Imatges de pàgina
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I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,

A fresh-blown musk-rose; 't was the first that threw

Its sweets upon the summer : graceful it grew
As is the wand that queen Titania wields.
And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,

I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd;
But when, o Wells! thy roses came to me

My sense with their deliciousness was spelld: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness un

quell'd.

Keen fitful gusts are whispering here and there

Among the bushes, half leafless and dry;

The stars look very cold about the sky, And I have many miles on foot to fare. Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air,

Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily,

Or of those silver lamps that burn on high, Or of the distance from home's pleasant lair: For I am brimfull of the friendliness

That in a little cottage I have found; Of fair-hair'd Milton's eloquent distress,

And all his love for gentle Lycid' drown'd; Of lovely Laura in her light green dress,

And faithful Petrarch gloriously crown'd.

TO G. A. W.

Nympa of the downward smile, and sidelong glance !

In what diviner moments of the day

Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray
Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance?
Or when serenely wand'ring in a trance

Of sober thought? Or when starting away,

With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance?
Haply 't is when thy ruby lips part sweetly,

And so remain, because thou listenest :
But thou to please wert nurtured so completely

That I can never tell what mood is best,
I shall as soon pronounce which Grace more neatly

Trips it before Apollo than the rest.

To one who has been long in city pent,

'T is very sweet to look into the fair

And open face of heaven, -to breathe a prayer Full in the smile of the blue firmament. Who is more happy, when, with beart's content,

Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair

Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear

Catching the notes of Philomel, -an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,

He mourns that day so soon has glided by: E’en like the passage of an angel's tear

That falls through the clear ether silently.

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O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,

Let it not be among the jumbled heap

Of murky buildings: climb with me the steep,-
Nature's observatory-whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,

May seem a spau; let me thy vigils keep

'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's swift leap, Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.

But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,

Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind, Whose words are images of thoughts refined,

Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure musi be Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER. Mucu have I travellid in the realms of gold,

And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;

Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told

That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold : Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes

He stared at the Pacific-and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surinisc

Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

TO MY BROTHERS.

ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS AT AN EARLY HOUR.

Small, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,

And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep

Like whispers of the household gods that keep
A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.
And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles,

Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,

Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That aye at fall of night our care condoles.
This is your birth-day, Tom, and I rejoice

That thus it passes smoothly, quietly,
Many such eves of gently whisp'ring noise

May we together pass, and calmly try What are this world's true joys,-ere the great Voice, From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.

November 18, 1816.

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Give me a golden pen, and let me lean

On heap'd up flowers, in regions clear, and far;

Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,
Or hand of hymning angel, when 't is seen
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:

And let there glide by many a pearly car,

Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar, And half-discover'd wings, and glances keen. The while let music wander round my ears,

And as it reaches each delicious ending,

Let me write down a line of glorious tone,
And full of many wonders of the spheres:

For what a height my spirit is contending!
'T is not content so soon to be alone.

ADDRESSED TO HAYDON.

It tells me too, that on a happy day,

When some good spirit walks upon the earth,

Thy name with Alfred's, and the great of yore, Gently commingling, gives tremendous birth To a loud hymn, that sounds far, far away

To where the great God lives for evermore.

HIGH-MINDEDNESS, a jealousy for good,

A loving-kindness for the great man's fame,

Dwells here and there with people of no name, Jo noisome alley, and in pathless wood: And where we think the truth least understood.

Oft may be found a « singleness of aim,"

That ought to frighten into hooded shame
A money-mong'ring, pitiable brood.
How glorious this affection for the cause

Of sted fast genius, toiling gallantly!
What wben a stout unbending champion awes

Envy, and malice to their native sty? Unnumber'd souls breathe out a still applause,

Proud to behold him in his country's eye.

Happy is England! I could be content

I
To see no other verdure than its own ;

To feel no other breezes than are blown Through its tall woods with high romances blent : Yet do I sometimes fell a languishment

For skies Italian, and an inward groan

To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;

Enough their simple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging :
Yet do I often warmly burn to see

Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.

ADDRESSED TO THE SAME.

THE HUMAN SEASONS.

