Song

By Joanna Baillie 1762–1851 Joanna Baillie
What voice is this, thou evening gale!
That mingles with thy rising wail;
And, as it passes, sadly seems
The faint return of youthful dreams?

Though now its strain is wild and drear,
Blithe was it once as sky-lark’s cheer —
Sweet as the night-bird’s sweetest song, —
Dear as the lisp of infant’s tongue.

It was the voice, at whose sweet flow
The heart did beat, and cheek did glow,
And lip did smile, and eye did weep,
And motioned love the measure keep.

Oft be thy sound, soft gale of even,
Thus to my wistful fancy given;
And, as I list the swelling strain,
The dead shall seem to live again!

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Poet Joanna Baillie 1762–1851

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Nature, Weather

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Joanna  Baillie

Biography

The daughter of a Church of Scotland minister, Romantic poet and playwright Joanna Baillie grew up in rural Scotland and spent much of her adult life in Hampstead, just outside London.
 
Baillie’s lyric poems often take the form of meditations on nature and youth. She was the author of Poems: Wherein It Is Attempted to Describe Certain Views of Nature and of Rustic Manners (1790), Metrical Legends of Exalted Characters (1821), . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Weather

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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