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As round the parting ray the busy motes
In eddying circles play'd,
Some little bird threw dull and broken notes
Amid an elder's shade.


My soul was tranquil as the scene around,
Ianthe at my side;
Both leaning silent on the turfy mound,
Lowly and soft and wide.


I had not lookt, that evening, for the part
One hand could disengage,
To make her arms cling round me, with a start
My bosom must assuage:


Silence and soft inaction please as much
Sometimes the silent breast,
Which passion now has thrill'd with milder touch
And love in peace possest.


"Hark! hear you not the nightingale?" I said,
To strike her with surprise.
"The nightingale?" she cried, and raised her head,
And beam'd with brighter eyes.


"Before you said 'twas he that piped above,
At every thrilling swell
He pleas'd me more and more; he sang of love
So plaintively, so well."


Where are ye, happy days, when every bird
Pour'd love in every strain?
Ye days, when true was every idle word,
Return, return again!