Though ’twas Jemima’s hand that placed,
(As well you ween) at evening’s hour,
In the loved button-hole that chaste
And cherish’d flower.
And when they travel, if they find
That they have left their pocket-compass
Or Murray or thick boots behind,
They raise no rumpus,
But plod serenely on without:
Knowing it’s better to endure
The evil which beyond all doubt
You cannot cure.
When for that early train they’re late,
They do not make their woes the text
Of sermons in the Times, but wait
On for the next;
And jump inside, and only grin
Should it appear that that dry wag,
The guard, omitted to put in
O what harper could worthily harp it,
Mine Edward! this wide-stretching wold
(Look out wold) with its wonderful carpet
Of emerald, purple, and gold!
Look well at it—also look sharp, it
Is getting so cold.
The purple is heather (erica);
The yellow, gorse—call’d sometimes “whin.”
Cruel boys on its prickles might spike a
Green beetle as if on a pin.
You may roll in it, if you would like a
Few holes in your skin.
You wouldn’t? Then think of how kind you
Should be to the insects who crave
Your compassion—and then, look behind you
At you barley-ears! Don’t they look brave
As they undulate—(undulate, mind you,
From unda, a wave).
The noise of those sheep-bells, how faint it
Sounds here—(on account of our height)!
And this hillock itself—who could paint it,
With its changes of shadow and light?
Is it not—(never, Eddy, say “ain’t it”) —
A marvellous sight?
Then yon desolate eerie morasses,
The haunts of the snipe and the hern —
(I shall question the two upper classes
On aquatiles, when we return) —
Why, I see on them absolute masses
Of filix or fern.
How it interests e’en a beginner
(Or tiro) like dear little Ned!
Is he listening? As I am a sinner
He’s asleep—he is wagging his head.
Wake up! I’ll go home to my dinner,
And you to your bed.
The boundless ineffable prairie;
The splendour of mountain and lake
With their hues that seem ever to vary;
The mighty pine-forests which shake
In the wind, and in which the unwary
May tread on a snake;
And this wold with its heathery garment —
Are themes undeniably great.
But—although there is not any harm in’t —
It’s perhaps little good to dilate
On their charms to a dull little varmint
Of seven or eight.