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(As pauses the tired Cossack's barbarous yell
Of triumph) on the chill and midnight gale .
Rises with frantic burst or sadder swell
The dirge of murder'd Hope! while Freedom pale
Bends in such anguish o'er her destined bier,
As if from eldest time some Spirit meek
Had gather'd in a mystic urn each tear
That ever on a Patriot's furrow'd check
Fit channel found; and she had drain'd the bowl
In the mere wilfulness, and sick despair of soul!
As when far off the warbled strains are heard
That soar on Morning's wing the vales among,
Within his cage the imprison'd matin bird
Swells the full chorus with a generous song:
He bathes no pinion in the dewy light,
No Father's joy, no Lover's bliss he shares,
Yet still the rising radiance cheers his sight;
His Fellows' freedom soothes the Captive's cares:
Thou, FAYETTE! who didst wake with startling voice
Life's better sun from that long wintry night, .
Thus in thy Country's triumphs shalt rejoice,
And mock with raptures high the dungeon's might:
For lo! the morning struggles into day, -
And Slavery's spectres shriek and vanish from the
Thou gentle Look, that didst my soul beguile,
Why hast thou left me? Still in some fond dream
Revisit my sad heart, auspicious Smile!
As falls on closing flowers the lunar beam :
What time, in sickly mood, at parting day
I lay me down and think of happier years;
Of joys, that glimmer'd in Hope's twilight ray,
Then left me darkling in a vale of tears.
O pleasant days of Hope—for ever gone!
Could I recall you!—But that thought is vain.
Availeth not Persuasion's sweetest tone
To lure the fleet-wing'd travellers back again:
Yet fair, though faint, their images shall gleam
Like the bright rainbow on a willowy stream.
PALE Roamer through the Night; thou poor Forlorn!
Reinorse that man on his death-bed possess,
Who in the credulous hour of tenderness
Betray'd, then cast thee forth to Want and Scorn!
The world is pitiless: the Chaste one's pride,
Mimic of Virtue, scowls on thy distress:
Thy loves and they, that envied thee, deride:
And Vice alone will shelter wretchedness!
O! I am sad to think, that there should be
Cold-bosom'd lewd ones, who endure to place
Foul offerings on the shrine of Misery,
And force from Famine the caress of Love;
May He shed healing on the sore disgrace,
He, the great Comforter that rules above!
Sweet Mercy! how my very heart has bled
To see thee, poor Old Man! and thy gray hairs
Hoar with the snowy blast: while no one cares
To clothe thy shrivell'd limbs and palsied head.
My Father! throw away this tatter'd vest
That mocks thy shivering! take my garment—use
A young man's arm! I'll melt these frozen dews
That hang from thy white beard and numb thy breast.
My Sara too shall tend thee, like a Child:
And thou shalt talk, in our fire-side's recess,
Of purple Pride, that scowls on Wretchedness.
He did not so, the Galilaean mild,
Who met the Lazars turn'd from rich men's doors,
And call'd them Friends, and heal'd their noisome
Thou bleedest, my poor Heart! and thy distress
Reasoning I ponder with a scornful smile, -
And probe thy sore wound sternly, though the while
Swoln be mine eye and dim with heaviness.
Why didst thou listen to Hope's whisper bland?
Or, listening, why forget the healing tale,
When Jealousy with severish fancies pale
Jarr'd thy fine fibres with a maniac's hand?
Faint was that Hope, and rayless!—Yet 'twas fair
And soothed with many a dream the hour of rest:
Thou shouldst have loved it most, when most opprest,
And nursed it with an agony of Care,
Even as a Mother her sweet infant heir
That wan and sickly droops upon her breast!
to the Author of the “Robbers.”.
Schii.I.ER! that hour I would have wished to die,”
If through the shuddering midnight I had sent
From the dark dungeon of the tower time-rent
That fearful voice, a famish'd Father's cry—
Lest in some after moment aught more mean
Might stamp me mortal! A triumphant shout
Black Horror scream'd, and all her goblin rout
Diminish'd shrunk from the more withering scene!
Ah Bard tremendous in sublimity!
