Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

207

SONNETS.

TO THOMAS BARNES, ESQ.

WRITTEN FROM HAMPSTEAD.

Dear Barnes, whose native taste, solid and clear,
The throng of life has strengthened without harm,
You know the rural feeling, and the charm
That stillness has for a world-fretted ear:-

'Tis now deep whispering all about me here
With thousand tiny hushings, like a swarm
Of atom bees, or fairies in alarm,
Or noise of numerous bliss from distant sphere.

This charm our evening hours duly restore,

Nought heard through all our little, lull’d abode,
Save the crisp fire, or leaf of book turn'd o'er,
Or watch-dog, or the ring of frosty road.

Wants there no other sound then?— Yes, one more,

The voice of friendly visiting, long owed.

TO THE

GRASSHOPPER AND THE CRICKET.

GREEN little vaulter in the sunny grass,

Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When ev'n the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass ;

Oh sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine ; both, though small, are strong
At your clear hearts; and both seem giv'n to earth
To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song,
In doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.

TO KOSCIUSKO

WHO NEVER FOUGHT EITHER FOR BONAPARTE OR THE ALLIES.

'Tis like thy patient valour thus to keep, Great Kosciusko, to the rural shade,

While Freedom's ill-found amulet still is made

Pretence for old aggression, and a heap
Of selfish mockeries. There, as in the sweep

Of stormier fields, thou earnest with thy blade,
Transformed, not inly altered, to the spade,
Thy never-yielding right to a calm sleep.

There came a wanderer, borne from land to land

Upon a couch, pale, many-wounded, mild,
His brow with patient pain dulcetly sour.
Men stoop'd, with awful sweetness, on his hand,
And kissed it; and collected Virtue smiled,
To think how sovereign her enduring hour.

P

TO STOTHARD.

Tuy fancy lives in a delightful sphere,
Stothard,—fit haunt for spirit so benign ;
For never since those southern masters fine,
In whose blest shapes, unforc’d, unfaultering, clear,
Manifest truth and sweet-eyed soul appear,
Has the true woman's gentle mien divine
Looked so, as in those breathing heads of thine,
With parted locks, and simple cheek sincere.

Therefore, against our climate's chilly hold,
Thou hast a nest in sunny glades and bowers;
And there, about thee, never growing old,
Are these fair things, clear as the lily flowers,
Such as great Petrarch loved,-only less cold,
More truly virtuous, and of gladdening powers.

A THOUGHT OF THE NILE.

It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,
And times and things, as in that vision, seem
Keeping along it their eternal stands,
Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands
That roamed through the young earth, the glory

extreme

Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,
The laughing queen that caught the world's great hands.

Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,
As of a world left empty of its throng,
And the void weighs on us; and then we wake,
And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along
Twixt villages, and think how we shall take
Our own calm journey on for human sake.

« AnteriorContinua »