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Language: English

Beneath a knap where flown
  Nestlings play,
Within walls of weathered stone,
  Far away
From the files of formal houses,
By the bough the firstling browses,
Lives a Sweet: no merchants meet,
No man barters, no man sells
  Where she dwells.

Upon that fabric fair
  "Here is she!"
Seems written everywhere
  Unto me.
But to friends and nodding neighbours,
Fellow wights in lot and labours,
Who descry the times as I,
No such lucid legend tells
  Where she dwells.

Should I lapse to what I was
  Ere we met;
(Such will not be, but because
  Some forget
Let me feign it) - none would notice
That where she I know by rote is
Spread a strange and withering change,
Like a drying of the wells
  Where she dwells.

To feel I might have kissed -
  Loved as true -
Otherwhere, nor Mine have missed
  My life through,
Had I never wandered near her,
Is a smart severe - severer
In the thought that she is nought,
Even as I, beyond the dells
  Where she dwells.

And Devotion droops her glance
  To recall
What bond-servants of Chance
  We are all.
I but found her in that, going
On my errant path unknowing,
I did not out-skirt the spot
That no spot on earth excels -
  Where she dwells!

Submitted by Ted Perry


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:31
Line count: 45
Word count: 217

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