Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Songs from “Sylvia; Or, the May Queen.” IV. Romanzo to Sylvia

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Darley 1795–1846

Songs from “Sylvia; Or, the May Queen.” IV. Romanzo to Sylvia


I ’VE taught thee Love’s sweet lesson o’er,

A task that is not learn’d with tears:

Was Sylvia e’er so blest before

In her wild, solitary years?

Then what does he deserve, the Youth,

Who made her con so dear a truth!

Till now in silent vales to roam,

Singing vain songs to heedless flowers,

Or watch the dashing billows foam,

Amid thy lonely myrtle bowers,

To weave light crowns of various hue,—

Were all the joys thy bosom knew.

The wild bird, though most musical,

Could not to thy sweet plaint reply;

The streamlet and the waterfall

Could only weep when thou didst sigh!

Thou couldst not change one dulcet word

Either with billow, or with bird.

For leaves and flowers, but these alone,

Winds have a soft discoursing way;

Heav’n’s starry talk is all its own,—

It dies in thunder far away.

E’en when thou wouldst the Moon beguile

To speak,—she only deigns to smile!

Now, birds and winds, be churlish still,

Ye waters keep your sullen roar,

Stars be as distant as ye will,—

Sylvia need court ye now no more:

In Love there is society

She never yet could find with ye!