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


The Dingle

By William Roscoe (1753–1831)

STRANGER! that with careless feet

Wanderest near this green retreat,

Where through gently bending slopes

Soft the distant prospect opes;

Where the fern, in fringéd pride,

Decks the lonely valley’s side;

Where the white-throat chirps his song,

Flitting as thou tread’st along:

Know, where now thy footsteps pass

O’er the bending tufts of grass,

Bright gleaming through the encircling wood,

Once a Naiad rolled her flood.

If her urn, unknown to fame,

Poured no far extended stream,

Yet along its grassy side

Clear and constant rolled the tide.

Grateful for the tribute paid,

Lordly Mersey loved the maid;

Yonder rocks still mark the place

Where she met his stern embrace.

Stranger, curious, wouldst thou learn

Why she mourns her wasted urn?

Soon a short and simple verse

Shall her hopeless fate rehearse.

Ere yon neighboring spires arose,

That the upland prospect close,

Or ere along the startled shore

Echoed loud the cannon’s roar,

Once the maid, in summer’s heat,

Careless left her cool retreat,

And by sultry suns opprest,

Laid her wearied limbs to rest;

Forgetful of her daily toil,

To trace each humid tract of soil,

From dews and bounteous showers to bring

The limpid treasures of her spring.

Enfeebled by the scorching ray,

She slept the circling hours away;

And when she oped her languid eye,

She found her silver urn was dry.

Heedless stranger! who so long

Hast listened to an idle song,

Whilst trifles thus thy notice share,

Hast thou no urn that asks thy care?