Could I behold thee in thy loftier mood
Wandering at eve with finely frenzied eye
Beneath some vast old tempest-swinging wood!
A while with mute awe gazing I would brood:
Then weep aloud in a wild ecstasy!
composed while cliMBING THE LEFT AscFNT or BROCKLEY cooyi B, so MERsetshire, MAY, 1795.
With many a pause and oft-reverted eye
I climb the Coomb's ascent: sweet songsters near
Warble in shade their wild-wood melody:
Far off the unvarying Cuckoo soothes my ear.
Up scour the startling stragglers of the Flock
That on green plots o'er precipices browse:
From the forced fissures of the naked rock
The Yew-tree bursts! Beneath its dark-green boughs
Poor Stumbler on the rocky coast of Woe,
Tutor'd by Pain each source of Pain to know!
Alike the foodful fruit and scorching fire
Awake thy eager grasp and young desire;
Alike the Good, the Ill offend thy sight,
And rouse the stormy sense of shrill affright!
Untaught, yet wise! 'mid all thy brief akarms
Thou closely clingest to thy Mother's arms,
Nestling thy little face in that fond breast
Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy rest!
Man's breathing Miniature! thou makest me sigh—
A Babe art thou—and such a thing am I' -
To anger rapid and as soon appeased,
For trifles mourning and by trifles pleased,
Break Friendship's Mirror with a techy blow,
Yet snatch what coals of fire on Pleasure's altar
O thou that rearest with celestial aim
The future Seraph in my mortal frame,
Thrice-holy Faith ! whatever thorns I meet
As on I totter with unpractised feet,
Still let me stretch my arms and cling to thee,
Meek Nurse of Souls through their long Infancy!
wRITTEN AT shurton BARs, NEAR BRidgewater, sEPTEMBER, 1795, IN ANswer. To A LETTER FROM BRISTOL.
Good verse most good, and bad verse then seems better
Received from absent friend by way of Letter.
For what so sweet can labor'd lays impart
as one rude rhyme warm from a friendly heart?
Nor travels my meandering eye
The starry wilderness on high;
Nor now with curious sight
I mark the glow-worm, as I pass,
Move with “green radiance” through the grass,
An emerald of light.
O ever present to my view'
My wasted spirit is with you,
And soothes your boding fears:
I see you all oppress'd with gloom
Sit lonely in that cheerless room—
Ah me! You are in tears!
Beloved Woman! did you fly
Chill'd Friendship's dark disliking eye,
Or Mirth's untimely din?
With cruel weight these trifles press
A temper sore with tenderness,
When aches the void within.
But why with sable wand unbless'd
Should Fancy rouse within my breast
Dim-visaged shapes of Dread 7
Untenanting its beauteous clay
My Sara's soul has wing'd its way,
And hovers round my head :
I felt it prompt the tender Dream,
When slowly sunk the day's last gleam;
You roused each gentler sense As, sighing o'er the Blossom's bloom, Meek Evening wakes its soft perfume
With viewless influence.
And hark, my Love . The sea-breeze moans
Through yon rest house! O'er rolling stones
In bold ambitious sweep,
The onward-surging tides supply
The silence of the cloudless sky
With mimic thunders deep.
Dark reddening from the channell'd Isle.*
(Where stands one solitary pile
Unslated by the blast)
The Watch-fire, like a sullen star
Twinkles to many a dozing Tar
Rude cradled on the mast.
Even there—beneath that light-house tower—
In the tumultuous evil hour
Ere Peace with Sara came,
Time was, I should have thought it sweet
To count the echoings of my feet,
And watch the storm-vex'd flame.
And there in black soul-jaundiced fit
A sad gloom-pamper'd Man to sit,
And listen to the roar :
When Mountain Surges bellowing deep
With an uncouth monster leap
Plunged foaming on the shore.
Then by the Lightning's blaze to mark
Some toiling tempest-shatter'd bark;
Her vain distress-guns hear;
And when a second sheet of light
Flash'd o'er the blackness of the night—
To see no Vessel there:
But Fancy now more gaily sings:
Or if awhile she droop her wings,
As sky-larks 'mid the corn,
On summer fields she grounds her breast:
The oblivious Poppy o'er her nest
Nods, till returning morn.
