On a bank of flowers in a summer day
For summer lightly drest,
The youthful, blooming Nelly lay,
With love and sleep opprest;
When Willie, wand'ring thro the wood
Who for her favour oft had suedÑ
He gaz'd, he wish'd He fear'd, he blush'd
And trembled where he stood.
Her closèd eyes, like weapons sheath'd,
Were sealed in soft repose;
Her lips, still as she fragrant breath'd,
It richer dyed the rose.
The springing lilies, sweetly Crest,
Wild-wanton kissed her rival breast:
He gaz'd, he wish'd, He fear'd he blush'd
His bosom ill at rest.
Her robes, light-waving in the breeze,
Her tender limbs embrace;
Her lovely form, her native ease,
All harmony and grace.
Tumultuous tides his pulses roll,
A faltering, ardent kiss he stole;
He gaz'd, he wish'd, He fear'd, he blush'd,
And sigh'd his very soul.
As flies the partridge from the brake
On fear-inspired wings
So Nelly starting, half-awake
Away affrighted springs.
But Willie, follow'd---as he should
He overtook her in the wood;
He vow'd, he pray'd, He found the maid
Forgiving all, and good.
Burns, sometimes known as the 'ploughman poet', was the eldest son of a poverty-stricken farmer. Though his father had moved to Ayrshire, where Burns was born, in order to attempt to improve his fortunes, he eventually died as a bankrupt - after taking on first one farm and then, unsuccessful, moving to another - in 1784. Robert, who had been to school since the age of six, and was also educated at home by a teacher, had, by the age of fifteen, already become the farm's chief labourer. He had also acquired a reading knowledge of French and Latin and... Read more...
Richard Chenevix Trench was born on September 9, 1807, North Frederick Street, Dublin, Ireland. His father was Richard Trench, his mother Melesina, only grandchild and heiress of Richard Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford, and widow of Colonel St. George. Trench’s home in childhood was Elm Lodge, close to the village of...