Gustav Rosenhane (1619-1684)

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Deep in a vale where rocks on every side
Shut out the winds, and scarcely let the sun
Between them dart his rays down one by one,
Where all was still and cool in summer-tide,
And softly, with her whispering waves that sighed,
A little river, that had scarce begun
Her silver course, made bold to fleet and run
Down leafy falls to woodlands dense and wide,
There stood a tiny plain, just large enow
To give small mountain-folk right room to dance,
With oaks and limes and maples ringed around;
Hither I came, and viewed its turf askance,
Its solitude with beauty seemed a-glow,--
My Love had walked there and 'twas holy ground!


And then I sat me down, and gave the rein
To my wild thoughts, till many a song that rang
From boughs around where hidden warblers sang
Recalled me from myself; then "Oh! in vain"
I said, "do these outpour the tender strain?
Can these sweet birds that with such airs harangue
Their feathered loves, like me, feel sorrow's pang?
Ah! would that I, like them, had pinions twain!
Straight would I fly to her whom I love best,
Nor vainly warbling in the woodland sing,
But chirp my prayer, and preen my plumèd crest,
And to this spot once more her beauty bring,
And flutter round her flight with supple wing,
And lead her to my secret leafy nest."

Translated by Sir Edmund Gosse.