Geeat spirits now on earth are sojourning :

He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,

Who on llelvellyn's summit, wide awake, Catches his freshness from Archangel's wing: He of the rose, the violet, the spring,

The social smile, the chain for Freedom's sake:

And lo! whose stedfastness would never take A meaner sound than Raphael's wliispering. And other spirits there are standing apart

Upon the forehead of the age to come; These, these will give the world another heart,

And other pulses. Hear ye not the bum Of mighty workings?

Listen awhile ye nations, and be dumb.

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span :
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming nigh
Is nearest unto heaven : quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness-lo let fair things
Pass hy unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET.

The poetry of earth is never dead :

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,

And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead: That is the grasshopper's - he takes the lead

In summer luxury,- he has never done

With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
De rests at case beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

On a lone winter evening, wlien the frost

Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills The Cricket's song, in warınth increasing ever,

And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

December 30, 1816.

ON A PICTURE OF LEANDER. Come hither al sweet maidens soberly, Down-looking aye, and with a chasten'd light, Hid in the fringes of your eye-lids white, And meekly let your fair hands joined be, As if so gentle that ye could not see, Untouch'd, a victim of your beauty bright, Sinking away to his young spirit's night, Sinking bewilder'd 'mid the dreary sea: 'T is young Leander toiling to his death; Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weary lips For Hero's cheek, and smiles against her smile. O horrid dream! see how his body dips Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile : He's gone; up bubbles all bis amorous breath!

TO KOSCIUSKO.

TO AJLSA ROCK.

Goop Kosciusko! thy great name alone

Is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling;

It comes upon us like the glorious pealing
Of the wide spheres-an everlasting tone.
And now it tells me, that in worlds unknown,

The names of beroes, burst from clouds concealing,

And changed to harmonies, for ever stealing Through cloudless blue, and round each silver throne.

HEARKEN, thou cragey ocean pyramid !
Give answer from thy voice, the sea-fowl's screams!
When were thy shoulders mantled in buge streams?
When, from the sun, was thy broad forehead hid?

How long is 't since the mighty power bid
Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams?
Sleep in the lap of thunder or sun-beams,
Or when grey clouds are thy cold cover-lid ?
Thou answer'st not, for thou art dead asleep!
Thy life is but two dead eternities-
The last in air, the former in the deep;
First with the whales, last with the eagle-skies-
Drown'd wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep,
Another cannot wake thy giant size.

Where on one side are covert branches hung,
'Mong which the nightingales have always sung
Ju leafy quiet ; where to pry, aloof
Atween the pillars of the sylvan roof,
Would be to find where violet beds were nestling,
And where the bee with cowslip bells was wrestling.
There must be too a ruin dark, and gloomy,
To say "joy not too much in all that 's bloomy.»

EPISTLES.

Among the rest a shepherd (though but young
Yet hartned to his pipe) with all the skill
His few yeeres could, began to fit his quill,

Britannia's Pastorals.-BROWNE.

TO GEORGE FELTON MATHEW.

Sweet are the pleasures that to verse belong,
And doubly sweet a brotherhood in song;
Nor can remembrance, Mathew! bring to view
A fate more pleasing, a delight more true
Than that in which the brother poets joy'd,
Who, with combined powers, their wit employ'd
To raise a trophy to the drama's muses.
The thought of this great partnership diffuses
Over the genius-loving heart, a feeling
Of all that's high, and great, and good, and healing.
Too partial friend! fain would I follow thee
Past each horizon of fine poesy;
Fain would I echo back each pleasant note
As o'er Sicilian seas, clear anthems float
'Mong the light skimming gondolas far parted,
Just when the sun his farewell beam has darted :
But 't is impossible; far different cares
Beckon me steroly from soft «Lydian airs,"
And hold my faculties so long in thrall,
That I am oft in doubt whether at all
I shall again see Phæbus in the morning :
Or flush'd Aurora in the roscate dawning!
Or a white Naiad in a rippling stream;
Or a rapt seraph in a moonlight beam;
Or again witness what with thee I 've seen,
The dew by fairy feet swept from the green,
After a night of some quaint jubilee
Which every elf and fay had come to see :
When bright processions took their airy march
Beneath the curved moon's triumphal arch.

