Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Wales: Tivy, the River
Fair Tivy
Sir William Jones (1746–1794)
 
FAIR Tivy, how sweet are thy waves gently flowing,
  Thy wild oaken woods, and green eglantine bowers,
Thy banks with the blush-rose and amaranth glowing,
  While friendship and mirth claim these laborless hours!
Yet weak is our vaunt while something we want        5
More sweet than the pleasure which prospects can give;
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.
 
How sweet is the odor of jasmine and roses,
  That Zephyr around us so lavishly flings!        10
Perhaps for Bleanpant fresh perfume he composes,
  Or tidings from Bronwith auspiciously brings;
Yet weak is our vaunt while something we want
More sweet than the pleasure which odors can give:
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;        15
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.
 
How sweet was the strain that enlivened the spirit,
  And cheered us with numbers so frolic and free!
The poet is absent: be just to his merit;
  Ah! may he in love be more happy than we;        20
For weak is our vaunt while something we want
More sweet than the pleasure the Muses can give:
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.
 
How gay is the circle of friends round a table,        25
  Where stately Kilgarran o’erhangs the brown dale;
Where none are unwilling, and few are unable,
  To sing a wild song or repeat a wild tale!
Yet weak is our vaunt while something we want
More sweet than the pleasure that friendship can give:        30
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.
 
No longer then pore over dark Gothic pages,
  To cull a rude gibberish from Neatheam or Brooke;
Leave year-books and parchments to gray-bearded sages;        35
  Be nature and love and fair woman our book;
For weak is our vaunt while something we want
More sweet than the pleasure that learning can give:
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.        40
 
Admit that our labors were crowned with full measure,
  And gold were the fruit of rhetorical flowers,
That India supplied us with long-hoarded treasure,
  That Dinevor, Slebeck, and Coidsmore were ours;
Yet weak is our vaunt while something we want        45
More sweet than the pleasure that riches can give:
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.
 
O, say that, preferring fair Thames to fair Tivy,
  We gained the bright ermine robes, purple and red,        50
And peeped through long perukes, like owlets through ivy;
  Or say that bright coronets blazed on our head;
Yet weak is our vaunt while something we want
More sweet than the pleasure that honors can give:
    Come, smile, damsels of Cardigan;        55
  Love can alone make it blissful to live.
 
 
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