Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about The Vision of Sir Launfal.

AL FRESCO.

    The dandelions and buttercups
    Gild all the lawn; the drowsy bee
    Stumbles among the clover-tops,
    And summer sweetens all but me: 
    Away, unfruitful lore of books, 5
    For whose vain idiom we reject
    The soul’s more native dialect,
    Aliens among the birds and brooks,
    Dull to interpret or conceive
    What gospels lost the woods retrieve! 10
    Away, ye critics, city-bred,
    Who springes set of thus and so,
    And in the first man’s footsteps tread,
    Like those who toil through drifted snow! 
    Away, my poets, whose sweet spell[32] 15
    Can make a garden of a cell! 
    I need ye not, for I to-day
    Will make one long sweet verse of play.

[Footnote 32:  There is a delightful pair of poems by Wordsworth, Expostulation and Reply, and The Tables Turned, which show how another poet treats books and nature.]

      Snap, chord of manhood’s tenser strain! 
    To-day I will be a boy again; 20
    The mind’s pursuing element,
    Like a bow slackened and unbent,
    In some dark corner shall be leant. 
    The robin sings, as of old, from the limb! 
    The catbird croons in the lilac bush! 25
    Through the dim arbor, himself more dim,
    Silently hops the hermit-thrush,
    The withered leaves keep dumb for him;
    The irreverent buccaneering bee
    Hath stormed and rifled the nunnery 30
    Of the lily, and scattered the sacred floor
    With haste-dropt gold from shrine to door;
    There, as of yore,
    The rich, milk-tingeing buttercup
    Its tiny polished urn holds up, 35
    Filled with ripe summer to the edge,
    The sun in his own wine to pledge;
    And our tall elm, this hundredth year
    Doge of our leafy Venice here,
    Who, with an annual ring, doth wed 40
    The blue Adriatic overhead,
    Shadows with his palatial mass
    The deep canals of flowing grass.

      O unestranged birds and bees! 
    O face of Nature always true! 45
    O never-unsympathizing trees! 
    O never-rejecting roof of blue,
    Whose rash disherison never falls
    On us unthinking prodigals,
    Yet who convictest all our ill, 50
    So grand and unappeasable! 
    Methinks my heart from each of these
    Plucks part of childhood back again,
    Long there imprisoned, as the breeze
    Doth every hidden odor seize 55

Follow Us on Facebook