Yet this is vain-O Mathew! lend thy aid
To find a place where I may greet the maid-
Where we may soft humanity put on,
And sit, and rhyme, and think on Chatterton ;
And that warm-hearted Shakespeare sent to meet him
Four laurell’d spirits, heavenward to entreat him.
With reverence would we speak of all the sages
Who have left streaks of light athwart their ages :
And thou shouldst moralize on Milton's blindness,
And mourn the fearful dearth of human kindness
To those who strove with the bright golden wing
Of genius, to flap away each sting
Thrown by the pitiless world. We next could tell
Of those who in the cause of freedom fell;
Of our own Alfred, of Helvetian Tell;
Of him whose name to every heart 's a solace,
High-minded and unbending William Wallace.
While to the rugged north our musing turns
We well might drop a tear for him, and Burns.
Felton! without incitements such as these,
How vain for me the niggard Muse to tease!
For thee, she will thy every dwelling grace,
And make • a sun-shine in a shady place:»
For thou wast once a flowret blooming wild,
Close to the source, bright, pure, and undefiled,
Whence gush the streams of song: in happy hour
Came chaste Diana from her shady bower,
Just as the sun was from the east uprising;
And, as for him some gift she was devising,
Beheld thee, pluck'd thee, cast thee in the stream
To meet her glorious brother's greeting beam.
I marvel much that thou hast never told
How, from a flower, into a fish of gold
Apollo changed thee: how thou next didst seem
A black-eyed swan upon the widening stream;
And when thou first didst in that mirror trace
The placid features of a human face:
That thou hast never told thy travels strange,
And all the wonders of the mazy range
O'er pebbly chrystal, and o'er golden sands;
Kissing thy daily food from Naiad's pearly hands.

November, 1815.

TO MY BROTHER CEORGE.

But might I now each passing moment give
To the coy muse, with me she would not live
In this dark city, nor would condescend
'Mid contradictions her delights to lend.
Should e'er the fine-eyed maid to me be kind,
Ah! surely it must be whene'er I find
Some flowery spot, sequester'd, wild, romantic,
That often must have seen a poet frantic;
Where oaks, that erst the Druid knew, are growing,
And flowers, the glory of one day, are blowing;
Where the dark-leaved laburnum's drooping clusters
Reflect athwart the stream their yellow lustres,
And intertwined the cassia's arms unite,
With its own drooping buds, but very

white.

Full many a dreary hour have I past,
My brain bewilder'd, and my mind o'ercast
With heaviness; in seasons when I've thought
No sphery strains by me could e'er be caught
From the blue dome, though I to dimness gaze
On the far depth where sheeted lightning plays;
Or, on the wavy grass outstretch'd supinely,
Pry 'mong the stars, to strive to think divinely:
That I should never hear Apollo's song,
Though feathery clouds were floating all along

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The purple west, and, two bright streaks between, With after times. The patriot shall feel
The golden lyre itself were dimly seen :

My stern alarum, and unsheath his steel;
That the still murmur of the honey-bee

Or in the senate thunder out my numbers,
Would never teach a rural song to me:

To startle princes from their

easy slumbers.
That the bright glance from beauty's eyelids slanting The sage will mingle with each moral theme
Would never make a lay of mine enchanting,

My happy thoughts sententious: he will teem
Or warm my breast with ardour to unfold

With lofty periods when my verses fire him,
Some tale of love and arms in time of old.

And then I 'll stoop from heaved to inspire him.

Lays have I left of such a dear delight
But there are times, when those that love the bay,

That maids will sing them on their bridal-night.
Fly from all sorrowing far, far away;

Gay villagers, upon a morn of May,
A sudden glow comes on them, nought they see

When they have tired their gentle limbs with play,
In water, earth, or air, but poesy.

