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

An Italian Song

Samuel Rogers (1763–1855)

DEAR is my little native vale:

The ringdove builds and murmurs there;

Close by my cot she tells her tale

To every passing villager.

The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,

And shells his nuts at liberty.

In orange groves and myrtle bowers,

That breathe a gale of fragrance round,

I charm the fairy-footed hours

With my loved lute’s romantic sound;

Or crowns of living laurel weave

For those that win the race at eve.

The shepherd’s horn at break of day,

The ballet danced in twilight glade,

The canzonet and roundelay

Sung in the silent greenwood shade;

These simple joys, that never fail,

Shall bind me to my native vale!