O singing stream, I take one tender look
At thy clear crystal depths in childish speed
Dancing between the mosses and the reed;
One last long gaze at thee, O gurgling brook.
‘Tis almost eve and time that we forsook
Thee and thy haunts, where trout and swallow feed,
To climb the hill and leave this cradling mead
For home, far from thy lone sequestered nook.
Thy days of innocence and glee begun
Not long since, and thy baby-hearted mirth,
Lisp in thy treble o’er the grateful earth
A quiet lament; our summer day is done;
We must away, we may not linger here,
For duty calls us back, our way is clear.
I stay to dream one fleeting fantasy
Whilst in my ears persists the streamlet’s song,
Trilling and lilting, carolling along,
The world will wake me from this reverie!
For one brief space the screen of memory
Lights with the smoking lamps; I see a throng
Of eager youngsters busy giving tongue
To their opinions, whether they agree
Or not. Now the lamps fade, night mounts her throne
To reign in peace and beauty, deep and still.
The softly steals the music of the rill
Across the dewy grass with lulling tone,
And to the heathered mountains seem to creep
And brings to beasts and men the gift of sleep!