Imatges de pÓgina
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The Show-man chooses well his place, 'tis Leicester's Seem to meet with little gain, seen less happy than

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XVII.

LYRE! though such power do in thy magic live
As might from India's farthest plain
Recal the not unwilling Maid,

Assist me to detain

The lovely Fugitive:

Check with thy notes the impulse which, betrayed

By her sweet farewell looks, I longed to aid.
Here let me gaze enrapt upon that eye,
The impregnable and awe-inspiring fort
Of contemplation, the calm port
By reason fenced from winds that sigh
Among the restless sails of vanity.

But if no wish be hers that we should part,
A humbler bliss would satisfy my heart.
Where all things are so fair,

Enough by her dear side to breathe the air
Of this Elysian weather;

And, on or in, or near, the brook, espy
Shade upon the sunshine lying

Faint and somewhat pensively;
And downward Image gaily vying

With its upright living tree

Mid silver clouds, and openings of blue sky
As soft almost and deep as her cerulean eye.

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Her skin was of Egyptian brown:
Haughty, as if her eye had seen
Its own light to a distance thrown,
She towered, fit person for a Queen
To lead those ancient Amazonian files;

Or ruling Bandit's wife among the Grecian isles.

Advancing, forth she stretched her hand

And begged an alms with doleful plea
That ceased not; on our English land
Such woes, I knew, could never be;

And yet a boon I gave her, for the creature

Was beautiful to see-a weed of glorious feature.

I left her, and pursued my way;
And soon before me did espy

A pair of little Boys at play,
Chasing a crimson butterfly;

The taller followed with his hat in hand, Wreathed round with yellow flowers the gayest of the land.

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XX.

XIX.

SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING,

COMPOSED MANY YEARS AFTER.

WHERE are they now, those wanton Boys?
For whose free range the dædal earth
Was filled with animated toys,
And implements of frolic mirth;

With tools for ready wit to guide;

And ornaments of seemlier pride,

More fresh, more bright, than princes wear;
For what one moment flung aside,
Another could repair;

What good or evil have they seen
Since I their pastime witnessed here,
Their daring wiles, their sportive cheer?
I ask-but all is dark between!

They met me in a genial hour,
When universal nature breathed

As with the breath of one sweet flower,-
A time to overrule the power

Of discontent, and check the birth

Of thoughts with better thoughts at strife,
The most familiar bane of life
Since parting Innocence bequeathed
Mortality to Earth!

Soft clouds, the whitest of the year,

Sailed through the sky-the brooks ran clear;
The lambs from rock to rock were bounding;
With songs the budded groves resounding;
And to my heart are still endeared

The thoughts with which it then was cheered;
The faith which saw that gladsome pair
Walk through the fire with unsinged hair.
Or, if such faith must needs deceive-
Then, Spirits of beauty and of grace,
Associates in that eager chase;
Ye, who within the blameless mind
Your favourite seat of empire find—
Kind Spirits! may we not believe

That they, so happy and so fair

Through your sweet influence, and the care
Of pitying Heaven, at least were free
From touch of deadly injury?
Destined, whate'er their earthly doom,
For mercy and immortal bloom!

1817.

GIPSIES.

YET are they here the same unbroken knot
Of human Beings, in the self-same spot!

Men, women, children, yea the frame
Of the whole spectacle the same!
Only their fire seems bolder, yielding light,
Now deep and red, the colouring of night;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls,

Their bed of straw and blanket-walls. -Twelve hours, twelve bounteous hours are gone, while I

Have been a traveller under open sky,

Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left I find them here!
The weary Sun betook himself to rest ;-
Then issued Vesper from the fulgent west,
Outshining like a visible God

The glorious path in which he trod.
And now, ascending, after one dark hour
And one night's diminution of her power,
Behold the mighty Moon! this way
She looks as if at them-but they
Regard not her:-oh better wrong and strife
(By nature transient) than this torpid life;
Life which the very stars reprove

As on their silent tasks they move!
Yet, witness all that stirs in heaven or earth!
In scorn I speak not;-they are what their birth
And breeding suffer them to be;
Wild outcasts of society!

XXI.

RUTH.

WHEN Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
Went wandering over dale and hill,
In thoughtless freedom, bold.

And she had made a pipe of straw,
And music from that pipe could draw
Like sounds of winds and floods;
Had built a bower upon the green,
As if she from her birth had been
An infant of the woods.

1807.

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