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Beyond the stars, and all this passing scene,
But soon inured to alphabetic tolls, Where change shall cease, and Time shall be no Alert I met the dame with jocund smiles; more.
First at the form, my task for ever true,
Talk'd of the honours of my future days.
Oh! had the venerable matron thought
Of all the ills by talent often brought;
Could she have seen me when revolving years
Had been a lowlier, an unletter'd state;
Wish'd that, remote from worldly woes and strife,
Unknown, unheard, I might have pass'd thro' life. PICTURED in memory's mellowing glass how Our infant days, our infant joys to greet; (sweet Where, in the busy scene, by peace unbless'd, To roam in fancy in each cherish'd scene,
Shall the poor wanderer find a place of rest? The village church-yard, and the village-green, A lonely mariner on the stormy main, The woodland walk remote, the greenwood glade, Without a hope, the calms of peace to gain; The mossy seat beneath the hawihorn shade, Long toss'd by tempest o'er the world's wide shore, The white-wash'd cottage, where the woodbine When shall his spirit rest to toil no more?. grew,
Not till the light foam of the sea shall lave And all the favourite haunts our childhood knew! The sandy surface of his unwept grave. How sweet, while all the evil shuns the gaze, Childhood, to thee I turn, from life's alarms, To view th' unclouded skies of former days! Serenest season of perpetual calms,
Turn with delight, and bid the passions cease, Beloved age of innocence and smiles,
And joy to think with thee I tasted peace. When each wing'd hour some new delight beguiles. Sweet reign of innocence when no crime defiles, When the gay heart, to life's sweet day-spring true, But each new object brings attendant smiles; Still finds some insect pleasure to pursue.
When future evils never haunt the sight,
To thee I turn, from riot and from noise,
'Neath yonder elm, that stands upon the moor, Recalls some fond idea of delight.
When the clock spoke the hour of labour o'er,
What clamorous throngs, what happy groups were This shrubby knoll was once my favourite seat;
seen, Here did I love at evening to retreat,
In various postures scattering o'er the green ! And muse alone, till in the vault of night,
Some shoot the marble, cthers join the chase Hesper, aspiring, show'd his golden light,
Of self-made stag, or run the emulous race; Here once again, remote from human noise, While others, seated on the dappled grass, I sit me down to think of former joys; [more,
With doleful tales the light-wing'd minutes pase. Pause on each scene, each treasured scene, once Well I remember how, with gesture starch'd, And once again each infant walk explore,
A band of soldiers, oft with pride we march'd; While as each grove and lawn I recognize,
For banners, to a tall ąsh we did bind My melted soul suffuses in my eyes.
Our handkerchiefs, flapping to the whistling wind;
And for our warlike arms we sought the mead, And oh ! thou Power, whose myriad trains resort And guns and spears we made of brittle reed; To distant scenes, and picture them to thought; Then, in uncouth array, our feats to crown, Whose mirror, held unto the mourner's eye, We storm'd some ruin'd pig-sty for a town. Flings to his soul a borrow'd gleam of joy; Bless'd memory, guide, with finger nicely true,
Pleased with our gay disports, the dame was Back to my youth my retrospective view;
wont Recall with faithful vigour to my mind,
To set her wheel before the cottage front, Each face familiar, each relation kind;
And o'er her spectacles would often peer, And all the finer traits of them afford,
To view our gambols, and our boyish geer. Whose general outline in my heart is stored. Still as she look'd, her wheel kept turning round,
With its beloved monotony of sound. In yonder cot, along whose mouldering walls, When tired with play, we'd set us by her side, In many a fold the mantling woodbine falls, (For out of school she never knew to chide) -The village matron kept her little school,
And wonder at her skill-well known to fame-Gentle of heart, yet knowing well to rule;
For who could match in spinning with the dame? Staid was the dame, and modest was her mien; Her sheets, her linen, which she show'd with pride Her garb was coarse, yet whole, and nicely clean: To strangers, still her thriftness testified; Her neatly border'd cap, as lily fair,
Though we poor wights did wonder much in troth, Beneath her chin was pinn'd with decent care; How 'twas her spinning manufactured cloth. And pendent ruffles, of the whitest lawn, Of ancient make, hez elbows did ador.
