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WHEN should lovers breathe their vows?

When should ladies hear them?

When the dew is on the boughs,

When none else are near them;

When the moon shines cold and pale,

When the birds are sleeping,

When no voice is on the gale,

When the rose is weeping;

When the stars are bright on high,

Like hopes in young Love's dreaming,

And glancing round the light clouds fly,

Like soft fears to shade their beaming.

The fairest smiles are those that live

On the brow by starlight wreathing;

And the lips their richest incense give

When the sigh is at midnight breathing.

Oh, softest is the cheek's love-ray

When seen by moonlight hours,

Other roses seek the day,

But blushes are night flowers.

Oh, when the moon and stars are bright,

When the dew-drops glisten,

Then their vows should lovers plight,

Then should ladies listen.