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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Veery
By Henry van Dyke (1852–1933)
 
From ‘The Builders and Other Poems’

THE MOONBEAMS over Arno’s vale in silver flood were pouring,
When first I heard the nightingale a long-lost love deploring.
So passionate, so full of pain, it sounded strange and eerie:
I longed to hear a simpler strain,—the wood-notes of the veery.
 
The laverock sings a bonny lay above the Scottish heather;        5
It sprinkles down from far away like light and love together;
He drops the golden notes to greet his brooding mate, his dearie:
I only know one song more sweet,—the vespers of the veery.
 
In English gardens, green and bright and full of fruity treasure,
I heard the blackbird with delight repeat his merry measure;        10
The ballad was a pleasant one, the tune was loud and cheery,—
And yet, with every setting sun, I listened for the veery.
 
But far away, and far away, the tawny thrush is singing;
New England woods, at close of day, with that clear chant are ringing;
And when my light of life is low, and heart and flesh are weary,        15
I fain would hear, before I go, the wood-notes of the veery.
 
 
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