Oft would we leave, though well-beloved, our play, Paint with old age, and dim were grown her eyes,
To chat at home the vacant hour away. A pair of spectacles their want supplies;
Many's the time I've scamper'd down the glade, These does she guard secure in leathern case, To ask the promised ditty from the maid, From thoughtless wights, in some unweeted place.
Which well she loved, as well she knew to sing,
While we around her form'd a little ring: Here first I enter'd, though with toil and pain,
She told of innocence foredoom'd to bleed, The low vestibule of learning's fane;
Of wicked guardians bent on bloody deed, Enter'd with pain, yet soon I found the way, Or little children murder'd as they slept; Though sometimes toilsome, many a sweet
display. While at each pause we wrung our hands and wept Much did I grieve, on that ill-fated morn,
Sad was such tale, and wonder much did we, While I was first to school reluctant borne:
Such hearts of stone there in the world could be. Severe I thought the dame, though' oft she tried Poor simple wights, ah ! little did we ween To soothe my swelling spirits when I sigh'd ;
The uls that wait on man in life's sad scene! And oft, when harshly she reproved, I wept, Ah, little thought that we ourselves should know, To my lone corner broken-hearted crept, [kept. This world's a world of weeping and of wo! And thought of tender home, where anger never
Beloved moment! then 'twas first I caught
The first foundation of romantic thought; • This appears to be one of the Author's earliest Then first I shed bold Fancy's thrilling tear, productions: written when about the age of 14. Then first that poesy charm'd mine intant ear.
Soon stored with much of legendary lore,
While sorrow and disease with anguish rife, The sports of Childhood charm'd my soul no more. Consume apace the ebbing springs of life.
Again I see his door against thee shut, Far from the scene of gayety and noise,
The unfeeling native turn thee from his hut: Far, far from turbulent and empty joys,
I see thee, spent with toil and worn with grief, I hied me to the thick o'er-arching shade,
Sit on the grass, and wish the long'd relief; And there, on mossy carpet, listless laid,
Then lie thee down, the stormy struggle o'er,
Thine on thy native land-and rise no more!
Oh! that thou couldst, from thine august abode To realms of light, and pierce the radiance there. Survey thy friend in life's dismaying road ;
That thou couldst see him at this moment here
Where all the scenes of infant joys surround.
Yes! yes! his spirit's near |_The whispering
Borne on the gray mist of the sullen eve:
He hovers near, clad in the night's dim robe,
While deathly silence reigns upon the globe.
By her inspired, when reason takes its flight,
She waves her hand, and lo! what forms appear ! Yet in the youthful breast for ever caught What magic sounds salute the wondering ear! With some new object for romantic thought, Once more o'er distant regions do we tread, The impression of the moment quickly flies, And the cold grave yields up its cherish'd dead; And with the morrow every sorrow dies.
While present sorrow's banísh'd far away,
Unclouded azure gilds the placid day, How different manhood !-then does Thought's Or in the future's cloud-encircled face, control
Fair scenes of bliss to come we fondly trace, Sink every pang still deeper in the soul ;
And draw minutely every little wile, Then keen Affliction's sad unceasing smart
Which shall the feathery hours of time beguile Becomes a painful resident in the heart; And Care, whom not the gayest can out-brave, So when forlorn, and lonesome at her gate, Pursues its feeble victim to the grave.
The Royal Mary solitary sate, Then, as each long known friend is summon'a And view'd the moon-beam trembling on the wave, hence,
And heard the hollow surge her prison lave, We feel a void no joy can recompense,
Towards France's distant coast she bent her sight, And as we weep o'er every new-made tomb, For there her sunl had wing'd its longing flight; Wish that ourselves the next inay meet our doom. There did she form full many a scheme of joy,
Visions of bliss unclouded with alloy, Yes, Childhood, thee no rankling woes purue, Which bright thro' Hope's deceitful optics beam'd, No forms of future ill salute thy view,
And all became the surety which it seem'd; No pangs repentant bid thee wake to weep,
She wept, yet felt, while all within was calm, But halcyon peace protects thy downy sleep, In every tear a melancholy charm. And sanguine Hope, through every storm of life, Shoots her brighi beams, and calms the internal To yonder hill, whose sides, deform'd and steep, strife.
