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.
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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...
Child, with many a childish wile,
Timid look, and blushing smile,
Downy wings to steal thy way,
Gilded bow, and quiver gay,
Who in thy simple mien would trace
The tyrant of the human race?
Who is he whose flinty heart
Hath not felt the flying dart?