The Wayside Well.

O ! the pretty wayside well,1
Wreathed about with roses,2
Where, beguiled with soothing spell,3
Weary foot reposes.4
With a welcome fresh and green,5
Wave thy border grasses,6
the dusty traveller seen,7
Sighing as he passes.8
Treads the drover on thy sward,9
Comes the beggar to thee,10
Free as gentleman or lord11
From his steed to woo thee.12
Thou from parching lip dost earn13
Many a murmured blessing ;14
And enjoyest in thy turn15
Innocent caressing.16
Fair the greeting face ascends,17
Like a naiad daughter,18
When the peasant lassie bends19
To thy trembling water.20
When she leans upon her pail,21
Glancing o’er the meadow,—22
Sweet shall fall the whispered tale,23
Soft the double shadow !24
Mortals love thy crystal cup ;25
Nature seems to pet thee,—26
Seething Summer’s fiery lip27
Hath no power to fret thee.28
Coolly sheltered, hid from smirch,29
In thy cavelet shady,30
O’er thee in a silver birch31
Stoops a forest lady.32
To thy glass the Star of Eve33
Shyly dares to bend her ;34
Matron Moon thy depths receive,35
Globed in mellow splendour.36
—Bounteous Spring ! for ever own37
Undisturbed thy station,—38
Not to thirsty lips alone39
Serving mild donation.40
Never come the newt or frog,41
Pebble thrown in malice,42
Mud, or withered leaves, to clog43
Or defile thy chalice ;44
Heaven be still within thy ken,45
Through the veil thou wearest,—46
Glimpsing clearest, as with men,47
When the boughs are barest !48