« AnteriorContinua »
insinuated itself into my Religious Musings with such And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud intricacy of union, that sometimes I have omitted to dis- Behind the gathered blackness lost on high; en tangle the weed from the fear of snapping the flower. And when thou dartest from the wind-rent cloud A third and heavier accusation has been brought against Thy placid lightning o'er the awaken'd sky. me, that of obscurity; but not, I think, with equal jus- Ah such is lope! as changeful and as fair! tice. An Author is obscure, when bis conceptions are Now dimly peering on the wistful sight; dim and imperfect, and his language incorrect, or unap
Now hid behind the dragon-wing'd Despair : propriate, or involved. A poem that abounds in allu- But soon emerging in her radiant might, sions, like die Bard of Gray, or one that impersonates She o'er the sorrow-clouded breast of Care high and abstract truths, like Collins's Ode on the pocti- Sails, like a meteor kindling in its flight. cal character, claims not to be popular-but should be acquitted of obscurity. The deficiency is in the Reader. But this is a charge which every poet, whose imagina
TIME, REAL AND IMAGINARY. lion is warm and rapid, must expect from his contemporaries. Milton did not escape it; and it was adduced
AN ALI.EGORY. with virulence against Gray and Collins. We now hear
On the wide level of a mountain's head no more of it: not that their poems are better under
(I knew not where, but 't was some faery place) stood at present, than they were at their first publication;
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread, but their fame is established ; and a critic would accuse
Two lovely children run an endless race, himself of frigidity or inattention, who should profess
A sister and a brother! not to understand them. But a living writer is yet sub
This far outstripe the other; judice; and if we cannot follow his conceptions or enter
Yet ever runs she with reverted face, into his feelings, it is more consoling to our pride to
And looks and listens for the boy behind: consider bim as lost beneath, than as soaring above us.
For he, alas! is blind! If any man expect from my pocms the same easiness of
O'er rough and smooth with even step he pass'd, siyle which he admires in a drinking-song, for him I have
And knows not whether he be first or last. not written. Intelligibilia, non intellectum adfero.
I expect neither profit or general fame by my writings; and I consider myself as having been amply repaid without cither. Poetry has been to me its own MONODY ON THE DEATH OF CHATTERTON.
exceeding great reward :» it has soothed my afflictions; O weat a wonder seems the fear of death, it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments ; it has endeared solitude: and it has given me the habit of wish- Seeing how gladly we all sink to sleep,
Babes, Children, Youths and Men, ing to discover the Good and the Beautiful in all that
Nighit following night for threescore years and ten! meets and surrounds me.
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!
Maid of my Love, sweet Genevieve!
is like the star of eve,
Thee, Chatterton! these unblest stones protect
TO THE AUTUMNAL MOON.
Yet oft, perforce ('t is suffering Nature's call),
Thy corse of livid hue ;
Mild Splendour of the various-vested Night!
Is this the land of song-ennobled line?
· Pour'd forth bis lofty strain ?
And o'er her darling dead
Pity hopeless hung her head, While « mid the pelting of that merciless storm,. Sunk to the cold earth Oiway's famish'd form!
And thou hadst dash'd it, at her soft command,
Sublime of thought, and confident of fame,
Light-hearted youth! aye, as he hastes along,
He meditates the future song,
And while the numbers flowing strong
In eddies whirl, in surges throng,
Ye woods! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep,
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er,
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, With wild unequal steps he pass'd along, Oft pouring on the winds a broken song: Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow Would pause abrupt-and gaze upon the waves below.
And now lis cheeks with deeper ardors flame,
Poor Chatterton! he sorrows for thy fate
Sweet Flower of Hope! free Nature's genial child !
Hence, gloomy thoughts ! no more my soul shall dwell
O Chatterton! that thou wert yet alive!
Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour,
When Care, of wither'd brow, Prepared the poison's death-cold power : Already to thy lips was raised the bowl,
When near thee stood Affection meek
(ller hosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek), Thy sullen gaze she bade tbce roll
On scenes that well might melt thy soul; Thy native cot she flash'd upon thy view, Thy native cot, where still, at close of day, Peace smiling sate, and listen'd to thy lay; Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear, And mark thy Mother's thrilling tear;
See, see her breast's convulsive throe,
Her silent agony of woe!
i Avon, a river near Bristol ; the birth-place of Chatterton.
Alas vain Phantasies! the fleeting brood
SONGS OF THE PIXIES.
O'er his hush'd soul our soothing witcheries shed, And cwine our faery garlands round his head.
The Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of brings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. At a small distance from a village in that condiy, bulf way up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation called the Pixies' Parlour. The roots of old Ireos form its ceiling; and on its sides are innumerable cyphers, among which the author discovered his own cypber and those of his brothers, cut by the hand of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Outer.
To this place the Author conducted a party of young Ladies, during the Summer months of the year 1993; one of whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion colourless yet clear, was proclaimed the Faery Queen. On which occasion the following Irregular Ode was written.
Crownd with her dewy star,
On leaves of
We tremble to the breeze,
Or, haply, at the visionary hour,
Or guide of soul-subduing power
I. Whom the untaught Shepherds call
Pixies in their madrigal, Fancy's children, here we dwell:
Welcome, Ladies! to our cell. Here the wren of softest note
Builds its nest and warbles well; Here the blackbird strains his throat;
Welcome, Ladies ! to our cell.
