The Swans of Wilton.

O how the swans of Wilton1
Twenty abreast did go !2
Like country brides bound to the church,3
Sails set, and all aglow,4
With pouting breast, in pure white dressed,5
Soft gliding in a row.6
Where through the weeds’ green fleeces,7
The perch in brazen coat,8
Like golden shuttles mermaids use,9
Shot past my crimson float,10
Where swinish carp were snorting loud11
Around the anchored boat.12
Adown the gentle river13
The white swans bore in sail,14
Their full soft feathers puffing out15
Like canvas in a gale ;16
And all the kine and dappled deer17
Stood watching in the vale.18
The stately swans of Wilton19
Strutted and puffed along,20
Like canons in their full white gowns,21
Late for the even-song,22
When up the close, the peevish bell23
In vain has chided long.24
O how the swans of Wilton25
Bore down the radiant stream !26
As calm as holy hermits lives,27
Or a play-tired infant’s dream.28
Like fairy beds of last year’s snow,29
Did those radiant creatures seem !30