An Arrow-Slit.

A poem by Jean Ingelow

I clomb full high the belfry tower
Up to yon arrow-slit, up and away,
I said 'let me look on my heart's fair flower
In the wallèd garden where she doth play.'

My care she knoweth not, no nor the cause,
White rose, red rose about her hung,
And I aloft with the doves and the daws.
They coo and call to their callow young.

Sing, 'O an she were a white rosebud fair
Dropt, and in danger from passing feet,
'T is I would render her service tender,
Upraised on my bosom with reverence meet.'

Playing at the ball, my dearest of all,
When she grows older how will it be,
I dwell far away from her thoughts to-day
That heed not, need not, or mine or me.

Sing, 'O an my love were a fledgeling dove
That flutters forlorn o' her shallow nest,
'T is I would render her service tender,
And carry her, carry her on my breast.'

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