(shrine, Just yield a scanty sust'nance to the sheep, Yet even round childhood's heart, a thoughtless With thee, my friend, I oftentimes have sped, Affection's little thread will ever twine;
To see the sun rise from his healthy bed;
With silent adıniration oft we view'd
The myriad hues o'er heaven's blue concave strevd; When to the public school compelld to go,
The fleecy clouds, of every tint and shade, What novel scenes did on my senses flow!
Round which the silvery sunbeam glancing play'd, There in each breast each active power dilates, And the round orb itself, in azure throne, Which broils whole nations, and convulses states; Just peeping o'er the blue hill's ridgy zone; There reigns by turns alternate, love and hate, We mark'd delighted, how with aspect gay, Ambition burns, and factious rebels prate;
Reviving Nature hail'd returning day; [heads, And in a smaller range, a smaller sphere,
Mark'd how the flowerets rear'd their drooping The dark deformities of man appear.
And the wild lambkins hounded o'er the meads, Yet there the gentler virtues kindred claim, While from each tree, in tones of sweet delight, There Friendship lights her pure untainted flame, The birds sung paans to the source of light: There mild Benevolence delights to dwell,
Oft have we watch'd the speckled lark arise, And sweet Contentment rests without her cell, Leave his grass bed, and soar to kindred skies, And there, mid many a stormy soul, we find And rise, and rise, till the pain'd sight no more The good of heart, the intelligent of mind.
Could trace him in his high aerial tour;
Though on the ear, at intervals, his song 'Twas there, o George! with thee I learn'd to join Came wafted slow the wavy breeze along; In Friendship's bands-in amity divine.
And we have thought how happy were our lot,
Where, from the peep of day, till russet eve
At sultry noon too, when our toils were done, At last repose from all the storms of fate?
We to the gloomy glen were wont to run;
Of deeds, and days, and heroes now no more;
Heard, as his solemn harp Isaiah swept, Forlorn and sad thou bend'st thy weary way, Sung wo unto the wicked land—and wept;
Or, fancy-led-saw Jeremiah mourn
It catches all the infant's wandering tongue, In solemn sorrow o'er Judea's urn.
And prattles on in desultory song. Then to another shore perhaps would rove,
That song must close--the gloomy mists of night With Plato talk in his flyssian grove;
Obscure the pale stars' visionary light, Or, wandering where the Thespian palace rose,
And elion darkness, clad in vapoury wet, Weep once again o'er fair Jocasta's woes.
Steals on the welkin in primæval jet. Sweet then to us was that romantic band,
The song must close. Once more my adverse lot The ancient legends of our native land
Leads me reluctant from this cherish'd spot :
Again compels to plunge in busy life,
Scenes of my youth-ere my unwilling feet
Let me ejaculate, to feeling due,
One long, one last affectionate adieu. While thus employ'd, to us how sad the bell Grant that, if ever Providence should please Which summond us to school! 'Twas Fancy's To give me an old age of peace and ease, And, sadly sounding on the sullen ear, [knell, Grant that, in these sequester'd shades, my days It spoke of study pale, and chilling fear.
May wear away in gradual decays;
At evening too, how pleasing was our walk,
WRITTEN AT A VERY EARLY AGE. With moss and rank weeds hanging down its
sides : The craggy rock, that jutted on the sight; The shrieking bat, that took its heavy flight;
TIIE DANCE OF THE CONSUMPTIVES. All, all was pregnant with divine delighi. We loved to watch the swallow swimming high, In the bright azure of the vaulted sky;
1. Or gaze upon the clouds, whose colour'd pride
DING-DONG! ding-dong! Was scatter'd thinly o'er the welkin wide,
Merry, merry, go the bells, And tinged with such variety of shade,
Ding-dong! ding-dong! To the charm'd soul sublimest thoughts convey'd. Over the heath, over the moor, and over the dale, In these what forms romantic did we trace,
“Swinging slow with sullen roar,' While Fancy led us o'er the realms of space! Dance, dance away the jocund roundelay! Now we espied the Thunder er in his car,
Ding-dong, ding-uong, calls us away, Leading the embattled seraphim to war,
2. Then stately towers descried, sublimely high, In Gothic grandeur frowning on the sky
Round the oak, and round the elm, Or saw, wide stretching o'er the azure height, Merrily foot it o'er the ground! A ridge of glaciers in mural white,
The sentry ghost it stands aloof,
So merrily, merrily foot it round.
