Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors]


Wafted in varying cadence, by the shore
Of the still twinkling river, they bespeak

A day of jubilee,
The western gale,

An ancient holiday.
Mild as the kisses of connubial love,
Plays round my languid limbs, as all dissolved, And, lo! the rural revels are begrin,
Beneath the ancient elm's fantastic shade

And gaily echoing to the laughing sky,
Ilie, exhausted with the noontide heat :

On the sinooth-shaven green,
While rippling o'er his deep-worn pebble bed,

Resounds the voice of Mirth.
The rapid rivulet rushes at my feet,
Dispensing coolness.-On the fringed marge Alas! regardless of the tongue of Fate,
Full many a floweret rears its head,-or pink, That tells them 'tis but as an hour since thay
Or gaudy daffodil.--'Tis here, at noon,

Who now are in their graves,
The buskin'd wood-nymphs from the heat retire,

Kept up the Whitsun dance
And lave them in the fountain; here secure
From Pan, or savage satyr, they disport;

And that another hour, and they must fall
Or stretch'd supinely on the velvet turf,

Like those who went before, and sleep as stil Lull'd by the laden bee, oi sultry fly,..

Beneath the silent sod, Invoke the god of slumber.

A cold and cheerless sleep.

Yet why should thoughts like these intrude to And, hark! how merrily, from distant tower,

scare Ring round the village bells ! now on the gale The vagrant Happiness, when she will deign They rise with gradual swell, distinct and loud;

To smile upon us here,
Anon they die upon the pensive ear,

A transient visitor ?
Melting in faintest music.-They bespeak
A day of jubilee, and oft they bear,

Mortals ! be gladsome while ye have the power, Commix'd along the unfrequented shore,

And laugh and seize the glittering lapse of joy ; The sound of village dance and tabor loud,

In time the bell will toll Startling the musing ear of Solitude.

That warns ye to your graves. Such is the jocund wake of Whitsuntide,

I to the woodland solitude will bend

(shout When happy Superstition, gabbling eld!

My lonesome way-where Mirth's obstreperous Holds her unhurtful gambols.-All the day

Shall not intrude to break
The rustic revellers ply the mazy dance

The meditative hour.
On the smooth-shaven green, and then at eve
Commence the harmless rites and auguries; There will I ponder on the state of man,
And many a tale of ancient days goes round.

Joyless and sad of heart, and consecrate
They tell of wizard seer, whose potent spells

This day of jubilee
Could hold in dreadful thrall the labouring moon,

To sad reflection's shrine;
Or draw the fix'd stars from their eminence,
And still the midnight tempest.---Then anon

And I will cast my fond eye far beyond
Tell of uncharnell'd spectres, seen to glide

This world of care, to where the steeple loud Along the lone wood's unfrequented path,

Shall rock above the sod,
Startling the 'nighted traveller ; while the sound

Where I shall sleep in peace.
Of undistinguish'd murmurs, heard to come
From the dark centre of the deep'ning glen,
Struck on his frozen ear.

Oh, Ignorance !
Thou' art fall'n man's best friend ! With thee he

In frigid apathy along his way,
And never does the tear of agony

1. Burn down his scorching cheek; or the keen steel

MAIDEN! wrap thy mantle round thee, Of wounded feeling penetrate his breast.

Cold the rain beats on thy breast :

Why should Horror's voice astound thee? Even now, as leaning on this fragrant bank,

Death can bid the wretched rest! I taste of all the keener happiness

All under the tree
Which sense refined affords_Even now my heart

Thy bed may be,
Would fain induce me to forsake the world,
Throw off these garments, and in shepherd's

And thou may'st slumber peacefully.

With a small flock, and short suspended reed,
To sojourn in the woodland.-Then my thought

Maiden! once gay Pleasure knew thee;
Draws such gay pictures of ideal bliss,

Now thy cheeks are pale and deep : That I could almost err in reason's spite,

Love has been a felon to thee, And trespass on my judginent.

