Ye happy, airy creatures!
  That in the merry spring
Think not of what misfeatures
  Or cares the year may bring;
    But unto love
Resign your simple natures,
    To tender love.

848   Awake, my Heart, to be loved

AWAKE, my heart, to be loved, awake, awake:
The darkness silvers away, the morn doth break,
It leaps in the sky: unrisen lustres slake
The o’ertaken moon. Awake, O heart, awake!

She too that loveth awaketh and hopes for thee;
Her eyes already have sped the shades that flee,
Already they watch the path thy feet shall take:
Awake, O heart, to be loved, awake, awake!

And if thou tarry from her,—if this could be,—
She cometh herself, O heart, to be loved, to thee;
For thee would unashamàd herself forsake:
Awake to be loved, my heart, awake, awake!

Awake, the land is scattered with light, and see,
Uncanopied sleep is flying from field and tree:
And blossoming boughs of April in laughter shake;
Awake, O heart, to be loved, awake, awake!

Lo all things wake and tarry and look for thee:
She looketh and saith, ‘O sun, now bring him to me.
Come more adored, O adored, for his coming’s sake,
And awake my heart to be loved: awake, awake!’

849   Elegy: On a Lady, whom Grief
                                 for the Death of her Betrothed killed

ASSEMBLE, all ye maidens, at the door,
And all ye loves, assemble; far and wide
Proclaim the bridal, that proclaim’d before
Has been deferr’d to this late eventide:
       For on this night the bride,
     The days of her betrothal over,
   Leaves the parental hearth for evermore;
To-night the bride goes forth to meet her lover.

Reach down the wedding vesture, that has lain
Yet all unvisited, the silken gown:
Bring out the bracelets, and the golden chain
Her dearer friends provided: sere and brown
       Bring out the festal crown,
     And set it on her forehead lightly:
   Though it be wither’d, twine no wreath again;
This only is the crown she can wear rightly.

Cloke her in ermine, for the night is cold,
And wrap her warmly, for the night is long,
In pious hands the flaming torches hold,
While her attendants, chosen from among
       Her faithful virgin throng,
     May lay her in her cedar litter,
   Decking her coverlet with sprigs of gold,
Roses, and lilies white that best befit her.

Sound flute and tabor, that the bridal be
Not without music, nor with these alone;
But let the viol lead the melody,
With lesser intervals, and plaintive moan
       Of sinking semitone;
     And, all in choir, the virgin voices
   Rest not from singing in skill’d harmony
The song that aye the bridegroom’s ear rejoices.

Let the priests go before, array’d in white,
And let the dark-stoled minstrels follow slow,
Next they that bear her, honour’d on this night,
And then the maidens, in a double row,
       Each singing soft and low,
     And each on high a torch upstaying:
   Unto her lover lead her forth with light,
With music, and with singing, and with praying.

’Twas at this sheltering hour he nightly came,
And found her trusty window open wide,
And knew the signal of the timorous flame,
That long the restless curtain would not hide
       Her form that stood beside;
     As scarce she dared to be delighted,
   Listening to that sweet tale, that is no shame
To faithful lovers, that their hearts have plighted.

But now for many days the dewy grass
Has shown no markings of his feet at morn:
And watching she has seen no shadow pass
The moonlit walk, and heard no music borne
       Upon her ear forlorn.
     In vain has she looked out to greet him;
   He has not come, he will not come, alas!
So let us bear her out where she must meet him.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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