To Tacaea

Tomorrow , brightest-eyed of Avon's train,
Tomorrow thou art, slavelike, bound and sold,
Another's and another's!—haste away,
Winde thro' the willows, dart along the path—
It nought avails thee! nought our plaint avails!
O happy those before me, who could say
‘Short tho' thy period, sweet Tacæa, short
Ere thou art destin'd to the depths below,
Even from thy valley-cradle, saffron-strown,
Thou passest half thy sunny hours with me.’

I mourn not, envy not, what others gain.
Thee, and thy venerable elms I mourn,
Thy old protectors! ruthless was the pride
And gaunt the need that bade their heads lie low!
I see the meadow's tender grass start back,
See from their prostrate trunks the gorey glare.

Ah! pleasant was it once to watch thy waves
Swelling o'er pliant beds of glossy weed;
Pleasant to watch them dip amid the stones,
Chirp, and spring over, glance and gleam along,
And tripping light their wanton way pursue.
Methinks they now, with mellow mournfulness,
Bid their faint breezes chide my fond delay,
Nor suffer on the bridge nor on the knee
My poor irregularly pencil'd page.
Alas, Tacæa, thou art sore deceived!
Here are no foreign words, no fatal seal—
But thou, and all who hear me, shall avow
The simple notes of sorrow's song are here.
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