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Poems - Poetry

The Dove's Loneliness - George Darley


The Dove's Loneliness - George Darley

Break not my loneliness, O Wanderer! 
There's nothing sweet but Melancholy here. 
'Mid these dim walks and grassy wynds are seen 
No gaudy flowers, undarkening the green; 
No wanton bird chirrups from tree to tree, 
Not a disturber of the woods but me! 
Scarce in a summer doth a wild bee come 
To wake my sylvan echo with his hum, 
But for my weeping lullaby I have 
The everlasting cadence of the wave 
That falls in little breakers on the shore, 
And rather seems to strive to roar, than roar. 
Light Zephyr, too, spreads out his silver wings 
On each green leaf and in a whisper sings 
His love to every blossom in her ear, 
Too low, too soft, too sweet for me to hear! 
The soul of Peace breathes a wide calm around, 
And hallows for her shrine this sacred spot of ground. 
Her bird am I and rule the shade for her, 
A timid guard and trembling minister! 
My cradling palace hung amid the leaves 
Of a wide-swaying beech; a woodbine weaves, 
Fine spinster of the groves, my canopy 
Of purpling trellis and embroidery; 
My pendant chair, lined with the velvet green 
That nature clothes her russet children in, 
Moss of the silkiest thread. This is my throne 
Here do I sit, queen of the woods, alone! 
And as the winds come swooning through the trees, 
I join my murmurs to their melodies — 
Murmurs of joy, for I am pleased to find 
No visitors more constant than the wind. 
My heart beats high at every step you come 
Nearer the bosom of my woodland home, 
And blame me not, if when you turn away 
I wish that to some other scenes you'd stray, 
Some brighter, lovelier scenes; these are too sad, 
Too still, and deepen into deeper shade. 
See! the gay hillocks on the neighbouring shore 
Nodding their tufted crowns invite thee o'er; 
The daisy winks and the pale cowslip throws 
Her jealous looks ascant, — red burns the rose, — 
Spare hawthorn all her glittering wealth displays, 
Stars, blossoms, buds, and hangs them in the blaze 
To lure thine eye, the slope as fresh and sweet 
Spreads her lush carpet to entice thy feet 
Here are but weeds and a few sorry gems 
Scattered upon the straggling woodbine stems, 
Hoar trees and withered fern. Ah! stranger, go! 
I would not stay to make thee tremble so. 
Were I a man and thou a little dove, 
I would at thy least prayer at once remove. 
Then, stranger, turn, and should'st thou hear me coo 
From this deep-bosomed wood a hoarse adieu — 
The secret satisfaction of my mind 
That thou art gone and I am left behind — 
Smile thou and say farewell! The bird of Peace, 
Hope, Innocence and Love and Loveliness, 
Thy sweet Egeria's bird of birds doth pray 
By the name best-belov'd thou'lt wend thy way 
In pity of her pain. Though I know well 
Thou would'st not harm me, I must tremble still; 
My heart's the home of fear; ah! turn thee then, 
And leave me to my loneliness again! 



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