Yet, pour maiden, do not weep :

There's rest for thee
Such is life:

All under the tree,
The distant prospect always seems more fair,

Where thou wilt sleep most peacefully.
And when attain'd, another still succeeds,
Far fairer than before,-yet compass'd round
With the same dangers, and the saine dismay.
And we poor pilgrims in this dreary maze,
Still discontented, chase the fairy form
Of unsubstantial Happiness, to find,

When life itseif is sinking in the strife,
'Tis but an airy bubble and a cheat.




SOME to Aonian lyres of silver sound

ith winning elegance attune their song,
Form'd to sink lightly on the soothed sense,
And charm the soul with softest harmony:
"Tis then that Hope with sanguine eye is seen
Roving through Fancy's gay futurity;
Her heart light dancing to the sounds of pleasure,
Pleasure of days to come.-Memory, too, then
Comes with her sister, Melancholy sad,
Pensively musing on the scenes of youth,

HARK! how the merry bells ring jocund round
And now they die upon the veering breeze ;

Anon they thunder lord
Full on the musing ear.

Scenes never to return.

Such subjects merit poets used to raise
The attic verse harmonious; but for me

O'er the smooth bosom of the sullen decp,
A dreadlier theme demands my backward hand, No softly ruffling zephyrs fly;
And bids me strike the strings of dissonance

But Nature sleeps a deathless sleep,
With frantic energy.

For the hour of battle is nigh. "Tis wan Despair I sing; if sing I can

Not a loose leaf waves on the dusky oak, Of him before whose blast the voice of Song:

But a creeping stillness reigns around; And Mirth, and Hope, and Happiness all fly, Except when the raven, with ominous croak, Nor ever dare return. His notes are heard

On the ear does unwelcomely sound. At noon of night, where on the coast of blood,

I know, I know what this silence means ;
The lacerated son of Angola

I know what the raven saith-
Howls forth his sufferings to the moaning wind; Strike, oh, ye bards! the melancholy harp,
And, when the awful silence of the night

For this is the eve of death.
Strikes the chill death dew to the murderer's heart,

He speaks in every conscience-prompted word
Half utter'd, half

Behold, how along the twilight air 'Tis him I sing-Despair-terrific name,

The shades of our fathers glide ! Striking unsteadily the tremulous chord

There Morved fled, with the blood-drench'd hair, Of timorous terror-discord in the sound:

And Colma with gray side. For to a theme revolting as is this,

No gale around its coolness flings,
Dare not I woo the maids of harmony,

Yet sadly sigh the gloomy trees;
Who love to sit and catch the soothing sound And, hark? how the harp's unvisited strings
Of lyre Æolian, or the martial bugle,

Sound sweet, as if swept by a whispering breeze! Calling the hero to the field of glory,

"Tis done! the sun he has set in blood! And firing him with deeds of high emprise,

He will never set more to the brave; And warlike triumph: but from scenes like mine Let us pour to the hero the dirge of deathShrink they aftrighted, and detest the bard

For to-morrow he hies to the grave.
Who dares to sound the hollow tones of horror.

Hence, then, soft maids,
And woo the silken zephyr in the bowers
By Heliconia's sleep-inviting stream:
For aid like yours i seek not : 'tis for powers

Of darker hue to inspire a verse like mine!
"Tis work for wizards, sorcerers, and fiends!

OH! who would cherish life, Hither, ye furious imps of Acheron,

And cling unto this heavy clog of clay,
Nurslings of hell, and beings shunning light,

Love this rude world of strife,
And all the myriads of the burning concave;
Souls of the damned ;-Hither, oh! come and join

Where glooms and tempests cloud the fairest day;

And where, 'neath outward smiles, The infernal chorus. Tis L'espair I sing!

Conceal'd, the snake lies feeding on its prey, He, whose sole tooth inflicts a deadlier parg

Where pitfalls lie in every flowery way, Than all your tortures join'd. Sing, sing Despair ! And sirens lure the wanderer to their wiles ! Repeat the sound, and celebrate his power;

Hateful it is to me, Unite shouts, screams, and agonizing shrieks, Its riotous railings and revengeful strife; Till the loud pæan ring through hell's high vault, I'm tired with all its screams and brutal shouts And the remotest spirits of the deep

Dinning the ear ;-away-away with life!
Leap from the lake, and join the dreadful song. And welcome, oh! thou silent maid,

Who in some foggy vault art laid,
Where never day-light's dazzling ray

Comes to disturb thy dismal sway;

And there amid unwholesome damps dost sleep
In such forgetful slumbers deep,

That all thy senses stupified,

Are to marble petrified.
Sleepy Death, I welcome thee!

