I cannot give them without pay,
Nor let them fly; I'll go away,
If no one quickly comes to try
If she can buy.
‘See how each little rosy dear
Smiles through the wicker bars at you,
Do not let your faint hearts fear
My darling loves, they smile and peer,
And this one, with wings azure blue,
He beckons you.’
Silvia, where is Silvia hid?—
She loosed the pearling from her hair,
Her golden necklace she undid,
Her bracelet from her wrist she slid,
And ran and caught the prize so rare,
Silvia the fair.

Then every one, and all at once,
Struggling round the wise nymph flew,
None would rest without a chance,
Such shining eyes and such a dance!
But Silvia's prettiest was I knew,
Wings azure blue!

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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