JI. When fades the moon all shadowy-pale And scuds the cloud before the gale, Ere Morn with living gems bedlight Purples the East withı streaky light, We sip the furze-llower's fragrant dews, Clad in robes of rainbow hues: Or sport amid the rosy gleam Soothed by the distant-tinkling team, While lusty Labour scouting sorrow Bids the Dame a glad good-morrow, Who jogs the accustomi'd road along, And paces cheery to her cheering song.
Supine lie slumbers on a violet bank;
Aye from the sultry heat
We to the cave retreat O'ercanopied by huye roots intertwined With wildest texture, blacken'd o'er with age: Round them their manile green the ivies bind,
Beneath whose foliage pale,
Fann'd by the unfrequent gale, We shield us from the Tyrant's mid-day rage.
Eve saddens into Night.
The sombre hours, that round thee stand
With down-cast eyes (a duteous band)! Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew.
Sorceress of the ebon throne !
Heaven's lucent roses glow,
Wooes the Queen of Solemn Thought, And heaves the gentle misery of a sigh,
Gazing with tearful eye,
To pensive Memory dear!
We glance before his view:
Where the blameless Pixies dwell:
With what obeisance meet
Thy presence shall we greet?
Graceful Ease in artless stole,
With Honour's softer mien;
As snow-drop wet with dew.
Transparent grace thy beauties meek;
grove, Young Zephyr his fresh flowers profusely throws,
We 'll tinge with livelier bues thy cheek; And, haply, from the nectar-breathing Rose
Extract a Blush for Love!
A FAREWELL ODE ON QUITTING SCHOOL FOR JESUS
A CHRISTMAS TALE, TOLD BY A SCHOOL-BOY TO HIS
Ah fair delights! that o'er
soul LITTLE BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
On Memory's wing, like shadows fly! UNDERNEATH a huge oak tree
Ah Flowers! which Joy from Eden stole There was, of swine, a huge company,
While Innocence stood smiling by!That grunted as they crunchi'd the mast:
But cease, fond beart! this bootless moan : For that was ripe, and fell full fast.
Those hours on rapid pinions flown Then they trotted away, for the wind grew high:
Shall yet return, hy Absence crown'd,
And scatter livelier roses round.
The Sun who ne'er remits his fires
On heedless eyes may pour the day: Flew low in the rain, and his feathers not wet.
The Moon, that oft from heaven retires, He pick'd up the acorn and buried it straight
Endears her renovated ray.
What though she leaves the sky unblest
To mourn awhile in murky vest?
When she relumes lier lovely light,
We bless the wanderer of the night.
LINES ON AN AUTUMNAL EVENING.
O trou, wild Fancy, check thy wing! No more At length he came back, and with him a Slie,
Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore! And the acorn was grown to a tall oak tree.
Nor there with happy spirits speed thy Night They built them a nest in the topmost bough,
Bathed in rich amber-glowing floods of light; And young ones they had, and were happy enow.
Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day, But soon came a woodman in leathern guise,
With western peasants hail the morning ray! His brow, like a pent-house, hung over bis eyes. Ah! rather bid the perishi'd pleasures move, He'd an axe in his hand, not a word he spoke,
A shadowy train, across the soul of Love! But with many a hem! and a sturdy stroke,
O'er Disappointment's wintry desert fling At length he brought down the poor Raven's own oak. Each flower that wreathed the dewy locks of Spring, His young ones were kill'd; for they could not depart, When blushing, like a bride, from Hope's trim bower And their mother did die of a broken heart.
She leapt, awaken'd by the pattering shower.
Now sheds the sinking Sun a deeper gleam, The boughs from the trunk the woodman did sever; Aid, lovely Sorceress! aid thy poet's dream! And they tloated it down on the course of the river. With faery wand O bid the Maid arise, They saw'd it in planks, and its bark they did strip, Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright blue eyes; And with this tree and others they made a good ship. As erst when from the Muses' calm abode The ship it was launchi'd; but in sight of the land 1 came, with Learning's meed not unbestow'd; Such a storm there did rise as no ship could withstand. When as she twined a laurel round my brow, It bulged on a rock, and the waves ruslid in fast : And met my kiss, and half return'd my vow, The old Raven flew round and round, and caw'd to the O'er all my frame shot rapid my thrill'd heart, blast.
And every nerve confess'd th' electric dart.
He heard the last shriek of the perishing souls
Right glad was the Raven, and off he went fleet,
They liad taken his all, and Revenge was sweet!
O dear deceit! I see the Maiden rise,
Amid the paly radiance soft and sad,
And Memory, with a Vestal's chaste employ,
Spirits of Love! ye heard her name! obey
Scenes of my Hope! the aching eye ye leave,
Spirits! to you the infant Maid was given,
As late each flower that sweetest blows
Around his brows a beamy wreath
I softly scized the unguarded Power,
0 (have I sigh’d) were mine the wizard's rod,
But when unweeting of the guile
Ah! soon the soul-cntrancing sight
And 0!, he cried - Of magic kind What charm this Throne endear! Some other Love let Venus findI'll fix my empire liere.»
As when the Savage, who his drowsy frame
THE KISS. One kiss, dear Maid! I said and sigh'd Your scorn the little boon denied. Ah wly refuse the blameless bliss ? Can danger lurk within a kiss ?
Dear native brook! like Peace, so placidly
ray, Where Love a crown of thornless Roses wears, Where soften'd Sorrow smiles within her tears;