Sweet are thy calms to misery.
NOT unfamiliar to mine ear,

Poppies I will ask no more,
Blasts of the night! ye howl as now

Nor the fatal hellebore;
My shuddering casement loud

Death is the best, the only cure,
With fitful force ye beat.

His are slumbers ever sure.

Lay me in the Gothic tomb,
Mine ear has dwelt in silent awe,

In whose solemn fretted gloom
The howling sweep, the sudden rush;

I may lie in mouldering state,
And when the passing gale

With all the grandeur of the great:
Pour'd deep the hollow dirge.

Over me, magnificent,
Carve a stately monument:
Then thereon my statue lay,
With hands in attitude to pray,
And angels serve to hold my head,

Weeping o'er the father dead.

Duly too at close of day,
Let the pealing organ play;

And while the harmonious thunders

Chant a vesper to my soul :

Thus how sweet my sleep will be, 1.

Shut out from thoughtful misery! SILENCE of death-portentous calm,

Those airy forms that yonder fly, Denote that your void fore-runs a storm, That the hour of fate is nigh.

ATHANATOS. I see, I see, on the dim mist borne,

The Spirit of battles rear his crest ! I see, I see, that ere the morn,

AWAY with Death-away His spear will forsake its hated rest,

With all her sluggish sleeps and cra!ling damps And the widow'd wife of Larrendill will beat her Impervious to the day, raked breast.

Where Nature sinks into inanity.

How can the soul desire

Such hateful nothingness to crave, Aluding to the two pleasing poems, the Pleas

And yield with joy the vital fire, ures of Hope and of Memory.

To moulder in the grave!

Yet mortal life is sad,

Eternal storms molest its sullen sky;
And sorrows ever rife

Drain the sacred fountain dry-

Away with mortal life!
But, hail the calm reality,

Cum ruit imbriferum ver : The seraph Immortality!

Spicea jam campis cum messis inhorruit, et cum Hail the Heavenly bowers of peace !

Frumenta in viridi stipula lactentia turgent Where all the storins of passion cease. Wild Life's dismaying struggle o'er, The wearied spirit weeps no more ;

Cuncta tabi Cererem pubes agrestis adoret. But wears the eternal smile of joy,

Virgil. Tasting bliss without alloy.

MOON of Harvest, herald mild Welcome, welcome, happy bowers,

Of plenty, rustic labour's child, Where no passing terapest lowers;

Hail! oh hail! I greet thy beam, But the azure heavens display

As soft it trembles o'er the stream, The everlasting smile of day;

And gilds the straw-thatch'd hamlet wide, Where the choral serapła choir

Where Innocence and Peace reside; Strike to praise the harmonious lyre;

'Tis thou that glad'st with joy the rustic throng, And the spirit sinks to ease,

Promptest the tripping dance, th' exhilarating song Lullid by distant synphonies. Oh! to think of meeting there

Moon of Harvest, I do love The friends whose graves received our tear, O'er the uplands now to rove, The daughter loved, the wife adored,

While thy modest ray serene To our widow'd arnis restored ;

Gilds the wide surrounding scene; And all the joys which death did sever,

And to watch thee riding high Given to us again for ever!

In the blue vault of the sky, Who would cling to wretched life,

Where no thin vapour intercepts thy ray, And hug the poison'd thorn of strife ;

But in unclouded majesty thou walkest on thy way. Who would not long from earth to fly, A sluggish senseiess lump to lie,

Pleasing 'tis, oh! modest Moon ! When the glorious prospect lies

Now the Night is at her noon,
Full before his raptured eyes ?

'Neath thy sway to musing lie,
While around the zephyrs sigh,
Fanning soft the sun-tann'd wheat,
Ripen'd by the summer's heat;
Picturing all the rustic's joy

When boundless plenty greets his eye,

And thinking soon,

Oh, modest Moon !

How many a female eye will roam Written between the ages of Fourteen and Fifteen,

Along the road,

To see the load,
with a few subsequent verbal alterations.

