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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Wales: Merioneth

The Cuckoo’s Song to Merioneth

By Lewis Morris (1833–1907)

Translated by William Vaughan

WHATE’ER I ’ve seen beneath the stars,

Where fruitful climes abound;

Of social youths, and streaming jars,

When mirth and wine go round:

All these are only found compleat

In fair Mervinia’s sweet retreat.

Mervinia’s rocks perhaps are seen

To threaten want and dearth;

Cold and barren, void of green,

Yet full of joy and mirth;

Who thinks the nightingale to hear

On mountains chanting all the year?

Where greater beauty can you find?

Each villager has charms!

Discretion ’s to the housewife joined,

The pleased beholder warms:

In thee, Mervinia, dwell the fair,

Who rule all hearts, or cause despair!

How bright ’s the salmon in the stream!

How beautiful the thrush!

With wing expanded seems to gleam,

All spangling in the bush:

And yet how far the maids excel,

Who in Mervinia’s valleys dwell?

As sweet as to the feathered kind

To range through every grove;

As sweet as to the infant-mind

To sip the milk they love;

Could I, I would explore to thee,

How sweet, Mervinia, thou ’rt to me.

O tuneful harp! melodious sound!

When friends united are;

The odes alternately go round,

Unthinking of the miser’s care.

How sweet their voices round the fire,

When fair Mervinians join the lyre!

Although in pleasure’s maze I ’m lost,

And range new joys to find;

Command what seas and land can boast,

Uneasy ’s still my mind:

To thee, Mervinia, I ’ll return,

My soul for thee doth ever burn.