A Home Song

The swallow is come from his African home
To build on the English eaves;
The Sycamore wears all his glistering spears,
And the Almond rains roseate leaves;
And — dear Love! — with thee, as with bird and with tree,
'T is the time of blossom and nest,
Then, what good thing of the bountiful Spring
Shall I liken to thee — the best?

Over the streamlet the rose-bushes bend
Clouded with tender green,
And green the buds grow upon every bough,
Though as yet no rose-tint is seen;
Like those, thou art come to thy promise of bloom,
Like theirs, thine shunneth the light;
Break, rose-bud! — and let a longing heart know
If the blossom be red or white!

Up the broad river with swelling sails
A glorious vessel goes,
And not more clear in the soft blue air
Than in the still water she shows!
Dost thou not go with as brave a show,
And, sooth, with as swelling a state?
Oh, come into harbor with that thou bear'st,
Dear ship! — for I eagerly wait.

Fair ship! — ah, Kate! none beareth a freight
As precious and rich as thine,
And where 's the rose-bush that will burgeon and blush
With a blossom like thine and mine?
— Well! well! — we do, as the meadow birds too,
Since meadows with gold were dyed, —
The hen sits at rest in the hidden nest,
And her mate sings glad at her side.
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