Richard Burton: Across the Fields to Anne

Across the Fields to Anne

Richard Burton

How often in the summer-tide, His graver business set aside, Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed, As to the pipe of Pan, Stepped blithesomely with lover's pride Across the fields to Anne.
It must have been a merry mile, This summer stroll by hedge and stile, With sweet foreknowledge all the while How sure the pathway ran To dear delights of kiss and smile, Across the fields to Anne.
The silly sheep that graze to-day, I wot, they let him go his way, Nor once looked up, as who should say: "It is a seemly man." For many lads went wooing aye Across the fields to Anne.
The oaks, they have a wiser look; Mayhap they whispered to the brook: "The world by him shall yet be shook, It is in nature's plan; Though now he fleets like any rook Across the fields to Anne."
And I am sure, that on some hour Coquetting soft 'twixt sun and shower, He stooped and broke a daisy-flower With heart of tiny span, And bore it as a lover's dower Across the fields to Anne.
While from her cottage garden-bed She plucked a jasmine's goodlihede, To scent his jerkin's brown instead; Now since that love began, What luckier swain than he who sped Across the fields to Anne?
The winding path whereon I pace, The hedgerow's green, the summer's grace, Are still before me face to face; Methinks I almost can Turn poet and join the singing race Across the fields to Anne!