To My Wife.

A Valentine.

Beautiful day, oh, beautiful day !1
There’s not a cloud on the rim of Heaven,2
Except to the westward, far away,3
Three little islands, rent and riven,4
Three little isles of fleecy white5
Bathing themselves in the rosy light.6
And the wind blows balmy from the South7
As it had kissed the Summer’s mouth,8
And told to all, the heartless rover,9
How sweet, how gracious was his lover.10
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day !11
Bright as our bonnie English May ;12
Yet lacking something—hard to tell13
I know not what—but feel it well,14
Present, although ineffable.15
Is it that here condemned to roam,16
I sigh for the colder skies of home ?17
Perhaps; yet I am grateful still18
For the privilege to breathe at will19
This buxom and rejoicing air20
That bathes the bright world everywhere ;21
To see the palms and orange growing,22
And nature all her boons bestowing.23
Ah, no ! not all ! ’tis fair to see ;24
Yet something fails ; what can it be25
That I, not difficult to please26
In the beauty of the grass and trees,27
Have found a void, ye lovely hours,28
In the fair splendour of the bowers ?29
Unsatisfied ! unsatisfied !30
I miss the white amid the green ;31
I miss the flowers—the daisies pied,32
And cowslips peering up between ;33
I miss the song of the twinkling lark34
Soaring, soaring, and singing ever,35
From the dawning till the dark,36
The song unborn of an endeavour,37
But gushing from his happy voice38
As freely as from morning sun,39
The light that bids the world rejoice40
In the new gladsomeness begun.41
All these I miss this pleasant day ;42
All these and something more divine43
Thy smile, dear Nelly, far away,44
Thy hand, sweetheart, to clasp in mine ;45
The voice oft heard from lips of thine,46
That breathes the words ’tis joy to hear47
Even in remembrance. Wanting these48
I bless the skies so balmy clear,49
The health and gladness on the breeze ;50
But miss my joy beyond the sea,51
And pine for England and for thee.52