WE had a pleasant walk today 

Over the meadows and far away, 

Across the bridge by the water-mill, 

By the wood-side, and up the hill; 

And if you listen to what I say, 

I'll tell you what we saw today. 

Amid a hedge, where the first leaves 

Were creeping from their sheaths so sly, 

We saw four eggs within a nest, 

And they were blue as a summer sky. 

An elder branch dipped in the brook; 

We wondered why it moved, and found 

A silken-haired smooth water rat 

Nibbling, and swimming round and round. 

Where daisies opened to the sun, 

In a broad meadow, green and white, 

The lambs were racing eagerly— 

We never saw a prettier sight. 

We saw upon the shady banks 

Long rows of golden flowers shine, 

And first mistook for buttercups 

The star-shaped yellow celandine. 

Anemones and primroses, 

And the blue violets of the spring, 

We found, while listening by a hedge 

To hear a merry plowman sing. 

And from the earth the plow turned up, 

There came a sweet, refreshing smell, 

Such as the lily of the vale 

Sends forth from many a woodland dell. 

We saw the yellow wallflower wave 

Upon a moldering castle wall, 

And then we watched the busy rooks 

Among the ancient elm-trees tall. 

And leaning from the old stone bridge, 

Below we saw our shadows lie, 

And through the gloomy arches watched 

The swift and fearless swallows fly. 

We heard the speckle-breasted lark 

As it sang somewhere out of sight, 

And tried to find it; but the sky 

Was filled with clouds of dazzling light. 

We saw young rabbits near the wood, 

And heard a pheasant's wings go "whirr,"

And then we saw a squirrel leap 

From an old oak-tree to a fir. 

And many pretty birds we saw, 

Which had come o'er the stormy main, 

To build their nests, and rear their young, 

And sing in our old woods again. 

We came back by the village fields, 

A pleasant walk it was across 'em, 

For all behind the houses lay 

The orchards, red and white with blossom. 

Were I to tell you all we saw, 

I'm sure that it would take me hours; 

For the whole landscape was alive 

With bees and birds, and buds and flowers. 

Book of Songs.