Oh! for thy wings, thou dove!
Language: English 
Oh! I that I had the wings of a dove,
that I might flee away and be at rest. 

  Oh! for thy wings, thou dove! 
Now sailing by with sunshine on thy breast;
  That, borne like thee above, 
I too might flee away, and be at rest! 

  Where wilt thou fold those plumes, 
Bird of the forest-shadows, holiest bird? 
  In what rich leafy glooms,
By the sweet voice of hidden waters stirred?

  Over what blessed home,
What roof with dark, deep, summer foliage crowned,
  O! fair as ocean's foam! 
Shall thy bright bosom shed a gleam around?

  Or seek'st thou some old shrine 
Of nymph or saint, no more by votary wooed,
  Though still, as if divine 
Breathing a spirit o'er the solitude? 

  Yet wherefore ask thy way?
Blest, ever blest, whate'er its aim, thou art! 
  Unto the greenwood spray,
Bearing no dark remembrance at thy heart! 

  No echoes that will blend, 
A sadness with the whispers of the grove;
  No memory of a friend 
Far off or dead, or changed to thee, thou dove! 

  Oh! to some cool recess 
Take, take me with thee on the summer wind,
  Leaving the weariness 
And all the fever of this life behind:

  The aching and the void 
Within the heart whereunto none reply,
  The young bright hopes destroyed --
Bird! bear me with thee through the sunny sky! 

  Wild wish, and longing vain,
And brief upspringing to be glad and free! 
  Go to thy woodland reign! 
My soul is bound and held -- I may not flee. 

  For even by all the fears 
And thoughts that haunt my dreams -- untold, unknown, 
  And burning woman's tears, 
Poured from mine eyes in silence and alone;

  Had I thy wings, thou dove! 
High midst the gorgeous Isles of Cloud to soar,
  Soon the strong cords of love 
Would draw me earthwards -- homewards -- yet once more.

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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)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2013-01-10
Line count: 46
Word count: 308