Ballad of Reading Gaol eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 114 pages of information about Ballad of Reading Gaol.

She will not come, I know her well,
Of lover’s vows she hath no care,
And little good a man can tell
Of one so cruel and so fair. 
True love is but a woman’s toy,
They never know the lover’s pain,
And I who loved as loves a boy
Must love in vain, must love in vain.

O noble pilot, tell me true,
Is that the sheen of golden hair? 
Or is it but the tangled dew
That binds the passion-flowers there? 
Good sailor come and tell me now
Is that my Lady’s lily hand? 
Or is it but the gleaming prow,
Or is it but the silver sand?

No! no! ’tis not the tangled dew,
’Tis not the silver-fretted sand,
It is my own dear Lady true
With golden hair and lily hand! 
O noble pilot, steer for Troy,
Good sailor, ply the labouring oar,
This is the Queen of life and joy
Whom we must bear from Grecian shore!

The waning sky grows faint and blue,
It wants an hour still of day,
Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew,
O Lady mine, away! away! 
O noble pilot, steer for Troy,
Good sailor, ply the labouring oar,
O loved as only loves a boy! 
O loved for ever evermore!

Poem:  Endymion (For Music)

The apple trees are hung with gold,
And birds are loud in Arcady,
The sheep lie bleating in the fold,
The wild goat runs across the wold,
But yesterday his love he told,
I know he will come back to me. 
O rising moon!  O Lady moon! 
Be you my lover’s sentinel,
You cannot choose but know him well,
For he is shod with purple shoon,
You cannot choose but know my love,
For he a shepherd’s crook doth bear,
And he is soft as any dove,
And brown and curly is his hair.

The turtle now has ceased to call
Upon her crimson-footed groom,
The grey wolf prowls about the stall,
The lily’s singing seneschal
Sleeps in the lily-bell, and all
The violet hills are lost in gloom. 
O risen moon!  O holy moon! 
Stand on the top of Helice,
And if my own true love you see,
Ah! if you see the purple shoon,
The hazel crook, the lad’s brown hair,
The goat-skin wrapped about his arm,
Tell him that I am waiting where
The rushlight glimmers in the Farm.

The falling dew is cold and chill,
And no bird sings in Arcady,
The little fauns have left the hill,
Even the tired daffodil
Has closed its gilded doors, and still
My lover comes not back to me. 
False moon!  False moon!  O waning moon! 
Where is my own true lover gone,
Where are the lips vermilion,
The shepherd’s crook, the purple shoon? 
Why spread that silver pavilion,
Why wear that veil of drifting mist? 
Ah! thou hast young Endymion,
Thou hast the lips that should be kissed!

Poem:  La Bella Donna Della Mia Mente

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Ballad of Reading Gaol from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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