And form'd a snowy circle on the grass,
It has been said, dear George, and true I hold it,

And placed in midst of all that lovely lass
(For knightly Spenser to Libertas told it),

Who chosen is their queen, - with her fine head
That when a Poet is in such a trance,

Crown'd with flowers purple, white, and red :
In air he sees white coursers paw and prance,

For there the lily, and the musk-rose, sighing,
Bestridden of gay knights, in gay apparel,

Are emblems true of hapless lovers dying:
Who at each other tilt in playful quarrel;

Between her breasts, that never yet felt trouble,
And what we, ignorantly, sheet-lightning call,

A bunch of violets full blown, and double,
Is the swift opening of their wide portal,

Serenely sleep:-she from a casket takes
When the bright warder blows his trumpet clear,

A little book,-and then a joy awakes
Whose tones reach pought on earth but poet's ear.

About each youthful heari, - with stilled cries,
When these enchanted portals open wide,

And rubbing of white hands, and sparkling eyes :
And through the light the horsernen swiftly glide,

For she's to read a tale of hopes, and fears;
The Poet's eye can reach those golden halls,

One that I foster'd in my youthful years :
And view the glory of their festivals :

The pearls, that on each glistening circlet sleep,
Their ladies fair, that in the distance seem

Gush ever and anon with silent creep,
Fit for the silv'ring of a seraph's dream;

Lured by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest
Their rich brimm'd goblets, that incessant run,

Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast,
Like the bright spots that move about the sun;

Be lulld with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu!
And when upheld, the wine from each bright jar

Thy dales, and hills, are fading from my view:
Pours with the lustre of a falling star.

Swiftly I mount, upon wide-spreading pinions,
Yet further off, are dimly seen their bowers,

Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions.
Of which no mortal eye can reach the flowers;

Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air,
And 't is right just, for well Apollo knows

That my soft verse will charm thy daughters fair, 'T would make the Poet quarrel with the rose.

And warm thy sons!. Ah, my dear friend and brother,
All that's reveald from that far seat of blisses,

Could I, at once, my mad ambition smother,
Is, the clear fountains' interchanging kisses,

For tasting joys like these, sure I should be
As gracefully descending, light and thin,

Happier, and dearer to society.
Like silver streaks across a dolphin's fin,

At times, 't is true, I've felt relief from pain
When he upswimmeth from the coral caves,

When some bright thought has darted through my brain:
And sports with half his tail above the waves.

Through all that day I 've felt a greater pleasure

Than if I had brought to light a hidden treasure.
These wonders strange he sees, and many more,

As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them,

I feel delighted, still, that you should read them.
Whose head is pregnant with poetic lore:

Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment,
Should he upon an evening ramble fare

Stretch'd on the grass at my best loved employment
With forehead to the sootbing breezes bare,

Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought
Would he nought see but the dark, silent blue,
With all its diamonds trembling through and through? E'en now, I am pillow'd on a bed of tlowers

While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught.
Or the coy moon, when in the waviness

That crowns a lofty cliff, which proudly towers
Of whitest clouds she does her beauty dress,

Above the ocean waves. The stalks, and blades,
And staidly paces higher up, and higher,

Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades.
Like a sweet nun in holiday attire?

On one side is a field of drooping oats,
Ah, yes! much more would start into his sighe-
The revelries, and mysteries of night:

Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats,
And should I ever see them, I will tell you

So pert and useless, that they bring to mind
Such tales as needs must with amazement spell you.

The scarlet coats that pester humap-kind.
And on the other side, outspread, is seen

Ocean's blue mantle, streak'd with purple and green;
These aye the living pleasures of the bard:

Now 't is I see a canvass d ship, and now
But richer far posterity's award.

Mark the bright silver curling round her prow.
What does he murmur with his latest breath,

I see the lark down-dropping to his nest,
While his proud eye looks through the film of death? And the broad-wing'd sea-gull never at rest;
« What though I leave this dull, and earthly mould, For when no more he spreads bis feathers free,
Yet shall my spirit lofty converse hold

His breast is dancing on the restless sea.

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Now I direct my eyes into the West,

i Spenserian vowels that elope with ease, Which at this moment is in sun-beams drest :

And float along like birds o'er summer seas: Why westward turp? 'T was but to say adieu !

Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tenderness : 'T was but to kiss my hand, dear George, lo you! Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair slenderness. August, 1816.

