Imatges de pàgina


The purple west, and, two bright streaks between, With after-times. The patriot shall feel
The golden lyre itself were dimly seen:

My stern alarum, and unsheath his steel;
That the still murmur of the honey-bee

Or in the senate thunder out my numbers,
Would never teach a rural song to me:

To startle princes from their easy slumbers.
That the bright glance from beauty's eyelids slanting The sage will mingle with each moral theme
Would never make a lay of mine enchanting, My happy thoughts sententious: he will teem
Or warm my breast with ardor to unfold

With lofty periods when my verses fire him,
Some tale of love and arms in time of old.

An then I'll stoop from heaven to inspire him.
Lays have I left of such a dear delight

That maids will sing them on their bridal-night.
But there are times, when those that love the bay, Gay villagers, upon a morn of May,
Fly from all sorrowing far, far away;

When they have tired their gentle limbs with play
A sudden glow comes on them, naught they see And form'd a snowy circle on the grass,
In water, earth, or air, but Poesy.

And placed in midst of all that lovely lass
It has been said, dear George, and true I hold it, Who chosen is their queen,—with her fine head,
(For knightly Spenser to Libertas told it),

Crown'd with flowers purple, white, and red : That when a Poet is in such a trance,

For there the lily, and the musk-rose, sighing,
In air he sees white coursers paw and prance,

Are emblems true of hapless lovers dying:
Bestridden of gay knights, in gay apparel,

Between her breasts, that never yet felt trouble,
Who at each other tilt in playful quarrel;

A bunch of violets full-blown, and double,
And what we, ignorantly, sheet-lightning call, Serenely sleep: she from a casket takes
Is the swift opening of their wide portal,

A little book,—and then a joy awakes
When the bright warder blows his trumpet clear, About each youthful heart,--with stifled cries,
Whose tones reach naught on earth but poet's ear. And rubbing of white hands, and sparkling eyes ·
When these enchanted portals open wide,

For she's to read a tale of hopes, and fears;
And through the light the horsemen swiftly glide

One that I foster'd in my youthful years :
The Poet's eye can reach those golden halls, The pearls, that on each glistening circlet sleep,
And view the glory of their festivals :

Gush ever and anon with silent creep,
Their ladies fair, that in the distance seem

Lured by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest
Fit for the silv'ring of a seraph's dream;

Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast,
Their rich brimm'd goblets, that incessant run, Be lulld with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu!
Like the bright spots that move about the sun: Thy dales and hills are fading from my view:
And when upheld, the wine from each bright jar Swiftly I mount, upon wide-spreading pinions,
Pours with the lustre of a falling star.

Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions.
Yet further off, are dimly seen their bowers, Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air,
Of which no mortal eye can reach the flowers; That my soft verse will charm thy daughters fair,
And 'tis right just, for well Apollo knows

And warm thy sons!” Ah, my dear friend and brother
'T would make the Poet quarrel with the rose. Could I, at once, my mad ambition smother,
All that's reveal'd from that far seat of blisses, For tasting joys like these, sure I should be
Is, the clear fountains' interchanging kisses, Happier, and dearer to society.
As gracefully descending, light and thin,

At times, 't is true, I've felt relief from pain
Like silver streaks across a dolphin's fin,

When some bright thought has darted through my
When he up-swimmeth from the coral caves,

And sports with half his tail above the waves.

Through all that day I've felt a greater pleasure
Than if I had brought to light a hidden treasure.

As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them
These wonders strange he sees, and many more,

I feel delighted, still, that you should read them. Whose head is pregnant with poetic lore:

Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment, Should he upon an evening ramble fare

Stretch'd on the grass at my best-loved employment
With forehead to the soothing breezes bare,

Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought
Would he naught see but the dark, silent blue,
With all its diamonds trembling through and through ? E'en now, I am pillow'd on a bed of flowers,

While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught.
Or the coy moon, when in the waviness

That crowns a lofty cliff, which proudly towers Of whitest clouds she does her beauty dress,

Above the ocean waves. The stalks, and blades, And staidly paces higher up, and higher,

Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades.
Like a sweet nun in holiday attire ?

On one side is a field of drooping oats,
Ah, yes! much more would start into his sight-
The revelries, and mysteries of night :

Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats,
And should I ever see them, I will tell you

So pert and useless, that they bring to mind
Such tales as needs must with amazement spell you. And on the other side, outspread, is seen

The scarlet coats that pester human-kind.

Ocean's blue mantle, streak'd with purple and green,
These aye the living pleasures of the bard: Now 'tis I see a canvass'd ship, and now
But richer far posterity's award.

Mark the bright silver curling round her prow;
What does he murmur with his latest breath, I see the lark down-dropping to his nest,
While his proud eye looks through the film of death? And the broad-wing'd sea-gull never at rest;
What though I leave this dull, and earthly mould, For when no more he spreads his feathers free,
Yet shall my spirit lofty converse hold

His breast is dancing on the restless sea.




