Deep in the sloping forest that surrounds The head of a green valley that I know, Spread the fair gardens and ancestral grounds Of Bellinglise, the beautiful chateau. Through shady groves and fields of unmown grass, It was my joy to come at dusk and see, Filling a little pond's untroubled glass, Its antique towers and mouldering masonry. Oh, should I fall to-morrow, lay me here, That o'er my tomb, with each reviving year, Wood-flowers may blossom and the wood-doves croon; And lovers by that unrecorded place, Passing, may pause, and cling a little space, Close-bosomed, at the rising of the moon.
Here, where in happier times the huntsman's horn Echoing from far made sweet midsummer eves, Now serried cannon thunder night and morn, Tearing with iron the greenwood's tender leaves. Yet has sweet Spring no particle withdrawn Of her old bounty; still the song-birds hail, Even through our fusillade, delightful Dawn; Even in our wire bloom lilies of the vale. You who love flowers, take these; their fragile bells Have trembled with the shock of volleyed shells, And in black nights when stealthy foes advance They have been lit by the pale rockets' glow That o'er scarred fields and ancient towns laid low Trace in white fire the brave frontiers of France.