We met all four by the farmyard gate, We parted laughing, with half a sigh, And home we went, at a quicker rate, A shorter journey, my friend and I.
When we reached the house, it was late enough, And many impertinent things were said, Of time and distance, and such dull stuff, But we said little, and went to bed.
We went to bed, but one at least Went not to sleep till the black turned grey, And the sun rose up, and the light increased, And the birds awoke to a summer day.
And sometimes now, when the nights are mild, And the moon is away, and no stars shine, I wander out, and I go half-wild, To think of the kiss which was not mine.
Let great minds laugh at a grief so small, Let small minds laugh at a fool so great. Kind maidens, pity me, one and all. Shy youths, take warning by this my fate.
Alas for the bird who was born to sing! They have made him a cage; they have clipped his wing; They have shut him up in a dingy street, And they praise his singing and call it sweet. But his heart and his song are saddened and filled With the woods, and the nest he never will build, And the wild young dawn coming into the tree, And the mate that never his mate will be. And day by day, when his notes are heard They freshen the street--but alas for the bird
The air is dark and fragrant With memories of a shower, And sanctified with stillness By this most holy hour.
The leaves forget to whisper Of soft and secret things, And every bird is silent, With folded eyes and wings.