By The Arno

by Oscar Wilde

The oleander on the wall

Grows crimson in the dawning light,

Though the grey shadows of the night

Lie yet on Florence like a pall.

The dew is bright upon the hill,

And bright the blossoms overhead,

But ah! the grasshoppers have fled,

The little Attic song is still.

Only the leaves are gently stirred

By the soft breathing of the gale,

And in the almond-scented vale

The lonely nightingale is heard.

The day will make thee silent soon,

O nightingale sing on for love!

While yet upon the shadowy grove

Splinter the arrows of the moon.

Before across the silent lawn

In sea-green vest the morning steals,

And to love's frightened eyes reveals

The long white fingers of the dawn

Fast climbing up the eastern sky

To grasp and slay the shuddering night,

All careless of my heart's delight,

Or if the nightingale should die.