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ODE TO MEMORY.

I.

THOU who stealest fire,
From the fountains of the past,
To glorify the present; oh, haste,
Visit my low desire!

Strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.

II.

Come not as thou camest of late,
Flinging the gloom of yesternight
On the white day; but robed in softened light
Of orient state.

Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,
Even as a maid, whose stately brow
The dew-impearled winds of dawn have kissed,
When she, as thou,

Stays on her floating locks the lovely freight
Of overflowing blooms, and earliest shoots
Of orient green, giving safe pledge of fruits,
Which in wintertide shall star

The black earth with brilliance rare.

III.

Whilome thou camest with the morning mist,
And with the evening cloud,

Showering thy gleaned wealth into my open breast, (Those peerless flowers which in the rudest wind Never grow sere,

When rooted in the garden of the mind,
Because they are the earliest of the year.)
Nor was the night thy shroud.

In sweet dreams softer than unbroken rest
Thou leddest by the hand thy infant Hope.
The eddying of her garments caught from thee

VOL. I.

2

The light of thy great presence; and the cope
Of the half-attained futurity,
Though deep, not fathomless,

Was cloven with the million stars that tremble
O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy.
Small thought was there of life's distress;
For sure she deemed no mist of earth could dull
Those spirit-thrilling eyes so keen and beautiful:
Sure she was nigher to heaven's spheres,
Listening the lordly music flowing from
The illimitable years.

O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.

IV.

Come forth, I charge thee, arise,

Thou of the many tongues, the myriad eyes!
Thou comest not with shows of flaunting vines
Unto mine inner eye,
Divinest memory!

Thou wert not nursed by the waterfall Which ever sounds and shines

A pillar of white light upon the wall
Of purple cliffs, aloof descried :

Come from the woods that belt the gray hill-side
The seven elms, the poplars four,
That stand beside my father's door,
And chiefly from the brook that loves
To purl o'er matted cress and ribbed sand,
Or dimple in the dark of rushy coves,
Drawing into his narrow earthen urn,
In every elbow and turn,

The filtered tribute of the rough woodland.
O! hither lead thy feet!

Pour round mine ears the livelong bleat
Of the thick-fleeced sheep from wattled folds,
Upon the ridged wolds,

When the first matin-song hath wakened loud

Over the dark dewy earth forlorn,

What time the amber morn

Forth gushes from beneath a low-hung cloud.

V.

Large dowries doth the raptured eye
To the young spirit present
When first she is wed;

And like a bride of old

In triumph led,

With music and sweet showers
Of festal flowers,

Unto the dwelling she must sway.
Well hast thou done, great artist Memory,
In setting round thy first experiment

With royal framework of wrought gold;.
Needs must thou dearly love thy first essay,
And foremost in thy various gallery

Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls
Upon the storied walls;

For the discovery

And newness of thine art so pleased thee,
That all which thou hast drawn of fairest
Or boldest since, but lightly weighs
With thee unto the love thou bearest
The first-born of thy genius.
Ever retiring thou dost gaze
On the prime labor of thine early days:
No matter what the sketch might be;

Artist-like,

Whether the high field on the bushless Pike,
Or even a sand-built ridge

Of heaped hills that mound the sea,
Overblown with murmurs harsh,

Or even a lowly cottage whence we see Stretched wide and wild the waste enormous

marsh,

Where from the frequent bridge,

Like emblems of infinity,

The trenched waters run from sky to sky;

Or a garden bowered close

With plaited alleys of the trailing rose,
Long alleys falling down to twilight grots,
Or opening upon level plots
Of crowned lilies, standing near
Purple-spiked lavender:
Whether in after life retired
From brawling storms,
From weary wind,
With youthful fancy reinspired,
We may hold converse with all forms
Of the many-sided mind,

And those whom passion had not blinded,
Subtle-thoughted, myriad-minded,

My friend, with you to live alone,
Were how much better than to own
A crown, a sceptre, and a throne.
O strengthen me, enlighten me!
I faint in this obscurity,
Thou dewy dawn of memory.

SONG.

I.

A SPIRIT haunts the year's last hours,
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers:
To himself he talks;

For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and sigh
In the walks;

Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks Of the mouldering flowers: Heavily hangs the broad sunflower Over its grave i' the earth so chilly; Heavily hangs the hollyhock, Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

II.

The air is damp, and hushed, and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh repose
An hour before death;

And

My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,

And the breath

Of the fading edges of box beneath,
year's last rose.
Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

ADELINE.

MYSTERY of mysteries,
Faintly smiling Adeline,
Scarce of earth nor all divine,
Nor unhappy, nor at rest,

But beyond expression fair,
With thy floating flaxen hair;
Thy rose-lips and full blue eyes

Take the heart from out my breast.
Wherefore those dim looks of thine,
Shadowy, dreaming Adeline?

Whence that aery bloom of thine,
Like a lily which the sun
Looks through in his sad decline,
And a rose-bush leans upon,
Thou that faintly smilest still,

As a Naiad in a well,
Looking at the set of day,
Or a phantom two hours old
Of a maiden past away,

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