Imatges de pÓgina
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THE ZUCCA.

I SAW two little dark-green leaves

Lifting the light mould at their birth, and then
I half-remembered my forgotten dream.
And day by day, green as a gourd in June,
The plant grew fresh and thick, yet no one knew
What plant it was; its stem and tendrils seemed
Like emerald snakes, mottled and diamonded
With azure mail and streaks of woven silver;
And all the sheaths that folded the dark buds
Rose like the crest of cobra-di-capel,
Until the golden eye of the bright flower
Through the dark lashes of those veinèd lids,
Disencumbered of their silent sleep,

Gazed like a star into the morning light.
Its leaves were delicate, you almost saw
The pulses

With which the purple velvet flower was fed
To overflow, and like a poet's heart

Changing bright fancy to sweet sentiment,
Changed half the light to fragrance. It soon fell,
And to a green and dewy embryo-fruit
Left all its treasured beauty. Day by day
I nursed the plant, and on the double flute
Played to it on the sunny winter days

Soft melodies, as sweet as April rain

On silent leaves, and sang those words in which
Passion makes Echo taunt the sleeping strings ;
And I would send tales of forgotten love
Late into the lone night, and sing wild songs

Of maids deserted in the olden time,

And weep like a soft cloud in April's bosom
Upon the sleeping eyelids of the plant,

So that perhaps it dreamed that Spring was come,

And crept abroad into the moonlight air,

And loosened all its limbs, as, noon by noon,

The sun averted less his oblique beam.

INDIAN.

And the plant died not in the frost?

LADY.

It grew;

And went out of the lattice which I left
Half open for it, trailing its quaint spires
Along the garden and across the lawn,

And down the slope of moss and through the tufts
Of wild-flower roots, and stumps of trees o'ergrown
With simple lichens, and old hoary stones,
On to the margin of the glassy pool,
Even to a nook of unblown violets
And lilies-of-the-valley yet unborn,
Under a pine with ivy overgrown.

And there its fruit lay like a sleeping lizard
Under the shadows; but when Spring indeed
Came to unswathe her infants, and the lilies
Peeped from their bright green marks to wonder at
This shape of autumn couched in their recess,
Then it dilated, and it grew until

One half lay floating on the fountain wave,
Whose pulse, elapsed in unlike sympathies,
Kept time

Among the snowy water-lily buds.

Its shape was such as summer melody
Of the south wind in spicy vales might give

To some light cloud bound from the golden dawn
To fairy isles of evening, and it seemed

In hue and form that it had been a mirror

Of all the hues and forms around it and
Upon it pictured by the sunny beams
Which, from the bright vibrations of the pool,
Were thrown upon the rafters and the roof
Of boughs and leaves, and on the pillared stems
Of the dark sylvan temple, and reflections
Of every infant flower and star of moss
And veined leaf in the azure odorous air.
And thus it lay in the Elysian calm
Of its own beauty, floating on the line
Which, like a film in purest space, divided
The heaven beneath the water from the heaven
Above the clouds; and every day I went
Watching its growth and wondering;
And as the day grew hot, methought I saw
A glassy vapour dancing on the pool,
And on it little quaint and filmy shapes,
With dizzy motion, wheel and rise and fall,
Like clouds of gnats with perfect lineaments.
An Unfinished Drama.

1822.

TO A SKYLARK.

HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest

Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,

O'er which clouds are brightning,

Thou dost float and run;

Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;

Like a star of heaven,

In the broad day-light

Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,

Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,

Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,

As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud

The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?

From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought!

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower :

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,

Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue

Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

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