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The Little Dell

 Doleful was the land, 
Dull on, every side, 
Neither soft n'or grand, 
Barren, bleak, and wide; 
Nothing look'd with love; 
All was dingy brown; 
The very skies above 
Seem'd to sulk and frown.
Plodding sick and sad, Weary day on day; Searching, never glad, Many a miry way; Poor existence lagg'd In this barren place; While the seasons dragg'd Slowly o'er its face.
Spring, to sky and ground, Came before I guess'd; Then one day I found A valley, like a nest! Guarded with a spell Sure it must have been, This little fairy dell Which I had never seen.
Open to the blue, Green banks hemm'd it round A rillet wander'd through With a tinkling sound; Briars among the rocks Tangled arbours made; Primroses in flocks Grew beneath their shade.
Merry birds a few, Creatures wildly tame, Perch'd and sung and flew; Timid field-mice came; Beetles in the moss Journey'd here and there; Butterflies across Danced through sunlit air.
There I often read, Sung alone, or dream'd; Blossoms overhead, Where the west wind stream'd; Small horizon-line, Smoothly lifted up, Held this world of mine In a grassy cup.
The barren land to-day Hears my last adieu: Not an hour I stay; Earth is wide and new.
Yet, farewell, farewell! May the sun and show'rs Bless that Little Dell Of safe and tranquil hours!

by William Allingham
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