Merry, merry go the bells, alone to struggle through this world of wo.
Swelling in the nightly gale,
The sentry ghost,
It keeps its post,
But let us trip the nightly ground,
While the merry, merry bells ring round. And the tired soul, now led to thoughts sublime,
3. Looks but for rest beyond the bounds of time.
Hark!, hark! the death-watch ticks! Toil on, toil on, ye busy crowds, that pant
See, see, the winding-sheet For hoards of wealth which ye will never want:
Our dance is done, And, lost to all but gain, with ease resign
Our race is run, The calms of peace and happiness divine!
And we must lie at the alder's feet! Far other cares be mine-Men little crave
Ding-dong, ding.dong, In this short journey to the silent grave,
Merry, merry go the bells, And the poor peasant, bless'd with peace and health, Swinging o'er the weltering wave! I envy more than Croesus with his wealth.
And we must seek Yet grieve not I, that Fate did not decree
Our death-beds bleak, Paternal acres to await on mé;
Where the green sod grows upon the grave. She gave me more, she placed within my breast A heart with little pleased-with little bless'd. They vanish–The Goddess of Consumption descends, I look around me, where, on every side,
habited in a sky-blue Robe, attended by mournful Extensive manors spread in wealthy pride;
Come, Melancholy, sister mine!
Cold the dews, and chil the night!
The wan moon climbs the heavenly height, Oh, no! but while the weary spirit greets
And underneath the sickly ray, The fading scenes of childhood's far-gone sweets, Troops of squalid spectres play,
And the dying mortals' groan
Thou dost pursue thy solitary course ? Startles the night on her dusky throne.
Has thy Endymion, smooth-faced boy, forsook Come, come, sister mine!
Thy widow'd breast-on which the spoiler oft
Has nestled fondly, while the silver clouds
Fantastic pillow'd thee, and the dim night,
Obsequious to thy will, encurtain'd round
With its thick friuge thy couch ?-Wan traveller,
How like thy fate to mine !-Yet I have still
Glen in the rear, habited in Black, and covered My woes will soon be buried in the grave
of kind forgetfulness:-my journey here,
Though it be darksome, joyless, and forlorn, Sister, from my dark abode,
Is yet but short, and soon my weary feet Where nests the raven, sits the toad,
will greet the peaceful inn of lasting rest. Hither I come, at thy command :
But thou, unhappy Queen! art doom'd to trace Sister, sister, join thy hand!
Thy lonely walk in the drear realms of night, Sister, sister, join thy hand!
While many a lagging age sball sweep beneath I will smooth the way for thee,
The leaden pinions of unshak
time; Thou shalt furnish food for me.
Though not a hope shall spread its glittering hue Come, let us speed our way
To cheat thy steps along the weary way. Where the troops of spectres play.
o that the sum of human happiness To charnel-houses, church-yards drear,
Should be so trifling, and so frail withal, Where Death sits with a horrible leer,
That when possessid, it is but lessen'd grief; A lasting grin, on a throne of bones,
And even then there's scarce a sudden gust
That blows across the dismal waste of life,
But bears it from the view.-Oh! who would Lay our snares, and spread our tether!
shun I will smooth the way for thec,
The hour that cuts from earth, and fear to press
The calm and peaceful pillows of the grave,
And yet endure the various ills of life.
And dark vicissitudes !--Soon, I hope, I feel,
My weary aching head, on its last rest,
And on my lowly bed the grass-green sod
Will flourish sweetly.-And then they will weep Come, let us speed our way!
