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I WOULD not give a fig, I swear,

For all the goddesses that share

That spot - that's neither here nor there -

Baptized the Olympian Hill!

Venus, I fear, would be untrue,

The learned Pallas is too blue,

And Juno's known to be a shrew, -

An awful bitter pill.


Psyche, pretty butterfly,

Might feel inclined her wings to try, -

Besides, she 's Cupid in her eye;

The Muses are too bold.

Diana's awful chastity

Would make a dozen men like me,

Who dread Actaeon's antlers, flee;

While Hecate is too old.


But give to me my Yankee maid,

In spotless dimity arrayed,

A flower that blooms in woodland shade,

Which I as gardener tend.

Her breath as pure as morning breeze,

That, jocund, threads the trembling trees;

Her eyes as blue as summer seas

Where summer sunbeams blend.


I cannot sing as Ovid sung,

My harp with rustic cords is strung;

No Hyblaean honey on my tongue

Was dropped by Plato's bees.

But I can chant a simple lay

To please myself, as well as they;

A carol caught from June and May,

And learned beneath the trees.


O, I can sing the summer days,

When in New England's woodland ways,

We wandered till the sun's red haze

Came slanting through the boughs;

How, listening to the robin's note,

And to the oriole's honeyed throat,

And the soft low from fields remote

Sent up by milking cows;


How, while one loving arm embraced

The roundness of her willing waist,

The other hand with hers enlaced,

And cheeks that almost met,

We walked and talked, while rolled the time,

As softly as an antique rhyme

To which our hearts beat gentle chime,

Love's passionate duet.


Ah! poets sing Athenian girls

With gold cicalas in their curls,

And eyes like stars and teeth like pearls,

And necks like Parian stone.

As far as I'm concerned, they may

Forever by Ilyssus stay,

Until their braided locks are gray,

And all their charms are flown.


For have I not my Yankee maid,

The bud that blooms in woodland shade,

In spotless dimity arrayed,

To vie with Athens' best?

Ah! had I but the lore to speak

About her in Homeric Greek,

You'd find new roses on her cheek,

New beauties on her breast.


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