The last dear load of harvest-home.
Storms and tempests, floods and rains,

Stern despoilers of the plains,
MUSIC, all powerful o'er the human mind,

Hence away, the season flee, Can still each mental storm, each tumult calm,

Foes to light-heart jollity:. Soothe anxious Care on sleepless couch reclined,

May no winds careering high, And even tierce Anger's furious rage disarm.

Drive the clouds along the sky, At her command the various passions lie;

But may all nature smile with aspect boon,

When in the heavens thou show'st thy face, oh, She stirs to battle, or she lulls to peace;

Harvest Moon !
Melts the charm'd soul to thrilling ecstacy,
And bids the jarring world's harsh clangour cease.

Neath yon lowly roof he lies,

The husbandman, with sleep-seal'd eyes; Her martial sounds can fainting troops inspire

He dreams of crowded barns, and round With strength unwonted, and enthusiasm raise ; The yard he hears the flail resound; Infuse new ardour, and with youthful fire

Oh ! may no hurricane destroy Urge on the warrior gray with length of days.

His visionary views of joy !

God of the Winds! oh, hear his humble prayer, Far better she, when, with her soothing lyre, And while the moon of harvest shines, thy blusterShe charms the falchion from the savage grasp,

ing whirlwind spare. And melting into pity vengeful Ire, Looses the bloody breastplate's iron clasp.

Sons of luxury, to you

Leave I Sleep's dull power to woo With her in pensive mood I long to roam,

Press ye still the downy bed, At midnight's hour, or evening's calm decline,

While feverish dreams surround your head; And thoughtful o'er the falling streamlet's fuam,

I will seek the woodland glade, In calm Seclusion's hermit-walks recline.

Penetrate the thickest shade, Whilst mellow sounds from distant copse arise,

Wrapp'd in Contemplation's dreams, Of softest flute or reeds harmonic join'd,

Musing high on holy themes,

While on the gale With rapture thrill'd each worldly passion dies,

Shall softly sail And pleased Attention claims the passive mind.

The nightingale's enchanting tune,

And oft my eyes
Soft through the dell the dying strains retire,

Shall grateful rise
Then burst majestic in the varied swell;
Now breathe melodious as the Grecian lyre,

To thee, the modest Harvest Moon !
Ur on the ear in sinking cadence dweli.
Romantic sounds ! such is the bliss ye give,
That heaven's bright scenes seem bursting on

the soul,

WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN. With joy I'd yield each sensual wish, to live Por ever 'neath your undefiled control.

I. Oh! surely melody from heaven was sent,

SOFTLY, softly blow, ye breezes, To cheer the soul when tired with human strife,

Gently o'er my Edwy fly! To soothe the wayward heart by sorrow rent,

Lo! he slumbers, slumbers sweetly; And soften down the rugged road of life.

Softly, zephyrs, pass him by!

My love is asleep,

He lies by the deep,
All along where the salt waves sigh.

I have cover'd him with rushes,

Water-flags, and branches dry.
Edwy, long have been thy slumbers;
Edwy, Edwy, ope thine eye!

My love is asleep,

Hé lies by the deep,
All along where the salt waves sigh.

Still he sleeps; he will not waken,

Fastly closed is his eye;.
Paler is his cheek, and chiller
Than the icy moon on high,

Alas! he is dead,

He has chose his death-bed All along where the salt waves sigh.

IV. Is it, is it so, my Edwy ?

Wil thy slumbers never fly? Couldst thou think I would survive thee? No, my love, thou bidd'st me die.

Thou bidd'st me seek

Thy death-bed bleak
All along where the salt waves sigh.

I will gently kiss thy cold lips,

On thy breast l'il lay my head,
And the winds shall sing our death-dirge,
And our shroud the waters spread;

The moon will smile sweet,

And the wild wave will beat, Oh! so sofily o'er our lonely bed.

And then I talk, and often think
Aerial voices answer me;
And oh! I am not then alone

A solitary man.
And when the blustering winter winds
Howl in the woods that clothe my cave,
I lay me on my lonely mat,

And pleasant are my dream And Fancy gives me back my wife; And Fancy gives me back my child; She gives me back my little home,

And all its placid joys. Then hateful is the morning hour, That calls me from the dream of bliss, To find myself still lone, and hear

The same dull sounds again. The deep-toned winds, the moaning sea, The whispering of the boding trees, The brooks eternal flow, and oft

'The Condor's hollow scieam.


