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Sister of love-lorn Poets, Philomel !
How many Bards in city garret pent,
While at their window they with downward eye
Mark the faint Lamp-beam on the kennelled mud,
And listen to the drowsy cry of Watchmen,
(Those hoarse unfeathered Nightingales of Time!)
How many wretched Bards address thy name,
And Her's, the full-orbed Queen, that shines above.
But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark,
Within whose mild moon-mellowed foliage hid
Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains.
O! I have listened, till my working soul,
Waked by those strains to thousand phantasies,
Absorbed, hath ceased to listen! Therefore oft
I hymn thy name; and with a proud delight
Oft will I tell thee, Minstrel of the Moon!
“ Most musical, most melancholy ” Bird !
That all thy soft diversities of tone,
Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs
That vibrate from a white-armed Lady's harp,
What time the languishment of lonely love
Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow,
Are not so sweet, as is the voice of her,
My Sara,-best beloved of human kind !
When, breathing the pure soul of Tenderness,
She thrills me with the Husband's promised name!
WHO DIED OF A FRENZY FEVER INDUCED BY
EDMUND! thy grave with aching eye I scan,
And inly groan for Heaven's poor outcast-Man:
'Tis tempest all or gloom : in early youth
If gifted with the Ithuriel lance of Truth
We force to start amid her feigned caress
Vice, siren-hag! in native ugliness;
A Brother's fate will haply rouse the tear,
And on we go in heaviness and fear!
But if our fond hearts call to Pleasure's bower
Some pigmy Folly in a careless hour, [ground,
The faithless guest shall stamp the enchanted
And mingled forms of Misery rise around:
Heart-fretting Fear, with pallid look aghast,
That courts the future woe to hide the past ;
Remorse, the poisoned arrow in his side ;
And loud lewd Mirth, to Anguish close allied ;
Till Frenzy, fierce-eyed child of moping pain,
Darts her hot lightning-flash athwart the brain.
Rest, injured shade! Shall Slander squatting near
Spit her cold venom in a dead Man's ear?
'Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow
In Merit's joy, and Poverty's meek woe;
Thine all, that cheer the moment as it flies,
The zoneless Cares, and smiling Courtesies.
Nursed in thy heart the firmer Virtues grew,
And in thy heart they withered ! Such chill dew
Wan indolence on each young blossom shed;
And Vanity her filmy network spread
With eye that rolled around in asking gaze,
And tongue that trafficked in the trade of praise.
Thy follies such! the hard world marked them well!
Were they more wise, the proud who never fell?
Rest, injured Shade! the poor man's grateful
On heavenward wing thy wounded soul shall bear.
As oft at twilight gloom thy grave I pass,
And sit me down upon its recent grass,
With introverted eye I contemplate
Similitude of soul, perhaps of-fate;
To me hath Heaven with bounteous hand assigned
Energic Reason and a shaping mind,
The daring ken of Truth, the Patriot's part,
And Pity's sigh, that breathes the gentle heart.
Sloth-jaundiced all! and from my graspless hand
Drop Friendship's precious pearls, like hour-glass
sand. I weep, yet stoop not! the faint anguish flows, A dreamy pang in Morning's feverish doze.
Is this piled earth our Being's passless mound? Tell me, cold grave! is death with poppies crowned? Tired Sentinel ! 'Mid fitful starts I nod, And fain would sleep, though pillowed on a clod !
MONODY ON THE DEATH OF CHAT
O What a wonder seems the fear of death,
Seeing how gladly we all sink to sleep,
Babes, Children, Youths, and Men,
Night following night for threescore years and ten!
But doubly strange, where life is but a breath
To sigh and pant with, up Want's rugged steep.
Away, Grim Phantom! Scorpion King, away!
Reserve thy terrors and thy stings display
For coward Wealth and Guilt in robes of State!
Lo! by the grave I stand of one, for whom
A prodigal Nature and a niggard Doom
(That all bestowing, this withholding all,)
Made each chance knell from distant spire or dome
Sound like a seeking Mother's anxious call,
Return, poor Child! Home, weary Truant, home!
Thee, Chatterton ! these unblest stones protect From want, and the bleak freezings of neglect. Too long before the vexing Storm-blast driven
Here hast thou found repose ! beneath this sod! Thou! O vain word! thou dwell'st not with the
clod! Amid the shining Host of the Forgiven Thou at the throne of Mercy and thy God The triumph of redeeming Love dost hymn (Believe it, O my soul !) to harps of Seraphim. Yet oft, perforce, ('tis suffering Nature's call) I weep,
that heaven-born Genius so should fall ; And oft, in Fancy's saddest hour, my soul 'Averted shudders at the poisoned bowl. Now groans my sickening heart, as still I view
Thy corse of livid hue ; Now indignation checks the feeble sigh, [eye! Or flashes through the tear that glistens in mine
Is this the land of song-ennobled line?
Is this the land, where Genius ne'er in vain
Poured forth his lofty strain ?
Ah me! yet Spenser, gentlest bard divine,
Beneath chill Disappointment's shade,
weary limbs in lonely anguish laid;
And o'er her darling dead
Pity hopeless hung her head,
While “mid the pelting of that merciless storm,"
Sunk to the cold earth Otway's famished form !
Sublime of thought, and confident of fame
From vales where Avon winds the Minstrel * came.
* Avon, a river near Bristol, the birthplace of Chatterton.