Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AND I TOO IN ARCADIA; SUGGESTED BY A CELEBRATED PICTURE OF POUSSIN, by FELICIA DOROTHEA HEMANS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AND I TOO IN ARCADIA; SUGGESTED BY A CELEBRATED PICTURE OF POUSSIN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They have wandered in their glee
Last Line: "-- ""I too, shepherds! In arcadia dwelt."
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, Felicia Dorothea
Subject(s): Arcadians; Paintings & Painters; Poussin, Nicolas (1594-1665); Arcadia


THEY have wandered in their glee
With the butterfly and bee;
They have climbed o'er heathery swells,
They have wound through forest dells;
Mountain-moss hath felt their tread,
Woodland streams their way have led;
Flowers, in deepest shadowy nooks,
Nurslings of the loneliest brooks,
Unto them have yielded up
Fragrant bell and starry cup:
Chaplets are on every brow --
What hath staid the wanderers now?
Lo! a gray and rustic tomb,
Bowered amidst the rich wood-gloom;
Whence these words their stricken spirits melt,
-- "I too, Shepherds! in Arcadia dwelt."
There is many a summer sound
That pale sepulchre around;

Through the shade young birds are glancing,
Insect-wings in sun-streaks dancing;
Glimpses of blue festal skies
Pouring in when soft winds rise;
Violets o'er the turf below
Shedding out their warmest glow;
Yet a spirit not its own
O'er the greenwood now is thrown!
Something of an under-note
Through its music seems to float,
Something of a stillness gray
Creeps across the laughing day:
Something dimly from those old words felt,
-- "I too, Shepherds! in Arcadia dwelt."

Was some gentle kindred maid
In that grave with dirges laid?
Some fair creature, with the tone
Of whose voice a joy is gone,
Leaving melody and mirth
Poorer on this altered earth?
Is it thus? that so they stand,
Dropping flowers from every hand --
Flowers, and lyres, and gathered store
Of red wild-fruit prized no more?
-- No! from that bright band of morn
Not one link hath yet been torn:
'Tis the shadow of the tomb
Falling o'er the summer-bloom --
O'er the flush of love and life
Passing with a sudden strife;
'Tis the low prophetic breath
Murmuring from that house of death,
Whose faint whisper thus their hearts can melt,
-- "I too, Shepherds! in Arcadia dwelt."





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