SWEET to the gay of heart is Summer's smile,

Sweet the wild music of the laughing Spring; But ah! my soul far other scenes beguile,

Where gloomy storms their sullen shadows fling. Is it for me to strike the Idalian string

Raise the soft music of the warbling wire, While in my ears the howls of furies ring,

And melancholy wastes the vital fire Away with tho hts like these_To some lone cave Where howls the shrill blast, and where sweeps

the wave, Direct my steps; there, in the lonely drear,

I'll sit remote from worldly noise, and muse

Till through my soul shall Peace her balm infuse And whisper sounds of comfort in mine ear.







Written at the age of Thirteen.

THOU, spirit of the spangled night!
I woo thee from the watch-tower high,
Where thou dost sit to guide the bark

Of lonely mariner.
The winds are whistling o'er the wolds,
The distant main is moaning low;
Come, let us sit and weave a song

A melancholy song!
Sweet is the scented gale of morn,
And sweet the noontide's fervid beam,
But sweeter far the solemn calm,

That marks thy mournful reign.
I've pass'd here many a lonely year,
and never human voice have heard;
I've pass'd here many a lonely year

A solitary man.
And I have linger'd in the shade,
From sultry noon's hot beam; and I
Have knelt before my wicker door,

To sing my evening song.
And I have hail'd the gray morn high,
On the blue mountain's misty brow,
and tried to tune my little reed

To hymns of harmony.
But never could I tune my reed,
At morn, or noon, or eve, so sweet,
As when upon the ocean shore

I hail'd thy star-beam mild.
The day-spring brings not joy to me,
The moon it whispers not of peace;
But oh! when darkness robes the heavens,

My woes are mix'd with joy.

THE morning sun's enchanting rays Now call forth every songster's praise ; Now the lark, with upward flight, Gayly ushers in the light; While wildly warbling from each tree, The birds sing songs to Liberty. But for me no songster sings, For me no joyous lark up-springs; For I, confined in gloomy school, Must own the pedant's iron rule, And, far from sylvan shades and bowers, In durance vile must pass the hours; There con the scholiast's dreary lines, Where no bright ray of genius shines, And close to rugged learning cling, While laughs around the jocund spring. How gladly would my soul forego All that arithmeticians know, Or stiff grammarians quaintly teach, Or all that industry can reach, To taste each morn of all the joys That with the laughing sun arise And unconstrain'd to rove along The bushy brakes and glens among; And woo the muse's gentle power, In unfrequented rural bower! But, ah ! such heaven-approaching jogs Will never greet my longing eyes; Still will they choat in vision fine, Yet never but in fancy shine.

Oh, that I were the little wrer

Come, thou shalt form my naeegay now,
That shrilly chirps from yonder glen!

And I will bind thee round my brow;
Oh, far away I then would rove,

And as 1 twine the mournfúl wreath,
To some secluded bushy grove;

I'll weave a melancholy song:
There hop, and sing with careless glee,

And sweet the strain shall be and long, Hop and sing at liberty;

The melody of death. And till death should stop my lays,

2. Far from men would spend my days.

Come, funeral flower! who lov'st to dwe!

With the pale corse in lonely tomb,

And throw across the desert gloom

A sweet decaying smell.

Come, press my lips, and lie with me

Beneath the lowly alder tree,

And we will sleep a pleasant sleep, THEE do I own, the prompter of my joys,

And not a care shall dare intrude, The soother of my cares, inspiring peace;

To break the marble solitude
And I will ne'er forsate thee.-Men may rave,

So peaceful and so deep.
And blame and censure me, that I don'i tie
My every thought down to the desk, and spend
The morning of my life in adding figures

And hark! the wind-god, as he flies,
With accurate monotony: that so

Moans hollow in the forest trees, The good things of the world may be my lot,

And sailing on the gusty breeze, And I might taste the blessedness of wealth:

Mysterious music dies. But, oh! I was not made for money-getting;

