Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.

Then the prickly balls are bursting
      On the bending chestnut trees,
When the sycamore is heavy
      And the ash with clustering keys;
When the fruit gleams ripe and luscious
      From the nesting leaflets brown,
I will meet thee when the moon-rays
      Fire the mountain's heathery crown.

When the tall bents in the pastures
      Bend o'er mushrooms rinsed with dew,
When the faint winds carol lowly,
      And the skies are softly blue;
When the partridge 'mongst the grain shocks
      Shrills her wildly piteous tone,
Meet me 'neath the wind-strung alders
      When the fields are silver-sown.

Fear no ill; I could not wrong thee
      Were my passions e'er so base;
Innocence for shield thou wearest,
      Guardian Trusting's in thy face.
'Deed, I would not taint thy pure life
      For a kingly robe and crown!
Meet me, then, when haws, red-ripening,
      Weigh the spiny branches down.

Canst thou say I've ever wiled thee,
      Ever called the hot blood o'er
Cheek or brow, by word or gesture,
      In our wooings heretofore?
Nay; I see the trust-love misting
      From those glowing eyes of brown:
Meet me, then, when waters whisper,
      And the acorns crackle down.

How my miser heart bath doted
      O'er those memories all and each!
How I've blessed the starting coney
      And the owlet's awful screech,
That they made thee shrink the closer
      To my breast, my choice, my own!
When the night was strange with voices,
      And the earth had shapes unknown.

Hail, September! mild September!
      Choicest month of all the ring;
Dearer to my hope than Summer,
      Fairer to my thought than Spring.
When I drop the year-long struggle,
      Quit the black and noisy town
For the wooing 'neath the alders,
      When the stars are lustring down.

Come, then, love; and harebells, nodding,
      Drones and moths shall list our vows,
And the sleepy sparrow roosting
      'Mong the holly's berried boughs;
Wine of love shall brim life's goblet,
      Mingling thine and mine, my own!
We will quaff it deep i'th' dew-light,
      When the world is slumber-prone.


Victorian Web George Heath Contents


Last modified 4 September 2002