To His Wife (1804) - Poem by Robert Bloomfield
I rise, dear Mary, from the soundest rest,
A wandering, way-worn, musing, singing guest.
I claim the privilege of hill and plain;
Mine are the woods, and all that they contain;
The unpolluted gale, which sweeps the glade; 5
All the cool blessings of the solemn shade;
Health, and the flow of happiness sincere;
Yet there’s one wish,—I wish that thou wert here;
Free from the trammels of domestic care,
With me these dear autumnal sweets to share; 10
To share my heart’s ungovernable joy;
And keep the birth-day of our poor lame boy.
Ah! that’s a tender string! Yet since I find
That scenes like these, can soothe the harass’d mind,
jaded spirits free, 15
To wander thus through vales and woods with me.
Thou know’st how much I love to steal away
From noise, from uproar, and the blaze of day;
With double transport would my heart rebound
To lead thee, where the clustering nuts are found; 20
No toilsome efforts would our task demand,
For the brown treasure stoops to meet the hand.
Round the tall hazel, beds of moss appear
In green-swards nibbled by the forest deer,
Sun, and alternate shade; while o’er our heads 25
The cawing rook his glossy pinions spreads;
The noisy jay, his wild-woods dashing through;
The ring-dove’s chorus, and the rustling bough;
The far resounding gate; the kite’s shrill scream;
The distant ploughman’s halloo to his team. 30
This is the chorus to my soul so dear;
It would delight thee too, wert thou but here:
For we might talk of home, and muse o’er days
Of sad distress, and Heaven’s mysterious ways;
Our chequer’d fortunes, with a smile retrace, 35
And build new hopes upon our infant race;
Pour our thanksgivings forth, and weep the while;
Or pray for blessings on our native isle.
But vain the wish!—Mary, thy sighs forbear,
Nor grudge the pleasure which thou canst not share; 40
Make home delightful, kindly wish for me,
And I’ll leave hills, and dales, and woods for thee.
Whittlebury Forest, Sept. 16, 1804.
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