Paraphrase on Anacreon: Ode to the Swallow

Thou indeed, little Swallow,
A sweet yearly comer.
Art building a hollow
New nest every summer.
And straight dost depart
Where no gazing can follow.
Past Memphis, down Nile!
Ay! but love all the while
Builds his nest in my heart,
Through the cold winter-weeks:
And as one Love takes flight.
Comes another, O Swallow,
In an egg warm and white,
And another is callow.
And the large gaping beaks
Chirp all day and all night:
And the Loves who are older
Help the young and the poor Loves,
And the young Loves grown bolder
Increase by the score Loves—
Why, what can be done?
If a noise comes from one.
Can I bear all this rout of a hundred and more Loves?

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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