Imatges de pÓgina
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Into their mother's bosom, sweet and soft,

Nature's pure tears which have no bitterness ;-
Around the cradles of the birds aloft

They spread themselves into the loveliness
Of fan-like leaves, and over pallid flowers

Hang like moist clouds :—or, where high branches kiss,

Make a green space among the silent bowers,
Like a vast fane in a metropolis,

Surrounded by the columns and the towers

All overwrought with branch-like traceries`
In which there is religion—and the mute
Persuasion of unkindled melodies,

Odours and gleams and murmurs, which the lute
Of the blind pilot-spirit of the blast

Stirs as it sails, now grave and now acute,

Wakening the leaves and waves, ere it has past
To such brief unison as on the brain

One tone, which never can recur, has cast,

One accent never to return again.

The world is full of Woodmen who expel
Love's gentle Dryads from the haunts of life,
And vex the nightingales in every dell.

THE TOWER OF FAMINE.

AMID the desolation of a city,

Which was the cradle, and is now the grave
Of an extinguished people; so that pity

Weeps o'er the shipwrecks of oblivion's wave,
There stands the Tower of Famine. It is built
Upon some prison homes, whose dwellers rave

For bread, and gold, and blood: pain, linked to guilt,
Agitates the light flame of their hours,

Until its vital oil is spent or spilt:

There stands the pile, a tower amid the towers
And sacred domes; each marble-ribbèd roof,
The brazen-gated temples, and the bowers

Of solitary wealth; the tempest-proof
Pavilions of the dark Italian air,

Are by its presence dimmed-they stand aloof,

And are withdrawn-so that the world is bare,
As if a spectre wrapt in shapeless terror
Amid a company of ladies fair

Should glide and glow, till it became a mirror
Of all their beauty, and their hair and hue,
The life of their sweet eyes, with all its error,
Should be absorbed, till they to marble grew.

L

EVENING.

PONTE A MARE, PISA.

THE sun is set; the swallows are asleep;
The bats are flitting fast in the grey air;
The slow soft toads out of damp corners creep,
And evening's breath, wandering here and there
Over the quivering surface of the stream,
Wakes not one ripple from its summer dream.

There is no dew on the dry grass to-night,

Nor damp within the shadow of the trees; The wind is intermitting, dry, and light;

And in the inconstant motion of the breeze The dust and straws are driven up and down, And whirled about the pavement of the town.

Within the surface of the fleeting river

The wrinkled image of the city lay, Immovably unquiet, and for ever

It trembles, but it never fades away; Go to the ...

You, being changed, will find it then as now.

The chasm in which the sun has sunk is shut
By darkest barriers of cinereous cloud,
Like mountain over mountain huddled—but
Growing and moving upwards in a crowd,
And over it a space of watery blue,

Which the keen evening star is shining through.

AND, like a dying lady, lean and pale,
Who totters forth, wrapt in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky east,
A white and shapeless mass.

1820.

WHEN soft winds and sunny skies
With the green earth harmonise,
And the young and dewy dawn,
Bold as an unhunted fawn,
Up the windless heaven is gone,-
Laugh-for ambushed in the day,

Clouds and whirlwinds watch their prey.

1821.

Poems of Pure Nature.

PASSAGE OF THE APENNINES.

LISTEN, listen, Mary mine,

To the whisper of the Apennine,

It bursts on the roof like the thunder's roar,
Or like the sea on a northern shore,

Heard in its raging ebb and flow

By the captives pent in the cave below.
The Apennine in the light of day

Is a mighty mountain dim and grey,

Which between the earth and sky doth lay;
But when night comes, a chaos dread
On the dim starlight then is spread,

And the Apennine walks abroad with the storm.

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