Playing at the ball, my dearest of all,
When she grows older how will it be,
I dwell far away from her thoughts to-day
That heed not, need not, or mine or me.
Sing, ’O an my love were a fledgeling dove
That flutters forlorn o’ her shallow nest,
’T is I would render her service tender,
And carry her, carry her on my breast.’
Uplifted and lone, set apart with our love
On the crest of a soft swelling down
Cloud shadows that meet on the grass at our feet
Sail on above Wendover town.
Wendover town takes the smile of the sun
As if yearning and strife were no more,
From her red roofs float high neither plaint neither sigh,
All the weight of the world is our own.
Would that life were more kind and that souls might
As the wide mead from storm and from bale,
We bring up our own care, but how sweet over there
And how strange is their calm in the vale.
As if trouble at noon had achieved a deep sleep,
Lapped and lulled from the weariful fret,
Or shot down out of day, had a hint dropt away
As if grief might attain to forget.
Not if we two indeed had gone over the bourne
And were safe on the hills of the blest,
Not more strange they might show to us drawn from below,
Come up from long dolour to rest.
But the peace of that vale would be thine love and
And sweeter the air than of yore,
And this life we have led as a dream that is fled
Might appear to our thought evermore.
‘Was it life, was it life?’ we might say
‘’twas scarce life,’
’Was it love? ‘twas scarce love,’ looking down,
’Yet we mind a sweet ray of the red sun one day
Low lying on Wendover town.
When I had guineas many a one
Nought else I lacked ’neath the sun,
I had two eyes the bluest seen,
A perfect shape, a gracious mien,
I had a voice might charm the bale
From a two days widowed nightingale,
And if you ask how this I know
I had a love who told me so.
The lover pleads, the maid hearkeneth,
Her foot turns, his day darkeneth.
Love unkind, O can it be
’T was your foot false did turn from me.
The gear is gone, the red gold spent,
Favour and beauty with them went,
Eyes take the veil, their shining done,
Not fair to him is fair to none,
Sweet as a bee’s bag ’twas to taste
His praise. O honey run to waste,
He loved not! spoiled is all my way
In the spoiling of that yesterday.
The shadows wax, the low light alters,
Gold west fades, and false heart falters.
The pity of it!—Love’s a rover,
The last word said, and all over.