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Henry Kirke White (Генри Керк Уайт)


On Being Confined to School One Pleasant Morning in Spring


The morning sun's enchanting rays
Now call forth every songster's praise;
Now the lark, with upward flight,
Gaily ushers in the light;
While wildly warbling from each tree,
The birds sing songs to Liberty.

But for me no songster sings,
For me no joyous lark upsprings;
For I, confined in gloomy school,
Must own the pedant's iron rule,
And far from sylvan shades and bowers,
In durance vile must pass the hours;
There con the scholiast's dreary lines,
Where no bright ray of genius shines,
And close to rugged learning cling,
While laughs around the jocund spring.
How gladly would my soul forego
All that arithmeticians know,
Or stiff grammarians quaintly teach,
Or all that industry can reach,
To taste each morn of all the joys
That with the laughing sun arise;
And unconstrain'd to rove along
The bushy brakes and glens among;
And woo the muse's gentle power
In unfrequented rural bower:
But, ah! such heaven-approaching joys
Will never greet my longing eyes;
Still will they cheat in vision fine,
Yet never but in fancy shine.

Oh, that I were the little wren
That shrilly chirps from yonder glen!
Oh, far away I then would rove
To some secluded bushy grove;
There hop and sing with careless glee.
Hop and sing at liberty;
And, till death should stop my lays,
Far from men would spend my days.



Henry Kirke White's other poems:
  1. Lines Supposed to Be Spoken by a Lover at the Grave of His Mistress
  2. The Trent
  3. Canzonet
  4. Lines Written on a Survey of the Heavens in the Morning before Daybreak
  5. Inscription for a Monument to the Memory of Cowper


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