Up this green woodland ride let's softly rove
And list the Nightingale; she dwells just here.
Hush! let the wood-gate softly clap, for fear
The noise might drive her from her home of love;
For here I've heard her many a merry year,
At morn, at eve, nay, all the livelong day,
As though she lived on song.
This very spot
Just where that old man's-beard all wildly trails
Rude arbours o'er the road, and stops the way;
And where the child its blue-bell flowers hath got,
Laughing and creeping through the mossy rails;
There have I hunted like a very boy,

Creeping on hands and knees through matted thorn,
To find her nest, and see her feed her young.
And vainly did I many hours employ :

All seemed as hidden as a thought unborn.
And where those crumpling fern-leaves ramp among
The hazel's under boughs, I've nestled down
And watched her while she sang; and her renown
Hath made me marvel that so famed a bird
Should have no better dress than russet brown.
Her wings would tremble in her ecstasy,
And feathers stand on end, as 'twere with joy,
And mouth wide open to release her heart
Of its out-sobbing songs. The happiest part
Of Summer's fame she shared, for so to me
Did happy fancies shapen her employ.
But if I touched a bush, or scarcely stirred,
All in a moment stopt. I watched in vain :
The timid bird had left the hazel bush,
And oft in distance hid to sing again.
Lost in a wilderness of listening leaves,
Rich ecstasy would pour its luscious strain,
Till envy spurred the emulating Thrush
To start less wild and scarce inferior songs;
For while of half the year Care him bereaves,
To damp the ardour of his speckled breast,
The Nightingale to Summer's life belongs,

And naked trees and Winter's nipping wrongs
Are strangers to her music and her rest.
Her joys are ever green, her world is wide!
Hark! there she is, as usual. Let's be hush;
For in this blackthorn clump, if rightly guessed,
Her curious house is hidden. Part aside
Those hazel branches in a gentle way,

And stoop right cautious 'neath the rustling boughs, For we will have another search to-day,

And hunt this fern-strewn thorn-clump round and round,

And where this reeded wood-grass idly bows
We'll wade right through; it is a likely nook.
In such like spots, and often on the ground
They'll build where rude boys never think to

look ;

Ay, as I live! her secret nest is here

Upon this whitethorn stump! I've searched about
For hours in vain. There, put that bramble by,-
Nay, trample on its branches, and get near.
How subtle is the bird! She started out,
And raised a plaintive note of danger nigh
Ere we were past the brambles; and now, near
Her nest, she sudden stops, as choking fear
That might betray her home. So even now
We'll leave it as we found it; safety's guard
Of pathless solitudes shall keep it still.
We will not plunder music of its dower,
Nor turn this spot of happiness to thrall,
For melody seems hid in every flower
That blossoms near thy home. These bluebells all
Seem bowing with the beautiful in song;
And gaping cuckoo-flower, with spotted leaves,
Seems blushing at the singing it has heard.
How curious is the nest! No other bird
Uses such loose materials, or weaves
Its dwelling in such spots! Dead oaken leaves
Are placed without, and velvet moss within.

And little scraps of grass, and scant and spare,
What hardly seem materials down and hair;
For from men's haunts she nothing seems to win.
Snug lie her curious eggs, in number five,
Of deadened green, or rather olive-brown,
And the old prickly thorn-bush guards them well.
So here we'll leave them, still unknown to wrong,
As the old woodland's legacy of song.



THERE'S nothing here on earth deserves

One half the thought we waste about it,
And thinking but destroys the nerves,

When we could do as well without it.
If folks would let the world go round,

And pay their tithes, and eat their dinners,
Such doleful looks would not be found

To frighten us poor laughing sinners.
Never sigh when you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!

One plagues himself about the sun,

And puzzles on, through every weather,
What time he'll rise-how long he'll run,
And when he'll leave us altogether.
Now, matters it a pebble-stone,

Whether he dines at six or seven?
If they don't leave the sun alone,

At last they'll plague him out of heaven!
Never sigh when you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!

Another spins from out his brains
Fine cobwebs, to amuse his neighbours,
And gets, for all his toils and pains,

Reviewed and laughed at for his labours;
Fame is his star! and fame is sweet:

And praise is pleasanter than honey-
I write at just so much a sheet,

And Messrs. Longman pay the money!
Never sigh when you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!

My brother gave his heart away

To Mercandotti, when he met her, She married Mr. Ball one day

He's gone to Sweden to forget her! I had a charmer, too—and sighed

And raved all day and night about her!
She caught a cold, poor thing! and died,
And I-am just as fat without her!
Never sigh when you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!

For tears are vastly pretty things,

But make one very thin and taper; And sighs are music's sweetest strings,


Yet sound most beautiful-on paper
"Thought" is the gazer's brightest star,
Her gems alone are worth his finding;
But, as I'm not particular,

Please God! I'll keep on ""
Never sigh when you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!

never minding."

Ah! in this troubled world of ours,
A laughter mine's a glorious treasure;
And separating thorns from flowers,

Is half a pain and half a pleasure;

And why be grave instead of gay?
Why feel athirst while folks are quaffing ?
Oh! trust me, whatsoe'er they say,

There's nothing half so good as laughing!
Never cry while you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!


Ar Carnac, in Brittany, close on the bay,
They show you a church, or rather the grey
Ribs of a dead one, left there to bleach

With the wreck lying near on the crest of the beach; Roofless and splintered with thunder-stone, 'Mid lichen-blurred gravestones all alone, "Tis the kind of ruin strange sights to see That may have their teaching for you and me.

Something like this, then, my guide had to tell,
Perched on a saint cracked across when he fell.
But since I might chance give his meaning a wrench,
He talking his patois and I English-French,

I'll put what he told me, preserving the tone,
In a rhymed prose that makes it half his, half my own.

An abbey-church stood here, once on a time,
Built as a death-bed atonement for crime;
'Twas for somebody's sins, I know not whose;
But sinners are plenty, and you can choose.
Though a cloister now of the dusk-winged bat,
"Twas rich enough once, and the brothers grew fat,
Looser in girdle and purpler in jowl,
Singing good rest to the founder's lost soul.

But one day came Northmen, and lithe tongues of fire
Lapped up the chapter-house, licked off the spire,

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