Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEACE AND SHEPHERD, by ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD



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PEACE AND SHEPHERD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Low in a deep sequester'd vale
Last Line: "I cannot shelter thee."
Alternate Author Name(s): Aikin, Anna Letitia
Subject(s): Shepherds & Shepherdesses


Low in a deep sequester'd vale,
Whence Alpine heights ascend,
A beauteous nymph, in pilgrim garb,
Is seen her steps to bend.

Her olive garland drops with gore;
Her scatter'd tresses torn,
Her bleeding breast, her bruised feet,
Bespeak a maid forlorn.

"From bower, and hall, and palace driven,
To these lone wilds I flee:
My name is Peace, I love the cot;
O shepherd, shelter me!"
"O beauteous pilgrim, why dost thou
From bower and palace flee?
So soft thy voice, so sweet thy look,
Sure all would shelter thee."

"Like Noah's dove no rest I find;
The din of battle roars
Where once my steps I lov'd to print
Along the myrtle shores.

"For ever in my frighted ears
The savage war-whoop sounds;
And, like a panting hare, I fly
Before the op'ning hounds."

"Pilgrim, those spiry groves among,
The mansions thou mayst see,
Where cloister'd saints chant holy hymns:
Sure such would shelter thee!"

"Those roofs with trophied banners stream,
There martial hymns resound;
And, shepherd, oft from crosier'd hands
This breast has felt a wound."

"Ah! gentle Pilgrim, glad would I
Those tones for ever hear!
With thee to share my scanty lot,
That lot to me were dear.

"But lo, along the vine-clad steep
The gleam of armour shines;
His scatter'd flock, his straw-roof'd hut,
The helpless swain resigns.

"And now the smouldering flames aspire;
Their lurid light I see;
I hear the human wolves approach;
I cannot shelter thee."





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