She was but a child, a child,
And I a man grown;
Sweet she was, and fresh, and wild,
And, I thought, my own.
What could I do? The long grass groweth,
The long wave floweth with a murmur on:
The why and the wherefore of it all who knoweth?
Ere I thought to lose her she was grown - and gone.
This day or that day in warm spring weather.
The lamb that was tame will yearn to break its tether.
"But if the world wound thee," I said, "come back to me,
Down in the dell wishing - wishing, wishing for thee."
The dews hang on the white may,
Like a ghost it stands,
All in the dusk before day
That folds the dim lands:
Dark fell the skies when once belated,
Sad, and sorrow-fated, I missed the sun;
But wake, heart, and sing, for not in vain I waited.
O clear, O solemn dawning, lo, the maid is won!
Sweet dews, dry early on the grass and clover,
Lest the bride wet her feet while she walks over;
Shine to-day, sunbeams, and make all fair to see:
Down the dell she's coming - coming, coming with me.