by Robert Seymour Bridges (1844 - 1930)

I heard a linnet courting
Language: English 
I heard a linnet courting
  His lady in the spring;
His mates were idly sporting,
  Nor stayed to hear him sing
    His song of love. --
I fear my speech distorting
    His tender love.

One phrase was all his pleading,
  He spoke of love and home:
To her who gave him heeding
  He sang his question: “Come!”
    His gay, sweet notes, --
So sadly marred in the reading!
    His tender notes!

And when he ceased, the hearer
  Re-echoed the refrain,
And swiftly perching nearer,
  “Come, come!” she sang again.
    Ah for their loves! 
Would that my verse spake clearer,
  Their tender loves!

Blest union of twin creatures
  Unmarred by sense of doubt:
All summer's dry misfeatures
  Such springtide trust bars out;
    But of their loves
Fall short our wiser natures:
    Their tender loves!

C. Stanford sets stanzas 1-3

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Shorter Poems of Robert Bridges, Geo Bell & Sons, London, 1891, page 9


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

Set in a modified version by Seymour Barab, Harry Brook, Benjamin James Dale, Dorothea Edge, Victor Edward Galway, Ivy Herbert, Harold Noble, Horace Ian Parrott, Douglas Steele, David E. Stone, James Oldfield Turner.

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Christopher Howell

This text was added to the website: 2020-10-11
Line count: 28
Word count: 131