That one so young, and what they're pleased to Join our hands, and spread our tether!
call I will furnish food for thee,
So beautiful, should die so soon-And tell
How painful Disappointment's canker'd fang
Wither'd the rose upon my maiden cheek.
Oh, foolish ones! why, I shall sleep so sweetly,
Might envy me iny rest –And as for them,
Who, on the score of former intimacy,
May thus remembrance me--they must themselves Hist, sister, hist! who comes here?
Successive fall. Oh! I know her by that tear,
Around the winter fire By that blue eye's languid glare,
(When out-a-doors the biting frost congeals, By her skin, and by her hair
And shrill the skater's irons on the pool
Ring loud, as by the moonlight he performs
His graceful evolutions, they not long,
Shall sit and chat of older times, and feats
Of early youth, but silent, one by one,
Shall drop into their shrouds.-Some, in their age,
Ripe for the sickle; others young, like me, In the dismal nignt air dress'd,
and falling green beneath th' untimely stroke I will creep into her breast :
Thus, in short time, in the church-yard forlorn, Flush her cheek, and bleach her skin,
Where I shall lie, my friends will lay them down, And feed on the vital fire within.
And dwell with me, a happy family. Lover, do not trust her eyes,
And oh! thou cruel, yet beloved youth, When they sparkle most, she dies !
Who now hast left me hopeless here to nourn, Mother, do not trust her breath,
Do thou but shed one tear upon my corse, Comfort she will breathe in death!
And say that I was gentle, and deserved Father, do not strive to save her,
A better lover, and I shall forgive She is mine, and I must have her!
All, all thy wrongs;- and then do thou forget The coffin must be her bridal bed;
The hapless Margaret, and be as bless'd The winding-sheet must wrap her head ;
As wish can make thee-Laugh, and play, and The whispering winds must o'er her sigh,
sing, For soon in the grave the maid must lie,
With thy dear choice, and never think of me.
Yet hist, I hear a step. In this dark wood-
Forsake the loved Aonian maids,
Why to thy votaries dost thou give to feel For all the petty tricks of trades,
So keenly all the scorns—the jeers of life? I never, either now, or long since,
Why not endow them to endure the strife Have heard of such a piece of nonsense;
With apathy's invulnerable steel, That one who learning's joys hath felt,
Of self-content and ease, each torturing wound And at the Muse's altar knelt,
to heal ?
Ah! who would taste your self-deluding joys, Grovel in loads of kindred muck.
That lure the unwary to a wretched doom, Oh! 'tis beyond my comprehension !
That bid fair views and flattering hopes arise, A courtier throwing up his pension,
Then hurl them headlong to a lasting tomb ? A lawyer working without a fee,
What is the charm which leads thy victims on A parson giving charity,
To persevere in paths that lead to wo? A truly pious methodist preacher,
What can induce them in that rout to go, Are not, egad, so out of nature.
In which innumerous before have gone, Had nature made thee half a fool,
And died in misery, poor wo-begone.
Yet can I ask what charms in thee are found; When well I know thy just pretence
I, who have drank from thine ethereal rill, To solid and exalted sense;
And tasted all the pleasures that abound When well I know that on thy head
Upon Parnassus' loved Aonian hill ? [thrill! Philosophy her lights hath shed,
I, through whose soul the Muses' strains aye I stand aghast! thy virtues sum too,
Oh! I do feel the spell with which I'm tied ; And wonder what this world will come to !
And though our annals fearful stories tell,
How Savage languish'd, and how Otway died, Yet, whence this strain ? shall I repine
Yet must I persevere, let whate'er will betide. That thou alone dost singly shine ? Shall I lament that thou alone, Of men of parts, hast prudence known?
ON READING THE POEMS OF WARTON.
Why should I seek the thickest shade,
THE WANDERING BOY.
OH, Warton! to thy soothing shell,
But, ah ! the soothing scene is o'er
On middle flight we cease to soar,
In strains unheard before.
And every throne explore;
And loses earthly woes;
And lulls the wearied soul to soft repose.
TO THE MUSE.
WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN.
Anguish and discontent, the unhappy bane
The wind it is keen and the snow loads the gale,