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

John Banister Tabb (1845–1909)

To the Wood-Robin

THE WOOING air is jubilant with song,

And blossoms swell

As leaps thy liquid melody along

The dusky dell,

Where Silence, late supreme, foregoes her wonted spell.

Ah, whence, in sylvan solitudes remote,

Hast learned the lore

That breeds delight in every echoing note

The woodlands o’er;

As when, through slanting sun, descends the quickening shower?

Thy hermitage is peopled with the dreams

That gladden sleep;

Here Fancy dallies with delirious themes

Mid shadows deep,

Till eyes unused to tears, with wild emotions weep.

We rise, alas, to find our visions fled!

But thine remain.

Night weaves of golden harmonies the thread,

And fills thy brain

With joys that overflow in Love’s awakening strain.

Yet thou, from mortal influence apart,

Seek’st naught of praise;

The empty plaudits of the emptier heart

Taint not thy lays:

Thy Maker’s smile alone thy tuneful bosom sways.

Teach me, thou warbling eremite, to sing

Thy rhapsody;

Nor borne on vain ambition’s vaunting wing,

But led of thee,

To rise from earthly dreams to hymn Eternity.