A glint of her hair or a flash of her shoulder —
That is the most I can boast of having seen,
Then all is lost as the shadows enfold her,
Forest glades making a screen of their green,
Could I cast off all the cares of tomorrow— Could I forget all the fret of today
Then, my heart free from the burdens I borrow,
Nature’s chaste spirit her face would vaporise
They hide in the brook when I seek to draw nearer,
Laughing amain when I feign to depart;
Often I hear them, now faint and now more transparent—
Innocent bold or so sweetly discreet.
Are they Nymphs of the Stream at their playing
Or but the brook I mistook for a voice?
Little care I; for, despite harsh Time’s flaying,
Brook voice or Nymph voice still makes me rejoice.