Song: ("Dost Thou Idly Ask to Hear")

Author: William Cullen Bryant  | Date: 1832



Dost thou idly ask to hear

At what gentle seasons

Nymphs relent, when lovers near

Press the tenderest reasons?

Ah, they give their faith too oft

To the careless wooer;

Maidens’ hearts are always soft:

Would that men’s were truer!

Woo the fair one when around

Early birds are singing;

When, o’er all the fragrant ground,

Early herbs are springing:

When the brookside, bank, and grove,

All with blossoms laden,

Shine with beauty, breathe of love,-

Woo the timid maiden.

Woo her when, with rosy blush,

Summer eve is sinking;

When, on rills that softly gush,

Stars are softly winking;

When through boughs that knit the bower

Moonlight gleams are stealing;

Woo her, till the gentle hour

Wake a gentler feeling.

Woo her when autumnal dyes

Tinge the woody mountain;

When the dropping foliage lies

In the weedy fountain;

Let the scene, that tells how fast

Youth is passing over,

Warn her, ere her bloom is past,

To secure her lover.

Woo her when the north winds call

At the lattice nightly;

When, within the cheerful hall,

Blaze the fagots brightly;

While the wintry tempest round

Sweeps the landscape hoary,

Sweeter in her ear shall sound

Love’s delightful story.

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Chicago: William Cullen Bryant, Song: ("Dost Thou Idly Ask to Hear") Original Sources, accessed June 24, 2024,

MLA: Bryant, William Cullen. Song: ("Dost Thou Idly Ask to Hear"), Original Sources. 24 Jun. 2024.

Harvard: Bryant, WC, Song: ("Dost Thou Idly Ask to Hear"). Original Sources, retrieved 24 June 2024, from