Poems Written at Teignmouth

In A Letter to Haydon

“I have enjoyed the most delightful walks these three fine days, beautiful enough to make me content.”

Here all the summer could I stay,
For there’s a Bishop’s Teign,
And King’s Teign,
And Coomb at the clear Teign’s head;
Where, close by the stream,
You may have your cream,
All spread upon barley bread.

There’s Arch Brook,
And there’s Larch Brook,—
Both turning many a mill;
And cooling the drouth
Of the salmon’s mouth,
And fattening his silver gill.

There’s a wild wood,
A mild hood,
To the sheep on the lea o’ the down,
Where the golden furze,
With its green, thin spurs,
Doth catch at the maiden’s gown.

There’s Newton Marsh,
With its spear-grass harsh,—
A pleasant summer level;
Where the maidens sweet
Of the Market street,
Do meet in the dark to revel.

There’s Barton rich
With dyke and ditch,
And hedge for the thrush to live in.
And the hollow tree
For the buzzing bee,
And a bank for the wasp to hive in.

And O and O
The daisies blow,
And the primroses are waken’d;
And the violets white
Sit in silver light,
And the green buds are long in the spike end.

Then who would go
Into dark Soho,
And chatter with dank-hair’d critics,
When he can stay
For the new- mown hay,
And startle the dappled crickets?

Where be you going, You devon maid?

“There’s a bit of doggerel; you would like a bit of botheral.”

Where be you going, you Devon maid?
And what have ye there in the basket?
Ye tight little fairy, just fresh from the dairy,
Will ye give me some cream if I ask it?

I love your hills and I love your dales,
And I love your flocks a-bleating;
But oh, on the heather to lie together,
With both our hearts a-beating!

I’ll put your basket all safe in a nook;
Your shawl I’ll hang on a willow;
And we will sigh in the daisy’s eye,
And kiss on a grass-green pillow.


Epistle to John Hamilton Reynolds

“In hopes of cheering you through a minute or two, I was determined, will he nill he, to send you some lines, so you will excuse the unconnected subject and careless verse. You know, I am sure, Claude’s ’Enchanted Castle,’ and I wish you may be pleased with my remembrance of it.’—March, I8I8.

Dear Reynolds! as last night I lay in bed,
There came before my eyes that wonted thread
Of shapes, and shadows, and remembrances,
That every other minute vex and please:
Things all disjointed come from north and south,—
Two Witch’s eyes above a Cherub’s mouth,
Voltaire with casque and shield and habergeon,
And Alexander with his nightcap on;
Old Socrates a-tying his cravat,
And Hazlitt playing with Miss Edgeworth’s cat
And Junius Brutus, pretty well, so so,
Making the best of’s way towards Soho.

Few are there who escape these visitings,—
Perhaps one or two whose lives have patent wings,
And thro’ whose curtains peeps no hellish nose,
No wild-boar tushes, and no Mermaid’s toes;
But flowers bursting out with lusty pride,
And young æolian harps personified;
Some Titian colours touch’d into real life,—
The sacrifice goes on; the pontiff knife
Gleams in the Sun, the milk-white heifer lows,
The pipes go

  By PanEris using Melati.

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