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Romance, who loves to nod and sing, With drowsy head and folded wing, Among the green leaves as they shake Far down within some shadowy lake, To me a painted paroquet Hath been—a most familiar bird— Taught me my alphabet to say— To lisp my very earliest word While in the wild wood I did lie, A child—with a most knowing eye.
Of late, eternal Condor years So shake the very Heaven on high With tumult as they thunder by, I have no time for idle cares Through gazing on the unquiet sky. And when an hour with calmer wings Its down upon my spirit flings— That little time with lyre and rhyme To while away—forbidden things! My heart would feel to be a crime Unless it trembled with the strings.