Imatges de pÓgina

Now I direct my eyes into the West,

Which at this moment is in sun-beams drest:

Why westward turn? T was but to say adieu !

‘Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you!
August, 1816.

to chanirs Cowden clanke.

Oft have you seen a swan superbly frowning,
And with proud breast his own white shadow crowning;
He slants his neck beneath the waters bright
So silently, it seems a beam of light
Come from the galaxy: anon he sports,
With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts,
Or ruffles all the surface of the lake
In striving from its crystal face to take
Some diamond water-drops, and them to treasure
In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure.
But not a moment can he there ensure them,
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them;
For down they rush as though they would be free,
And drop like hours into eternity.
Just like that bird am I in loss of time,
Whene'er 1 venture on the stream of rhyme;
With shatter'd boat, oar snapt, and canvass rent,
I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent;
Still scooping up the water with my fingers,
In which a trembling diamond never lingers.

by this, friend Charles, you may full plainly see
why I have never penn'd a line to thee:
Because my thoughts were never free, and clear,
And little fit to please a classic ear;
Because my wine was of too poor a savour
For one whose palate gladdens in the flavour
of sparkling I'elicon –small good it were
To take him to a desert rude and bare,
Who had on Baiae's shore reclined at ease,
While Tasso's page was toating in a breeze
That gave soft music from Armida's bowers,
Mingled with fragrance from her rarest flowers:
Small good to one who had by Mulla's stream
Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream;
Who had beheld Belphoebe in a brook,

| And lovely Una in a leafy nook,

And Archimago leaning o'er his book:
Who had of all that 's sweet tasted, and seen,
From silv’ry ripple, up to beauty's queen;
From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania,
To the blue dwelling of divine Urania:
One, who, of late had ta'en sweet forest walks
with him who elegantly chats and talks—
The wrong'd Libertas—who has told you stories
Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories;
Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city,
And tearful ladies, made for love and pity:
with many else which I have never known.
Thus have I thought; and days on days have flown
Slowly, or rapidly—unwilling still
For you to try my dull, unlearned quill.
Nor should I now, but that I've known you long;
That you first taught me all the sweets of song:
The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine:
What swell'd with pathos, and what right diviue:

Spenserian vowels that elope with ease,
And float along like birds o'er summer seas:
Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tecdermes:
Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair slendos
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?
Who let me taste that more than cordial dram,
The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram?
Show'd me that epic was of all the king,
Round, vast, and spanning all, like Saturn's ring'
You too upheld the veil from Clio’s beauty,
And pointed out the patriot's stern duty;
The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell;
The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell
Upou a tyrant's head. Ah! had I never seen.
Or known your kindness, what might I have bon'
What my enjoyments in my youthful years,
Bereft of all that now my life endears?
And can le’er these benefits forget?
And can I eer repay the friendly debt?
No, doubly no;-yet should these rhymings Plas.
I shall roll on the grass with two-fold ease;
For I have long time been my fancy feeding
With hopes that you would one day think the rain:
Of my rough verses not an hour mispent;
Should it e'er be so, what a rich content!
Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spira
In lucent Thames reflected:—warm desires
To see the sun o'er-peep the eastern dimnes,
And morning-shadows streaking into slimmes
Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water;
To mark the time as they grow broad and shorter;
To feel the air that plays about the hills,
And sips its freshness from the little rills;
To see high, golden corn wave in the light
When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night,
And peers among the cloudlets, jet and while,
As though she were reclining in a bed
Of bean-blossoms, in heaven freshly shed.
No sooner had I stepp'd into these pleasures
Than I began to think of rhymes and measurs:
The air that floated by me seem'd to say
• Writes thou wilt never have a better day."
And so I did. When many lines I d written.
Though with their grace I was not oversmitten.
Yet, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd beta
Trust to my feelings, and write you a letter.
Such an attempt required an inspiration
Of a peculiar sort, a consummation :-
Which, had I felt, these scribblings might late to
Verses from which the soul would never wean:
But many days have past since last my heart
Was warm'd luxuriously by divine Motart:
By Arne delighted, or by Handel maddend;
Or by the song of Erin pierced and saddend: |
What time you were before the music sitting,
And the rich notes to each sensation fitting:
Since I have walk'd with you through shady lane
That freshly terminate in open plains,
And revell'd in a chat that ceased not,
When, at night-fall, among your books we to
No, nor when supper came, nor after that-
Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;

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No, nor till cordially you shook my hand
slid-way between our homes —your accents bland
Still sounded in my ears, when I no more
Could hear your footsteps touch the gravelly floor.
Sometimes I lost them, and then found again;
You changed the foot-path for the grassy plain.
In those still moments I have wish'd you joys
That well you know to honour:—. Life's very toys
With him,” said I, . will take a pleasant charm;
It cannot be that aught will work him harm."

These thoughts now come o'er me with all their might:-Again I shake your hand,-friend Charles, good night.

September, 1816.


1x a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:



-- - - -

The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them ;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 't were so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy!
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steal it,
Was never said in rhyme.

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