The Banks Of The Dee

One morning in May, when soft breezes were blowing

O'er Dee's pleasant tide with a ripple and swell,

A shepherdess tended her flock that was feeding

Upon the green meadows that lay in the dell,

Her blue eye she raised, and she looked all around her,

As if she'd fain see some one far on the lea,

And spite of its brightness, I saw the salt tear

For one who was far from the banks of the Dee.

The maiden I thought was preparing to solace

Her stay with a song amid the fair scene,

Nor long was I left in suspense of her object,

Before she broke forth with a melody clean;

The tears she would wipe away with her napkin,

While often a sigh would escape from her breast,

And as she sent forth the notes of her mourning,

I could find that to love the lay was address'd:

"Four summers have pass'd since I lost my sweet William,

And from this fair valley he mournful did go;

Four autumns have shower'd their leaves on the meadows

Since he on these eyelids a smile did bestow;

Four winters have sped with their snowflakes and tempest

Since he by my side did sing a light glee;

But many more springs will be sown for the harvest

Ere William revisit the banks of the Dee."