Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1097. The Veery
 
By Henry Van Dyke
 
 
THE MOONBEAMS over Arno’s vale in silver flood were pouring,
When first I heard the nightingale a long-lost love deploring.
So passionate, so full of pain, it sounded strange and eerie;
I longed to hear a simpler strain,—the wood-notes of the veery.
 
The laverock sings a bonny lay above the Scottish heather;        5
It sprinkles down from far away like light and love together;
He drops the golden notes to greet his brooding mate, his dearie;
I only know one song more sweet,—the vespers of the veery.
 
In English gardens, green and bright and full of fruity treasure,
I heard the blackbird with delight repeat his merry measure:        10
The ballad was a pleasant one, the tune was loud and cheery,
And yet, with every setting sun, I listened for the veery.
 
But far away, and far away, the tawny thrush is singing;
New England woods, at close of day, with that clear chant are ringing:
And when my light of life is low, and heart and flesh are weary,        15
I fain would hear, before I go, the wood-notes of the veery.
 

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