⁠Go to the forest shade
Language: English 
⁠Go to the forest shade;
⁠Seek thou the well-known glade
Where, heavy with sweet dew, the violets lie,
⁠Gleaming through moss-tufts deep,
⁠Like dark eyes filled with sleep,
And bathed in hues of summer's midnight sky.

⁠Bring me their buds, to shed
⁠Around my dying bed,
A breath of May, and of the wood's repose;
⁠For I, in sooth, depart
⁠With a reluctant heart,
That fain would linger where the bright sun glows.

⁠Fain would I stay with thee, —
⁠[Alas! this]1 must not be;
Yet bring me still [the]2 gifts of happier hours!
⁠Go where the fountain's breast
⁠Catches, in glassy rest,
The dim green light that pours through laurel bowers.

⁠I know how softly bright,
⁠Steeped in that tender light,
The water-lilies tremble there, e'en now;
⁠Go to the pure stream's edge,
⁠And, from its whispering sedge,
Bring me [those flowers]3, to cool my fevered brow.

⁠Then, — as in Hope's young days, —
⁠Track thou the antique maze
Of the rich garden, to its grassy mound;
⁠There is a lone white rose,
⁠Shedding, in sudden snows,
Its faint leaves o'er the emerald turf around!

⁠Well know'st thou that fair tree!
⁠— A murmur of the bee
Dwells, ever, in the honied lime above;
⁠Bring me one pearly flower,
⁠Of all its clustering shower, —
For, on that spot we first revealed our love!

⁠Gather one woodbine bough,
⁠Then, from the lattice low
Of the bowered cottage which I bade thee mark,
⁠When, by the hamlet, last,
⁠Through dim wood-lanes, we passed,
Where dews were glancing to the glow-worm's spark.

⁠Haste! to my pillow bear
⁠Those fragrant things, and fair; —
My hand no more may bind them up at eve;
⁠Yet shall their odour soft
⁠One bright dream round me waft,
Of life, youth, summer, — all that I must leave!

⁠And oh! if thou would'st ask
⁠Wherefore thy steps I task
The grove, the stream, the hamlet-vale to trace;
⁠'Tis that some thought of me
⁠— When I am gone, — may be
The spirit bound to each familiar place.

⁠I bid mine image dwell,
⁠([Oh!]4 break thou not the spell!)
In the deep wood, and by the fountain side!
⁠Thou must not, my beloved!
⁠Rove where we two have roved,
Forgetting her that in her spring-time died!

F. Arkwright sets stanzas 3-4, 9, 10, 8

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Confirmed with Poems of Felicia Hemans in Friendship’s Offering, compiled by Peter J. Bolton, 1826

1 Arkwright: "But oh! it"
2 Arkwright: "those"
3 Arkwright: "the flow'rs"
4 Arkwright: "And"

Authorship

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


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Johann Winkler

This text was added to the website: 2020-12-07
Line count: 60
Word count: 382