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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
I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd;
My sense with their deliciousness was spelld: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness un
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
Of sober thought? Or when starting away,
With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
And so remain, because thou listenest :
That I can never tell what mood is best,
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
Catching the notes of Philomel, -an eye
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.
O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings: climb with me the steep,-
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
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
Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That thus it passes smoothly, quietly,
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.
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,
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,
For what a height my spirit is contending!
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
Of sted fast genius, toiling gallantly!
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
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,
Enough their simple loveliness for me,
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;
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,
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,
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 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
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 !
How long is 't since the mighty power bid
Where on one side are covert branches hung,
Among the rest a shepherd (though but young
TO GEORGE FELTON MATHEW.
Sweet are the pleasures that to verse belong,
Yet this is vain-O Mathew! lend thy aid
TO MY BROTHER CEORGE.
But might I now each passing moment give
Full many a dreary hour have I past,
The purple west, and, two bright streaks between, With after times. The patriot shall feel
My stern alarum, and unsheath his steel;
Or in the senate thunder out my numbers,
To startle princes from their
My happy thoughts sententious: he will teem
With lofty periods when my verses fire him,
And then I 'll stoop from heaved to inspire him.
Lays have I left of such a dear delight
That maids will sing them on their bridal-night.
Gay villagers, upon a morn of May,
When they have tired their gentle limbs with play,
And form'd a snowy circle on the grass,
And placed in midst of all that lovely lass
Who chosen is their queen, - with her fine head
Crown'd with flowers purple, white, and red :
For there the lily, and the musk-rose, sighing,
Are emblems true of hapless lovers dying:
Between her breasts, that never yet felt trouble,
A bunch of violets full blown, and double,
Serenely sleep:-she from a casket takes
A little book,-and then a joy awakes
About each youthful heari, - with stilled cries,
And rubbing of white hands, and sparkling eyes :
For she's to read a tale of hopes, and fears;
One that I foster'd in my youthful years :
The pearls, that on each glistening circlet sleep,
Gush ever and anon with silent creep,
Lured by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest
Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast,
Be lulld with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu!
Thy dales, and hills, are fading from my view:
Swiftly I mount, upon wide-spreading pinions,
Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions.
Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air,
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,
Could I, at once, my mad ambition smother,
For tasting joys like these, sure I should be
Happier, and dearer to society.
At times, 't is true, I've felt relief from pain
When some bright thought has darted through my brain:
Through all that day I 've felt a greater pleasure
Than if I had brought to light a hidden treasure.
As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them,
I feel delighted, still, that you should read them.
Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment,
Stretch'd on the grass at my best loved employment
Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought
While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught.
That crowns a lofty cliff, which proudly towers
Above the ocean waves. The stalks, and blades,
Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades.
On one side is a field of drooping oats,
Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats,
So pert and useless, that they bring to mind
The scarlet coats that pester humap-kind.
Ocean's blue mantle, streak'd with purple and green;
Now 't is I see a canvass d ship, and now
Mark the bright silver curling round her prow.
I see the lark down-dropping to his nest,
His breast is dancing on the restless sea.
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
Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load?
Who let me taste that more than cordial dram,
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?
And can I e'er these benefits forget?
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,