Welsh Lyrics of the Nineteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 56 pages of information about Welsh Lyrics of the Nineteenth Century.

At the foot of the Stairs.

Maidenlike, love’s question waiving,
   Nought she said,
While I stood my answer craving,
   Half afraid. 
Coldly she with hand extended,
   Said, “Good night,”
And ere well the words were ended,
   Took to flight
Past me, deep obeisance making. 
   Well she knew
She with her my heart was taking
   Torn in two.

At the stairway’s foot half dreaming
   Still I stayed;
From my heart my love poured streaming
   Towards the maid. 
For one blissful moment standing
   Paused she there;
Fell the lamplight from the landing
   On her hair,
And her eyes, like starlight sparkling,
   Clear were seen,
But, alas! the staircase darkling
   Lay between.

Down the staircase through the gloaming,
   Smiled she then,
As though heaven itself were coming
   Down to men! 
Raised her hand and from her tresses
   Plucked a rose
Which amid her locks’ caresses,
   Found repose,
Breathed upon it love’s own dower,
   Kisses sweet,
And for answer dropped the flower
   At my feet.


John Davies was born at Cardigan in 1834, and died April 24, 1892.  He was, I believe, a carpenter by trade.  He published one little volume, “Caniadau Ossian Gwent” (Hughes & Son, Wrexham), but he left a large mass of unpublished matter.  No one of our poets is simpler or purer, or writes so lovingly of birds and flowers.

The Lark.

Oh hark! 
   With fluttering wing and dewy breast,
   Soars upward like a spirit strong,
      From reedy nest,
      The gentle lark,
   To tune on high his matin song.

   A nameless charm flows from thy lay,
      Melodious bird! 
      Whose music heard
   Drives care and sorrow far away.

   The sleeping world lies still as death;
   Above, we hear thee singing clear,
      ’Mid’st morning rays,
      Unsullied praise,
   Which speaks of peace to mortal ear.

How free
   And blithesome is thy joyous flight! 
   In floods of sunshine sparkling bright,
      From skies serene
      Thy song unseen
   Angelic music seems to me.

The Bible.

Like stars beside the sun,
      So by this book
      Earth’s volumes look: 
Their glory fades before its light,
For on its leaves the splendour bright
   Of God’s own face hath shone.

’Tis like some fair seashell—­
      Bend down thine ear
      And thou shalt hear
The river on the golden strand
And sound of harps in that fair land—­
   Or wail of souls in hell!

The Lake.

Oh fair the glade where dewy primrose bloweth,
   And fair the quiet slope of hillside clear,
      Which, girdled with the sheen
      Of glorious summer green,
Its smiling face like some tall seraph showeth,
   And in its sunlit lap the modest mere.

Project Gutenberg
Welsh Lyrics of the Nineteenth Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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