Scene Between May and June
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
With woody hill o'er hill encompass'd round,
A most enchanting wizard did abide,
Than whom a fiend more fell is nowhere found.
It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground;
And there a season atween June and May,
Half prankt with spring, with summer half imbrown'd,
A listless climate made, where, sooth to say,
No living wight could work, ne cared e'en for play.
Was nought around but images of rest,
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between,
And flowery beds, that slumbrous influence kest
From poppies breath'd, and beds of pleasant green,
Where never yet was creeping creature seen.
Meatime unnumber'd glittering streamlets play'd,
And hurl'd everywhere their water's sheen,
That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade,
Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made.
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills,
Were heard the lowing herds along the vale,
And flocks loud bleating from the distant hills,
And vacant shepherds piping in the dale:
And now and then sweet Philomel would wail,
Or stock-doves plain amid the forest deep,
That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale;
And still a coil the grasshopper did keep;
Yet all these sounds y-blent inclined all to sleep.
Full in the passage of the vale above,
A sable, silent, solemn, forest stood,
Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to move,
As Idless fancy'd in her dreaming mood;
And up the hills, on either side, a wood
Of black'ning pines, aye waving to and fro,
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood;
And where this valley winded out, below,
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely heard, to flow.
A pleasing land of drowsy-head it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye,
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky;
There eke the soft delights, that witchingly
Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast,
And the calm pleasures, always hover'd nigh;
But whate'er smack'd of noyace or unrest,
Was far, far off expell'd from this delicious nest.