When Nightingales Their Lulling Song
When nightingales their lulling song
For me have breathed the whole night long,
Thus soothed, I sleep; - yet, when awake,
Again will joy my heart forsake,
Pensive in love, in sorrow pining
All other fellowship declining:
Not such was once my blest employ,
When all my heart, my song, was joy.
And none who knew that joy, but well
Could tell how bright, unspeakable,
How far above all common bliss,
Was then my heart's pure happiness;
How lightly on my fancy ranged,
Gay tale and pleasant jest exchanged,
Dreaming such joy must ever be
In love like that I bore for thee.
They that behold me little dream
How wide my spirit soars from them,
And, borne on fancy's pinion, roves
To seek the beauteous form it loves:
Know, that a faithful herald flies
To bear her image to my eyes,
My constant thought, for ever telling
How fair she is, all else excelling.
I know not when we meet again,
For grief hath rent my heart in twain:
For thee the royal court I fled,--
But guard me from the ills I dread,
And quick I'll join the bright array
Of courteous knights and ladies gay.
Ugonet, faithful messenger!
This to the Norman queen go bear,
And sing it softly to her ear.