TO A YOUNG LADY
WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG WALKS IN THE COUNTRY
Composed at the same time and on the same view as "I met Louisa
in the shade": indeed they were designed to make one piece.
DEAR Child of Nature, let them rail!
--There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold;
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see
Thy own heart-stirring days, and be
A light to young and old.
There, healthy as a shepherd boy,
And treading among flowers of joy
Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling,
Shalt show us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.