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from The Princess: O Swallow
By Alfred Lord Tennyson

O Swallow, Swallow, flying, flying South, 
Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves, 
And tell her, tell her, what I tell to thee. 

O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each, 
That bright and fierce and fickle is the South, 
And dark and true and tender is the North. 

O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light 
Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill, 
And cheep and twitter twenty million loves. 

O were I thou that she might take me in, 
And lay me on her bosom, and her heart 
Would rock the snowy cradle till I died. 

Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love, 
Delaying as the tender ash delays 
To clothe herself, when all the woods are green? 

O tell her, Swallow, that thy brood is flown: 
Say to her, I do but wanton in the South, 
But in the North long since my nest is made. 

O tell her, brief is life but love is long, 
And brief the sun of summer in the North, 
And brief the moon of beauty in the South. 

O Swallow, flying from the golden woods, 
Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine, 
And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction. Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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