O mark those smiling tears, that swell
The open'd Rose! From heaven they fell,
And with the sun-beam blend.
Bless'd visitations from above,
Such are the tender woes of Love
Fostering the heart, they bend:
When stormy Midnight howling round
Beats on our roof with clattering sound,
To me your arms you'll stretch:
Great God! you'll say—To us so kind,
O shelter from this loud bleak wind
The houseless, friendless wretch!
The tears that tremble down your cheek, Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek
* The Holmes, in the Bristol Channel.
Despised Galilaean' For the Great
Invisible (by symbols only seen)
With a peculiar and surpassing light
Shines from the visage of the oppress'd good Man,
When heedless of himself the scourged Saint
Mourns for the Oppressor. Fair the vernal Mead,
Fair the high Grove, the Sea, the Sun, the Stars;
True impress each of their creating Sire :
Yet nor high Grove, nor many-color'd Mead,
Nor the green Ocean with his thousand Isles,
Nor the starr'd Azure, nor the sovran Sun,
E'er with such majesty of portraiture
Imaged the supreme beauty uncreate,
As thou, meek Savior' at the fearful hour
- Lovely was the death Of Him whose life was love! Holy with power He on the thought-benighted sceptic beam'd Manifest Godhead, melting into day What floating mists of dark Idolatry Broke and misshaped the Omnipresent Sire: And first by Fear unoharm'd the drowsed Soul.” Till of its nobler nature it 'gan feel Dim recollections: and thence soard to Hope, Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good The Eternal dooms for his immortal Sons. From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love Attracted and absorb'd : and centred there God only to behold, and know, and feel, Till by exclusive Consciousness of God All self-annihilated it shall make God its Identity : God all in all ! We and our Father one !
And bless'd are they, Who in this fleshly World, the elect of Heaven, Their strong eye darting through the deeds of Men, Adore with stedfast unpresuming gaze Him Nature's Essence, Mind, and Energy: And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend Treading beneath their feet all visible things As steps, that upward to their Father's Throne Lead gradual—else nor glorified nor loved. They nor Contempt embosom nor Revenge: For they dare know of what may seem deform The Supreme Fair sole Operant: in whose sight All things are pure, his strong controlling Love Alike from all educing persect good. Theirs too celestial courage, inly arm’d— Dwarfing Earth's giant brood, what time they muse On their great Father, great beyond compare' And marching onwards view high o'er their heads His waving Banners of Omnipotence.
For they are holy things before the Lord,
Aye unprofaned, though Earth should league with
God's Altar grasping with an eager hand,
Fear, the wild-visaged, pale, eye-starting wretch,
Sure-refuged hears his hot pursuing fiends
Yell at vain distance. Soon refresh'd from Heaven,
He calms the throb and tempest of his heart.
His countenance settles; a soft solemn bliss
Swims in his eye—his swimming eye upraised:
And Faith's whole armor glitters on his limbs!
And thus transfigured with a dreadless awe,
A solemn hush of soul, meek he beholds
All things of terrible seeming: yea, unmoved
Views e'en the immitigable ministers -
That shower down vengeance on these latter days.
For kindling with intenser Deity
From the celestial Mercy-seat they come,
And at the renovating Wells of Love
Have fill'd their Vials with salutary Wrath,
To sickly Nature more medicinal
Than what soft balm the weeping good man pours
Into the lone despoiled traveller's wounds!
Thus srom the Elect, regenerate through faith,
Pass the dark Passions and what thirsty Cares
Drink up the spirit and the dim regards
Self-centre. Lo they vanish! or acquire
New names, new features—by supernal grace
Enrobed with light, and naturalized in Heaven.
As when a shepherd on a vernal morn
Through some thick fog creeps timorous with slow
Darkling he fixes on the immediate road
His downward eye: all else of fairest kind
Hid or deform'd. But lo! the bursting Sun!
