I hid my heart in a nest of roses, Out of the sun’s way, hidden apart; In a softer bed then the soft white snow’s is, Under the roses, I hid my heart. Why would it sleep not?
Why should it start, When never a leaf of the rose-tree stirred? What made sleep flutter his wings and part? Only the song of a secret bird. Lie still, I said, for the wind’s wing closes, And mild leaves muffle the keen sun’s dart; Lie still, for the wind on the warm seas dozes, And the wind is unquieter yet than thou art. Does a thought in thee still as a thorn’s wound smart? Does the fang still fret thee of hope deferred? What bids the lips of thy sleep disport? Only the song of a secret bird. The green land’s name that a charm encloses, It was never writ in the traveller’s chart, And sweet on its trees as the fruit that grows is, It was never sold in the merchant’s mart. The swallows of dreams through its dim fields dart, And sleep’s are the tunes in its tree-tops heard; No hound’s note wakens the wildwood hart, Only the song of a secret bird. Envoy In the world of dreams, I have chosen my part, To sleep for a season and hear no word Of true love’s truth or light love’s art, Only the song of a secret bird.
The little white clouds are racing over the sky,
And the fields are strewn with the gold of the flower of March,
The daffodil breaks under foot, and the tasselled larch
Sways and swings as the thrush goes hurrying by.
A delicate odour is borne on the wings of the morning breeze,
The odour of deep wet grass, and of brown new-furrowed earth,
The birds are singing for joy of the Spring’s glad birth,
Hopping from branch to branch on the rocking trees.
And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of Spring,
And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.
And the plane to the pine-tree is whispering some tale of love
Till it rustles with laughter and tosses its mantle of green,
And the gloom of the wych-elm’s hollow is lit with the iris sheen
Of the burnished rainbow throat and the silver breast of a dove.
See! the lark starts up from his bed in the meadow there,
Breaking the gossamer threads and the nets of dew,
And flashing adown the river, a flame of blue!
The kingfisher flies like an arrow, and wounds the air.