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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Verses: ‘Why write my name ’midst songs and flowers’

Francis Jeffrey (1773–1850)

WHY write my name ’midst songs and flowers,

To meet the eye of lady gay?

I have no voice for lady’s bowers—

For page like this no fitting lay.

Yet tho’ my heart no more must bound

At witching call of sprightly joys,

Mine is the brow that never frown’d

On laughing lips, or sparkling eyes.

No—though behind me now is clos’d

The youthful paradise of Love,

Yet can I bless, with soul compos’d,

The lingerers in that happy grove!

Take, then, fair girls, my blessing take!

Where’er amid its charms you roam;

Or where, by western hill or lake,

You brighten a serener home.

And while the youthful lover’s name

Here with the sister beauty’s blends,

Laugh not to scorn the humbler aim,

That to their list would add a friend’s!