Touch'd by the enchantment of that sudden beam,
Straight the black vapor melteth, and in globes
Of dewy glitter gems each plant and tree;
On every leaf, on every blade it hangs!
Dance glad the new-born intermingling rays,
And wide around the landscape streams with glory!
There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind,
Omnific. His most holy name is Love.
Truth of subliming import' with the which
Who sect's and saturates his constant soul,
He from his small particular orbit flies -
With bless'd outstarting ! From Himself he flies,
Stands in the Sun, and with no partial gaze
Views all creation; and he loves it all,
And blesses it, and calls it very good!
This is indeed to dwell with the Most High'
Cherubs and rapture-trembling Seraphim
Can press no nearer to the Almighty's Throne.
But that we roam unconscious, or with hearts
Unseeling of our universal Sire,
And that in his vast family no Cain
Injures uninjured (in her best-aim'd blow
Victorious Murder a blind Suicide),
Haply for this some younger Angel now
Looks down on Human Nature: and, behold!
A sea of blood bestrew'd with wrecks, where mad
Embattling Interests on each other rush
With unhelm'd rage
"T is the sublime of man, Our noontide Majesty, to know ourselves
Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole!
This fraternizes Man, this constitutes.
Our charities and bearings. But 'tis God
Diffused through all, that doth make all one whole;
This the worst superstition, him except
Aught to desire, Supreme Reality!
The plenitude and permanence of bliss!
O Fiends of Superstition not that of
The erring Priest hath stain'd with brother's blood
Your grisly idols, not for this may wrath
Thunder against you from the Holy One!
But o'er some plain that steameth to the sun,
Peopled with Death; or where more hideous Trade
Loud-laughing packs his bales of human anguish:
I will raise up a mourning, O ye Fiends !
And curse your spells, that film the eye of Faith,
Hiding the present God; whose presence lost, .
The moral world's cohesion, we become
An anarchy of Spirits Toy-bewitch'd,
Made blind by lusts, disherited of soul,
No common centre Man, no common sire
Knoweth A sordid solitary thing,
"Mid countless brethren with a lonely heart
Through courts and cities the smooth Savage roams,
Feeling himself, his own low Self the whole;
When he by sacred sympathy might make
The whole one Self! Self that no alien knows!
Self, far diffused as Fancy's wing can travel !
Self, spreading still ! Oblivious of its own,
Yet all of all. possessing ! This is Faith !
This the Messiah's destin'd victory !
But first offences needs must come! Even now.”
(Black Hell laughs horrible—to hear the scoff!)
Thee to defend, meck Galilaean: Thee
And thy mild laws of love unutterable,
Mistrust and Enmity have burst the bands
Of social Peace; and listening Treachery lurks
With pious Fraud to snare a brother's life;
And childless widows o'er the groaning land
Wail numberless; and orphans weep for bread;
Thee to defend, dear Savior of Mankind
Thee, Lamb of God . Thee, blameless Prince of
From all sides rush the thirsty brood of War!
Austria, and that soul Woman of the North,
The lustful Murderess of her wedded Lord '
And he, connatural Mind! whom (in their songs
So bards of elder time had haply feign'd)
Some Fury fondled in her hate to man,
Bidding her serpent hair in mazy surge
Lick his young face, and at his mouth inbreathe
Horrible sympathy: And leagued with these
Each petty German princeling, nursed in gore :
Soul-harden'd barterers of human blood :
* January 21st, 1794, in the debate on the Address to his Majesty, on the speech from the Throne, the Earl of Guildford moved an Amendment to the folkswing effect:-"That the House hoped his Majesty would seize the earliest opportunity to conclude a peace with France,” etc. This motion was opposed by the Duke of Portland, who “ considered the war to be merely grounded on one principle—the preservation of the Christian Religion.” May 30th, 1794, the Duke of Bedford moved a number of Resolutions, with a view to the Establishment of a Peace with France. He was opposed (among others) by Lord Abingdon in these remarkable words: “The best road to Peace, my Lords, is War' and War carried on in the same manner in which we are taught to worship our Creator, namely, with all our souls, and with all our muds, and with all our hearts, and with all our strength."