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.

The phrases of his pleading
   Were full of young delight;
And she that gave him heeding
   Interpreted aright
         His gay, sweet notes, --
So sadly marred in the reading, --
         His tender notes.

And when he ceased, the hearer
   Awaited the refrain,
Till swiftly perching nearer
   He sang his song again,
         His pretty song: --
Would that my verse spake clearer
         His tender song!

Ye happy, airy creatures!
   That in the merry spring
Think not of what misfeatures
   Or cares the year may bring;
         But unto love
Resign your simple natures,
         To tender love.

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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 Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-01-08
Line count: 28
Word count: 124