Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A RURAL RETREAT; ENTER OF SALISBURY WITH A BOX, by GEORGE DARLEY



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A RURAL RETREAT; ENTER OF SALISBURY WITH A BOX, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Let me pause here, both tongue and foot
Last Line: As a romancer!


LET me pause here, both tongue and foot; such melody
Of words doth strike the wild-birds mute to hear it!
Honey-lipp'd Virgil, 't is an ignorant truth
To name thee -- Sorcerer; for thou dost indeed
Enchant by happiest art! -- Here is a place
To meditate thy sylvan music in,
Which seems the very echo of these woods,
As if some dryad taught thee to resound it.
Oh gentle breeze, what lyrist of the air
Tunes her soft chord with visionary hand
To make thy voice so dulcet? Oh ye boughs
Whispering with numerous lips your kisses close
How sweet ye mingle secret words and sighs!
Doth not this work grow warmer with the hum
Of fervent bees, blithe murmurers at their toil,
Minstrels most bland? Here the dim cushat, perch'd
Within his pendulous arbour, plaintive woos,
With restless love-call, his ne'er distant mate;
While changeful choirs do flit from tree to tree,
All various in their notes, yet chiming all
Involuntary, like the songs of cherubim.
Oh, how by accident, apt as art, drops in
Each tone to make the whole harmonial.
And when need were, thousands of wandering sounds
Though aimless, would, with exquisite error sad,
Fill up the diapason! Pleasant din!
So fine that even the cricket can be heard
Soft fluttering through the grass. Long have I mark'd
The silver toll of a clear-dipping well
Peal in its bright parishioners, ouphes and elves:
'T is nigh me, certes! -- I will peer between
These honeysuckles for it -- Lo! in verity
A Sylph, with veil-fallen hair down to her feet,
Bending her o'er the waters, and I think
Giving them purer crystal from her eyes --
Oh learned John, but thou art grown fantastic
As a romancer!





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