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

Duffield Osborne (1858–1917)


THOU wert a shepherdess with fawn-like eyes;

I but a linnet swinging on a spray,

Who sang to thee of love the livelong day,

’Neath the deep azure of Ionian skies:

And thou didst throw me crumbs, and smile upon

The rustic wooing of some Corydon.

Thou wert a princess in Provençal towers;

I but a hunchback minstrel of her train,

Whose beauty tuned my lute’s divinest strain

To sing its master’s love to pitying flowers:

Yet once, led forth a monarch’s bride to be,

Thou kissed the dead lips that had sung of thee.

And now again I see thee as of yore;

In charms mysterious, fadeless, and supreme.

Still must I chant the love-slain minstrel’s dream,

Still weave in song the linnet’s passion lore.

And thou?—hast thou yet nothing more to give?

Wilt thou not love me, sweet, while now I live?