Thou singest by the gleaming isles,
By woods, and fields of corn,
Thou singest, and the sunlight smiles
Upon my birthday morn.
But I within a city, I,
So full of vague unrest,
Would almost give my life to lie
An hour upon upon thy breast.
To let the wherry listless go,
And, wrapt in dreamy joy,
Dip, and surge idly to and fro,
Like the red harbor-buoy;
To sit in happy indolence,
To rest upon the oars,
And catch the heavy earthy scents
That blow from summer shores;
To see the rounded sun go down,
And with its parting fires
Light up the windows of the town
And burn the tapering spires;
And then to hear the muffled tolls
From steeples slim and white,
And watch, among the Isles of Shoals,
The Beacon's orange light.
O River! flowing to the main
Through woods, and fields of corn,
Hear thou my longing and my pain
This sunny birthday morn;
And take this song which fancy shapes
To music like thine own,
And sing it to the cliffs and capes
And crags where I am known!