The roe that on the mountain dwells,
Or threads the thicket wide,
Is blest with all of bliss, for still
Her hart is by her side.
Together o'er the hills they bound,
Together o'er the fields,
Together share each spotless joy
That bounteous nature yields.
When yonder orb with golden disk
Wends home, as he doth now,
Or in the wave doth gently lave
His glory-circled brow;
Oh! then they both with lightsome foot
Go bounding to one lair,
Whate'er betide, or shade or shine,
Through blackest skies the fond dove flies,
Nor fears the shafts of fate;
Though winter raves, the blast she braves,
For with her flies her mate.
Oh! there's the hallowed charm that brings
Such solace to the dove,
And that alone's the spell that makes
Her life a life of love.
The timid roe hath e'en a haunt,
The turtle-dove a nest;
And each a mate to share her fate,
But I've nor love nor rest.
These could not brook the mortal pang
To leave their dearest part,
For day by day they'd pine away—
Then why not break, my heart?
Now Hope and Fear alternately
Their empire o'er me hold;
And worse, my sire would have me share
A villain's woes and gold.
I would I were a zephyr light
To pass my loved-one by,
To breathe upon him as I past,
And, passing, softly die.
I would I were an elfin sprite,
I'd ride the May moonbeams
To guard my lover night by night,
And flit into his dreams.
If e'en I were a little flower
To bloom upon his breast,
'Twere bliss to live there one sweet hour,
Then—droop to lasting rest!