University of Virginia Library



To Daniel Shepherd:

Come, Shepherd, come and visit me:
Come, we'll make it Arcady;
Come, if but for charity.
Sure, with such a pastoral name,
Thee the city should not claim.
Come, then, Shepherd, come away,
Thy sheep in bordering pastures stray.
Come, Daniel, come and visit me:
I'm lost in many a quandary:
I've dreamed, like Bab'lon's Majesty:
Prophet, come expound for me.
—I dreamed I saw a laurel grove,
Claimed for his by the bird of Jove,
Who, elate with such dominion,
Oft cuffed the boughs with haughty pinion.
Indignantly the trees complain,
Accursing his afflictive reign.
Their plaints the chivalry excite
Of churlishness, a plucky host:
They battle with the bird of light.
Beaten, he wings his Northward flight,
No more his laurel realm to boast,
Where now, to crow, the cocks alight,
And—break down all the branches quite!


Such a weight of friendship pure
The grateful trees could not endure.
This dream, it still disturbeth me:
Seer, foreshows it Italy?
But other visions stir my head;
No poet-problems, fancy-fed—
Domestic prose of board and bed.
I marvel oft how guest unwined
Will to this farm-house be resigned.
Not a hint of ruby claret
Cooleth in our cellar-bin;
And, ripening in our sultry garret,
Otard glows no flask within.
(Claret and otard here I name
Because each is your fav'rite flame:
Placed 'tween the two decanters, you,
Like Alexander, your dear charmers view,
And both so fair you find, you neither can eschew:
—That's what they call an Alexandrine;
Don't you think it very damn'd fine?)
—Brackets serve to fence this prattle,
Pound for episodic cattle.—
I said that me the Fates do cripple
In matter of a wholesome ‘tipple.”
Now, is it for oft cursing gold,
For lucre vile,
The Hags do thus from me withold
Sweet Bacchus' smile?
Smile, that like other smiles as mellow,
Not often greets Truth's simple fellow:—


For why? Not his the magic Dollar?
You should know, you Wall-Street scholar!
—Of Bourbon that is rather new
I brag a fat black bottle or two,—
Shepherd, is this such Mountain-Dew
As one might fitly offer you?
But if cold water will content ye
My word, of that ye shall have plenty.
Thanks to late floods, our spring, it brims,—
Will't mind o'crunch of goblet-rims?
—I've told some doubts that sadly pose me:
Come thou now, and straight resolve me.
Come, these matters sagely read,
Daniel, of the prophet breed.
Daniel Shepherd, come and rove—
Freely rove two fally dells;
The one the Housatonic clove,
And that where genial Friendship dwells.