Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Lovers, and a Reflection

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Lovers, and a Reflection

By Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)

Imitation of Jean Ingelow

IN moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter,

(And heaven it knoweth what that may mean;

Meaning, however, is no great matter)

When woods are a-tremble, with rifts atween;

Thro’ God’s own heather we wonned together,

I and my Willie (O love my love):

I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,

And flitterbats wavered alow, above;

Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing,

(Boats in that climate are so polite,)

And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,

And O the sun-dazzle on bark and bight!

Thro’ the rare red heather we danced together,

(O love my Willie!) and smelt for flowers:

I must mention again it was gorgeous weather,

Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:—

By rises that flushed with their purple favors,

Thro’ becks that brattled o’er grasses sheen,

We walked or waded, we two young shavers,

Thanking our stars we were both so green.

We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie,

In fortunate parallels! Butterflies,

Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly

Or marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:

Song-birds darted about, some inky

As coal, some snowy, I ween, as curds;

(Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky —)

They reek of no eerie To-come, those birds!

But they skim over bents which the mill-stream washes,

Or hang in the lift ’neath a white cloud’s hem;

They need no parasols, no goloshes;

And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.

Then we thrid God’s cowslips (as erst his heather)

That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms;

And snapt (it was perfectly charming weather)—

Our fingers at Fate and her goddess-glooms:

And Willie ’gan sing (O his notes were fluty;

Wafts fluttered them out to the white-winged sea)—

Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty,

Rhymes (better to put it) of “ancientry”:

Bowers of flowers encountered showers

In William’s carol—(O love my Willie!)

When he bade sorrow borrow from blithe to-morrow

I quite forget what—say a daffodilly.

A nest in a hollow, “with buds to follow,”

I think occurred next in his nimble strain;

And clay that was “kneaden,” of course in Eden,—

A rhyme most novel, I do maintain:

Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories,

And all at least furlable things got “furled”;

Not with any design to conceal their glories,

But simply and solely to rhyme with “world.”


Oh, if billows and pillows and hours and flowers,

And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,

Could be furled together, this genial weather,

And carted or carried in wafts away,

Nor ever again trotted out—ay me!

How much fewer volumes of verse there’d be!