Imatges de pÓgina
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438

Early Poems.

ΔΑΚΡΥΕΙ ΔΙΟΙΣΩ ΠΟΤΜOΝ ΑΠΟΤΜΟΝ.*
O THERE are spirits of the air,

And genii of the evening breeze,
And gentle ghosts, with eyes as fair

As star-beams among twilight trees:
Such lovely ministers to meet
Oft hast thou turned from men thy lonely feet.
With mountain winds, and babbling springs,

And moonlight seas, that are the voice
Of these inexplicable things

Thou didst hold commune, and rejoice
When they did answer thee; but they
Cast, like a worthless boon, thy love away.
And thou hast sought in starry eyes

Beams that were never meant for thine,
Another's wealth:-tame sacrifice

To a fond faith! still dost thou pine ?
Still dost thou hope that greeting hands,
Voice, looks, or lips, may answer thy demands?
Ah! wherefore didst thou build thine hope

On the false earth's inconstancy?
Did thine own mind afford no scope

Of love, or moving thoughts to thee?
That natural scenes or human smiles
Could steal the power to wind thee in their wiles.
Yes, all the faithless smiles are filed

Whose falsehood left thee broken-hearted;
The glory of the moon is dead;

Night's ghosts and dreams have now departed;
'Thine own soul still is true to thee,
But changed to a foul fiend through misery.
This fiend, whose ghastly presence ever

Beside thee like thy shadow hangs,
Dream not to chase; the mad endeavour

Would scourge thee to severer pangs.
Be as thou art. Thy settled fate,
Dark as it is, all change would aggravate.

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STANZAS.- APRIL, 1814.

AWAY! the moor is dark beneath the moon,

Rapid clouds have drank the last pale beam of even: Away! the gathering winds will call the darkness soon,

And profoundest midnight shroud the serene lights of heaven.
Pause not! The time is past! Every voice cries, Away!

Tempt not with one last tear thy friend's ungentle mood:
Thy lover's eye, so glazed and cold, dares not entreat thy stay:

Duty and dereliction guide thee back to solitude.
Away, away! to thy sad and silent home;

Pour bitter tears on its desolated hearth;
Watch the dim shades as like ghosts they go and come,

And complicate strange webs of melancholy mirth.
The leaves of wasted autumn woods shall float around thine head:

The blooms of dewy spring shall gleam beneath thy feet:
But thy soul or this world must fade in the frost that binds the dead,

Ere midnight's frown and morning's smile, ere thou and peace may meet. The cloud shadows of midnight possess their own repose,

For the weary winds are silent, or the moon is in the deep: Some respite to its turbulence unresting ocean knows:

Whatever moves, or toils, or grieves, hath its appointed sleep.
Thou in the grave shalt rest-yet till the phantoms flee

Which that house and heath and garden made dear to thee erewhile,
Thy remembrance, and repentance, and deep musings are not free

From the music of two voices and the light of one sweet smile.

MUTABILITY.

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;

How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly !-yet soon

Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings

Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings

One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest.-A dream has power to poison sleep;

We rise.-One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;

Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same !-For, be it joy or sorrow,

The path of its departure still is free:
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;

Nought may endure but Mutability.

DEATH.

whither “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, thou goest."-ECCLESIASTES

The pale, the cold, and the moony smile

Which the meteor-beam of a starless night
Sheds on a lonely and sea-girt isle,

Ere the dawning of morn's undoubted light,
Is the flame of life so fickle and wan
That fits round our steps till their strength is gone.
O man ! hold thee on in courage of soul

Through the stormy shades of thy worldly way,
And the billows of cloud that around thee roll

Shall sleep in the light of a wondrous day,
Where hell and heaven shall leave thee free
To the universe of destiny.
This world is the nurse of all we know,

This world is the mother of all we feel,
And the coming of death is a fearful blow

To a brain unencompassed with nerves of steel;
When all that we know, or feel, or see,
Shall pass like an unreal mystery.
The secret things of the grave are there,

Where all but this frame must surely be,
Though the fine-wrought eye and the wondrous ear

No longer will live to hear or to see
All that is great and all that is strange
In the boundless realm of unending change.
Who telleth a tale of unspeaking death?

Who lifteth the veil of what is to come ?
Who painteth the shadows that are ben ath

The wide-winding caves of the peopled tomb?
Or uniteth the hopes of what shall be
With the fears and the love for that which we see?

A SUMMER-EVENING CHURCHYARD, LECHLADE,

GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
THE wind has swept from the wide atinosphere
Each vapour that obscured the sunset's ray;
And pallid evening twines its beaming hair
In duskier braids around the languid eyes of day :
Silence and twilight, unbeloved of men,
Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen.
They breathe their spells towards the departing day,
Encompassing the carth, air, stars, and sea :
Light, sound, and motion own the potent suv,
Responding to the charm with its own mystery.
The winds are still, or the dry church-tower grass
Knows not their gentle motions as they p.155.

Thou too, aërial Pile ! whose pinnacles
Point from one shrine like pyramids of fire,
Obeyst in silence their sweet solemn spells,
Clothing in hues of heaven thy dim and distant spire,
Around whose lessening and invisible height
Gather among the stars the clouds of night.
The dead are sleeping in their sepulchres ;
And, mouldering as they sleep, a thrilling sound,
Half sense, half thought, among the darkness surs,
Breathed from their wormy beds all living things around,
And mingling with the still night and mute sky
Its awful hush is felt inaudibly.
Thus solemnized and softened, death is mild
And terrorless as this serenest night :
Here could I hope, like some inquiring child
Sporting on graves, that death did hide from human sight
Sweet secrets, or beside its breathless sleep
That loveliest dreams perpetual watch did keep.

TO WORDSWORTH. Poet of Nature, thou hast wept to know

That things depart which never may return : Childhood and youth, friendship, and love's first glow,

Have fled like sweet dreams, leaving thee to mourn. These common woes I feel. One loss is mine,

Which thou too feel'st, yet I alone deplore.
Thou wert as a lone star whose light did shine

On some frail bark in winter's midnight roar :
Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood
Above the blind and battling multitude :
In honoured poverty thy voice did

Songs consecrate to truth and liberty.
Deserting these, thou leavest me to grieve,

Thus, having beer, that thou shouldst cease to be.

ave

442

Miscellaneous Poems .

THE SENSITIVE PLANT.

PART FIRST.
A SENSITIVE PLANT in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the Itght,
And closed them beneath the kisses of night.
And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere ;
And each Aower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
But none ever trembled and panted with bliss
In the garden, the field, and the wilderness,
Like a doe in the noontide with love's sweet want,
As the companionless Sensitive Plant.
The snowdrop, and then the violet,
Arose from the ground with warm rain wet,
And their breath was mixed with fresh odour, sent
From the turf, like the voice and the instrument.
Then the pied windflowers and the tulip tall,
And narcissi, the fairest among them all,
Who gaze on their eyes in the stream's recess,
Till they die of their own dear loveliness ;
And the Naiad-like lily of the vale,
Whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale,
That the light of its treinulous bells is seen

Through their pavilions of tender green;
And the hyacinth purple, and white, and blue,
Which flung from its bells a sweet peal anew
Of music so delicate, soit, and intense,
It was felt like an odour within the sense ;
And the rose like a nymph to the bath addrest,
Which unveiled the depth of her glowing breast,
Till, fold after fold, to the fainting air
The soul of her beauty and love lay bare;
And the wand-like lily, which lifted up,
As a Mænad, its moonlight-coloured cup,
Till the fiery star, which is its eye,
Gazed through clear dew on the tender sky;

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