Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman
   English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
630. O Swallow, Swallow
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
O SWALLOW, Swallow, flying, flying South,
Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves,
And tell her, tell her, what I tell to thee.
O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each,
That bright and fierce and fickle is the South,        5
And dark and true and tender is the North.
O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light
Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill,
And cheep and twitter twenty million loves.
O were I thou that she might take me in,        10
And lay me on her bosom, and her heart
Would rock the snowy cradle till I died.
Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love,
Delaying as the tender ash delays
To clothe herself, when all the woods are green?        15
O tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown:
Say to her, I do but wanton in the South,
But in the North long since my nest is made.
O tell her, brief is life but love is long,
And brief the sun of summer in the North,        20
And brief the moon of beauty in the South.
O Swallow, flying from the golden woods,
Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine,
And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.


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