The Wandering Bard

hat life like that of the bard can be,
The wandering bard, who roams as free
As the mountain lark that o’er him sings,
And, like that lark, a music brings
Within him, where’er he comes or goes,
A fount that for ever flows;
The world’s to him like some playground,
Where fairies dance their moonlight round;
If dimm’d the turf where late they trod,
The elves but seek some greener sod;
So, when less bright his scene of glee,
To another away flies he!

Oh, what would have been young Beauty’s doom,
Without a bard to fix her bloom?
They tell us, in the moon’s bright round,
Things lost in this dark world are found,
So charms, on earth long pass’d and gone,
In the poet’s lay live on —
Would ye have smiles that ne’er grow dim?
You’ve only to give them all to him,
Who, with but a touch of Fancy’s wand,
Can lend them life, this life beyond,
And fix them high, in Poesy’s sky —
Young stars that never die!

Then, welcome the bard where’er he comes —
For, though he hath countless airy homes,
To which his wing excursive roves,
Yet still, from time to time, he loves
To light upon earth and find such cheer
As brightens our banquet here.
No matter how far, how fleet he flies,
You’ve only to light up kind young eyes,
Such signal-fires as here are given —
And down he’ll drop from Fancy’s heaven,
The minute such call to love or mirth
Proclaims he’s wanting on earth!

– Thomas Moore