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Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass, and kingcups grow within the paths.




But never elsewhere in one place I knew
many nightingales; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,

They answer and provoke each other's song,
With skirmish and capricious passagings,
And murmurs musical, and swift jug-jug,

And one low, piping sound more sweet than all—
Stirring the air with such a harmony,

That, should you close your eyes, you might almost
Forget it was not day! On moon-lit bushes,
Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed,

You may, perchance, behold them on the twigs,
Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and full,
Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade
Lights up her love-torch.

A most gentle maid,

Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
Hard by the castle, and at latest eve

(Even like a lady vowed and dedicate

To something more than Nature in the grove)
Glides through the pathways; she knows all their notes,
That gentle maid! and oft a moment's space,
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,
Hath heard a pause of silence; till the moon
Emerging, hath awakened earth and sky
With one sensation, and these wakeful birds
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
As if some sudden gale had swept at once
A hundred airy harps! And she hath watched


Many a nightingale perched giddily

On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze,
And to that motion tune his wanton song,

Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head.



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Find one sad level-and how, soon or late,

Wronged and wrong-doer, each with meeken'd face,
And cold hands folded over a still heart,

Pass the green threshold of our common grave,
Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart,
Awed for myself, and pitying my race,

Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave,

Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!


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Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood

In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood? Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers

Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of


The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November


Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.

The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;

But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,



And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty


Till fell the frost from the clear, cold heaven, as falls the

plague on men,

And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.

And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will come,

To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter


When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,

And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance

late he bore,

And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no


And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died, The fair, meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side :

In the cold, moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast the leaf,

And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so


Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of


So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.


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