Sweet flower! that requiem wild is mine, For me no much-respected plum awaits,

It warns me to the lonely shrine, Nor civic honour, envied.-For as still

The cold turf altar of the dead; I tried to cast with school dexterity

My grave shall be in yon lone spot, The interesting sums, my vagrant thoughts

Where as I lie, by all forgot, Would quick revert to many a woodland haunt,

A dying fragrance thou wilt o'er my ashes shed.
Which fond remembrance cherish'd, and the pen
Dropp'd from my senseless fingers as I pictured,
In my mind's eye, how on the shores of Trent
I erewhile wander'd with my early friends

In social intercourse. And then I'd think
How contrary pursuits had thrown us wide,
One from the other, scatter'd o'er the globe;

They were set down with sober steadiness,
Each to his occupation. I alone,

A wayward youth, misled by Fancy's vagaries,
Remain'd unsettled, insecure, and veering

BEAMS of the day-break faint! I hail
With every wind to every point o'th' compass.

Your dubious hues, as on the robe
Yes, in the counting-house I could indulge
In fits of close abstraction ; yea, amid

Of night, which wraps the slumbering globe,

I mark your traces pale. The busy bustling crowds could meditate,

Tired with the taper's sickly light, And send my thoughts ten thousand leagues away

And with the wearying, number'd night, Beyond the Atlantic, resting on my friend.

I hail the streaks of morn divine: Ay, Contemplation, even in earliest youth

And lo! they break between the dewy wreaths I woo'd thy heavenly influence! I would walk

That round my rural casement twine: A weary way when all my toils were done,

The fresh gale o'er the green lawn breathes; To lay myself at night in some lone wood,

It fans my feverish brow,-it calms the mental strife, And hear the sweet song of the nightingale.

And cheerily re-illumes the lambent flame of life.
Oh, those were times of happiness, and still
To mernory doubly dear; for growing years

The lark has her gay song begun,
Had not then taught me man was made to moum;
And a short hour of solitary pleasure,

She leaves her grassy nest,

And soars till the unrisen sun Stolen from sleep, was ample recompense

Gleams on her speckled breast. For all the hateful busules of the day.

Now let me leave my restless bed, My opening mind was ductile then, and plastic,

And o'er the spangled uplands tread; And soon the marks of care were worn away,

Now through the custom'd wood-walk wend; While I was sway'd hy every novel impulse, Yielding to all the fancies of hour.

By many a green land lies my way,

Where high o'er head the wild briars bend, But it has now assumed its character;

Till on the mountain's summit gray, Mark'd by strong lineaments, its haughty tone,

I sit me down, and mark the glorious dawn of day. Like the firm oak, would sooner break than bend. Yet still, oh, Contemplation! I do love To indulge thy solemn musings; still the saine

Oh, Heaven ! the soft refreshing gale With thee alone I know to melt and weep,

It breathes into my breast! In thee alone delighting. Why along

My sunk eye gleams; my cheek, so pale, The dusky tract of commerce should I toil,

Is with new colours dressid.
When, with an easy competence content,

Blithe Health ! thou soul of life and ease!
I can alone be happy; where with thee
I may enjoy the loveliness of Nature,

Come thou too, on the balmy breeze
And loose the wings of Fancy?-Thus alone

Invigorate my frame: Can I partake of happiness on earth;

I'll join with thee the buskin'd chase, And to be happy here is man's chief end,

With thee the distant clime will trace,
For to be happy he must needs be good.

Beyond those clouds of flame.
Above, below, what charms unfold

In all the varied view!
Before me all is burnish'd gold,

Behind the twilight's hue.

The mists which on old Night await,

Far to the west they hold their state,

They shun the clear blue face of Morn 1.

Along the fine cerulean shy,

The fleecy clouds succesive fly, SWEET scented flower! who are wont to blooin While bright prismatic beams their shadowy folds On January's front severe,

adorn. And o'er the wintry desert drear To waft thy waste perfume !

And hark! the Thatcher has begun

His whistle on the eaves, • The Rosemary buds in January; It is the And oft the Hedger's bill is heard flower commonly put in the coffins of the dead.

Among the rustling leaves.


« PředchozíPokračovat »