Wymesworld, April 1837

Henry Alford


DEAR streamlet, tripping down thy devious course,

Or lulled in smoothest pools of sombre hue,

Or breaking over stones with murmurs hoarse,

To thee one grateful strain is surely due

From me, the poet of thy native wolds,

Now that the sky is golden in the west,

And distant flocks are bleating from their folds,

And the pale eve-star lifts her sparkling crest.

Would it were thus with thee, when summer suns

Shed their strong heats, and over field and hill

Swims the faint air, and all the cattle shuns

The brighter slopes; but then thy scanty rill

Has dwindled to a thread, and, creeping through

The tangled herbage, shelters from the view.



Nor is a thankful strain from me not due

To you, ye company of cherished flowers,

That look upon, throughout the weary hours,

My study and my prison; for from you

I learn that Nature to her charge is true;

That she, who clothes with bloom your lavish bowers

In kindlier climates, can, in skies like ours,

Paint your soft petals with their native hue.

And thence I learn that this poetic soul,

That fain would revel in the warmth and light

Of heavenly beauty, yet in strict control

Dwelling, and chilly realms of damp and blight,

Must not the more its proper task forego;

But in the dreariest clime its blossoms show.