Who read for me the sonnet swelling loudly
Up to its climax, and then dying proudly?
Who found for me the grandeur of the ode,

Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load?
TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE.

Who let me taste that more than cordial dram,
Ofr have you seen a swan superbly frowning,

The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram? And with proud breast his own white shadow crowning; Show'd me that epic was of all the king, He slanis his neck beneath the waters bright

Round, vast, and spanning all, like Saturn's ring? So silently, it seems a beam of light

You too upheld the veil from Clio's beauty, Come from the galaxy: anon he sports,

And pointed out the patriot's stern duty; With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts, The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell; Or ruffles all the surface of the lake

The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell In striving from its crystal face to take

Upon a tyrant's head. Ah! had I never seen, Some diamond water-drops, and them to treasure Or known your kindness, what might I have been ! In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure.

What my enjoyments in my youthful years, But not a moment can he there ensure them,

Bereft of all that now my life endears?
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them;

And can I e'er these benefits forget?
For down they rush as though they would be free, And can I e'er repay the friendly debt?
And drop like hours into eternity.

No, doubly no;-yet should these rhymings please, Just like that bird am I in loss of time,

I shall roll on the grass with two-fold ease; Whene'er | venture on the stream of rhyme ;

For I have long time been my fancy feeding With shatterd boat, oar snapt, and canvass rent, With hopes that you would one day think the reading I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent;

Of my rough verses not an hour mispent; Still scooping up the water with my fingers,

Should it e'er be so, what a rich content! In which a trembling diamond never lingers.

Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spires

In lucent Thames reflected :-warm desires By this, friend Charles, you may full plainly see

To see the sun o'er-peep the eastern dimness, Why I have never penn'd a line to thee:

And morning-shadows streaking into slimness Because my thoughts were ncver free, and clear, Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water; And little fit to please a classic ear;

To mark the time as they grow broad and shorter ; Because

To feel the air that plays about the bills, wine was of too poor a savour

my For one whose palate gladdens in the flavour

And sips its freshness from the little rills; Of sparkling Helicon :-small good it were

To see high, golden corn wave in the light To take him to a desert rude and bare,

When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night, Who had on Baiæ's shore reclined at ease,

And peers among the cloudlets, jet and white, While Tasso's page was floating in a breeze

As though she were reclining in a bed That

Of bean-blossoms, in heaven freshly shed. soft music from Armida's bowers, gave Mingled with fragrance from her rarest flowers : No sooner had I stepp'd into these pleasures, Small good to one who had by Mulla's stream

Than I began to think of rhymes and measures ; Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream;

The air that floated by me seem'd to say Who had beheld Belphæbe in a brook,

Write! thou wilt never have a better day.. And lovely Una in a leafy nook,

And so I did. When many lines I'd written, And Archimago leaning o'er his book :

Though with their

grace I was not oversmitten, Who had of all that 's sweet tasted, and seeu,

Yet, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd betler From silv'ry ripple, up to beauty's queen;

Trust to my feelings, and write you a letter. From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania,

Such an attempt required an inspiration To the blue dwelling of divine Urania :

of a peculiar sort,-a consummation ;One, who, of late had ta'en sweet forest walks

Which, had I felt, these scribblings might have been With him who elegantly chats and talks

Verses from which the soul would never wean; The wrong'd Libertas-who has told

But many days have past since last heart Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories;

Was warm’d luxuriously by divine Mozart; Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city,

By Arne delighted, or by Handel madden'd; And tearful ladies, made for love and pity:

Or by the song of Erin pierced and sadden'd: With many else which I have never known.

What time you were before the music sitting, Thus have I thought; and days on days have flown And the rich notes to each sensation fitting. Slowly, or rapidly-unwilling still

Since I have walk'd with you through shady lanes For you to try my dull, unlearned quill.

That freshly terminate in open plains,
Nor should I now, but that I've known you long; And revell'd in a chat that ceased not,
That you first taught me all the sweets of song: When, at night-fall, among your books we got:
The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine: No, nor when supper came, nor after that,
What swell'd with pathos, and what right divine: Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;

my

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