As often as I murmur here
My half-formed melodies,
Straight from her osier mansion near,
The Turtledove replies:
Though silent as a leaf before,
The captive promptly coos;
Is it to teach her own soft lore,
Or second my weak Muse?
I rather think, the gentle Dove
Is murmuring a reproof,
Displeased that I from lays of love
Have dared to keep aloof;
That I, a Bard of hill and dale,
Have caroled, fancy free,
As if nor dove nor nightingale,
Had heart or voice for me.
If such thy meaning, O forbear,
Sweet Bird! to do me wrong;
Love, blessed Love, is everywhere
The spirit of my song:
‘Mid grove, and by the calm fireside,
Love animates my lyre
That coo again! ’tis not to chide,
I feel, but to inspire.