by William Allingham (1824 - 1889)

The wayside well
Language: English 
Greet thee kindly, Wayside Well,
In thy hedge of roses!
Whither drawn by soothing spell,
Weary foot reposes.

With a welcome fresh and green
Wave thy border grasses,
By the dusty traveller seen,
Sighing as he passes.

Cup of no Circean bliss,
Charity of summer,
Making happy with a kiss
Every meanest comer!

Morning, too, and eventide,
Without stint or measure,
Cottage households near and wide
Share thy liquid treasure.

Fair the greeting face ascends,
Like a naiad's daughter,
To the peasant lass that bends
To thy trembling water.

When a lad has brought her pail
Down the twilight meadow,
Tender falls the whisper'd tale,
Soft the double shadow.

Clear as childhood's is thy look,
Nature seems to pet thee,
Fierce July that drains the brook
Hath no power to fret thee.

Shelter'd cool and free from smirch
In thy cavelet shady,
O'er thee in a silver birch
Stoops a forest lady.

Mirror to the Star of Eve,
Maiden shy and slender,
Matron Moon thy depths receive,
Globed in mellow splendour.

Bounteous Spring! for ever own
Undisturb'd thy station;
Not to thirsty lips alone
Serving mild donation.

Never come the newt or frog,
Pebble thrown in malice,
Mud or wither'd leaves, to clog
Or defile thy chalice.

Heaven be still within thy ken,
Through the veil thou wearest, -- 
Glimpsing clearest, as with men,
When the boughs are barest.


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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-01-19
Line count: 48
Word count: 228