Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
Wymeswold, April, 1837
Henry Alford (1810–1871)
DEAR streamlet, tripping down thy devious course,
Or lulled in smoothest pools of sombre hue,
Or breaking over stones with murmurs hoarse,
To thee one grateful strain is surely due
From me, the poet of thy native wolds,        5
Now that the sky is golden in the west,
And distant flocks are bleating from their folds,
And the pale eve-star lifts her sparkling crest.
Would it were thus with thee, when summer suns
Shed their strong heats, and over field and hill        10
Swims the faint air, and all the cattle shuns
The brighter slopes; but then thy scanty rill
Has dwindled to a thread, and, creeping through
The tangled herbage, shelters from the view.
Nor is a thankful strain from me not due
To you, ye company of cherished flowers,
That look upon, throughout the weary hours,
My study and my prison; for from you
I learn that Nature to her charge is true;
That she, who clothes with bloom your lavish bowers        20
In kindlier climates, can, in skies like ours,
Paint your soft petals with their native hue.
And thence I learn that this poetic soul,
That fain would revel in the warmth and light
Of heavenly beauty, yet in strict control        25
Dwelling, and chilly realms of damp and blight,
Must not the more its proper task forego;
But in the dreariest clime its blossoms show.

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