Now I direct my eyes into the West,

Spenserian vowels that elope with ease, Which at this moment is in sunbeams drest :

And float along like birds o'er summer seas :
Why westward turn? "T was but to say adieu! Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tenderness :
'Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you' Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair slender
August, 1816.

Who read for me the sonnet swelling loudly
Up to its climax, and then dying proudly?

Who found for me the grandeur of the ode,

Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load ? Oft have you seen a swan superbly frowning, Who let me taste that more than cordial dram, And with proud breast his own white shadow crown. The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram?

Show'd me that epic was of all the king, He slants his neck beneath the waters bright Round, vast, and spanning all, like Saturn's ring! So silently, it seems a beam of light

You too upheld the veil from Clio's beauty, Come from the galaxy: anon he sports,

And pointed out the patriot's stern duty ; With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts, The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell; Or ruffles all the surface of the lake

The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell In striving from its crystal face to take

Upon a tyrant's head. Ah! had never seen, Some diamond water-drops, and them to treasure Or known your kindness, what might I have been ? In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure.

What my enjoyments in my youthful years,
But not a moment can he there insure them, Bereft of all that now my life endears?
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them; And can I e'er these benefits forget?
For down they rush as though they would be free, And can I e'er repay the friendly debt?
And drop like hours into eternity.

No, doubly no ;-yet should these rhymings please, Just like that bird am I in loss of time,

I shall roll on the grass with twofold ease; Whene'er I venture on the stream of rhyme ; For I have long time been my fancy feeding With shatter'd boat, oar snapt, and canvas rent, With hopes that you would one day think the reading I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent;

Of my rough verses not an hour misspent; Suill scooping up the water with my fingers, Should it e'er be so, what a rich content! In which a trembling diamond never lingers. Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spires

In lucent Thames reflected :-warm desires By this, friend Charles, you may full plainly see To see the sun o'er-peep the eastern dimness, Why I have never penn'd a line to thee:

And morning-shadows streaking into slimness Because my thoughts were never free, and clear, Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water; And little fit to please a classic ear;

To mark the time as they grow broad and shorter ; Because my wine was of too poor a savor

To feel the air that plays about the hills, For one whose palate gladdens in the flavor And sips its freshness from the little rills; Of sparkling Helicon :-small good it were To see high, golden corn wave in the light To take him to a desert rude and bare,

When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night, Who had on Baiæ's shore reclined at ease,

And peers among the cloudlets, jet and white, While Tasso's page was floating in a breeze As though she were reclining in a bed That gave soft music from Armida’s bowers, Of bean-blossoms, in heaven freshly shed. Mingled with fragrance from her rarest flowers : No sooner had I stept into these pleasures, Small good to one who had by Mulla's stream Than I began to think of rhymes and measures Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream ;

The air that floated by me seem'd to say Who had beheld Belphæbe in a brook,

“ Write! thou wilt never have a better day." And lovely Una in a leafy nook,

And so I did. When many lines I'd written, And Archimago leaning o'er his book:

Though with their grace I was not over-smitten, Who had of all that's sweet, tasted, and seen, Yet, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd better From silv'ry ripple, up to beauty's queen; Trust to my feelings, and write you a letter. From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania, Such an attempt required an inspiration To the blue dwelling of divine Urania :

Of a peculiar sort,—a consummation ;One, who, of late had ta'en sweet forest walks Which, had I felt, these scribblings might have been With him who elegantly chats and talks

Verses from which the soul would never wean; The wrong'd Libertas—who has told you stories But many days have past since last my heart Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories;

Was warm'd luxuriously by divine Mozart; Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city, By Arne delighted, or by Handel madden'd; And tearful ladies, made for love and pity : Or by the song of Erin pierced and saddend: With many else which I have never known. What time you were before the music sitting, Thus have I thought; and days on days have flown And the rich notes 10 each sensation fitting. Slowly, or rapidly—unwilling still

Since I have walk'd with you through shady lanes For you to try my dull, unlearned quill.

That freshly terminate in open plains,
Nor should I now, but that I've known you long; And revell'd in a chat that ceased not,
That you first taught me all the sweets of song: When, at night-fall, among your books we got.
The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine : No, nor when supper came, nor after that, -
What swell’d with pathos, and what right divine: Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;

The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

No, nor till cordially you shook my hand
Midway between our homes your accents bland
Still sounded in my ears, when I no more
Could hear your footsteps touch the gravelly floor.
Sometimes I lost them, and then found again;
You changed the foot-path for the grassy plain.
In those still moments I have wish'd you joys
That well you know to honor :- Life's very toys
With him," said I, “will take a pleasant charm;
It cannot be that aught will work him harm."
These thoughts now come o'er me with all their

might Again I shake your hand,-friend Charles, good-night.

September, 1816.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

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