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IX.

Unboastful maid! though now the Lily pale

Transparent grace thy beauties meek; Yet ere again along the empurpling vale, The purpling vale and elfin-haunted grove, Young Zephyr his fresh flowers profusely throws,

We'll tinge with livelier hues thy cheek; And, haply, from the nectar-breathing Rose

Extract a blush for love!

THE RAVEN.

A chaiSTMAS TALE, TOLD BY A SCHOOL-BOY TO his
Little brothers And sisters.
-
UNDERNEATH a huge oak tree
There was, of swine, a huge company,
That grunted as they crunch'd the mast:
For that was ripe, and fell full fast.
Then they trotted away, for the wind grew high :
One acorn they left, and no more might you spy.
Next came a raven, that liked not such folly:
He belong'd, they did say, to the witch Melancholy!
Blacker was he than blackest jet,
Flew low in the rain, and his feathers not wet.
He pick'd up the acorn and buried it straight
By the side of a river both deep and great.
Where then did the Raven go?
He went high and low, -
Over hill, over dale, did the black Raven go.
Many Autumns, many Springs
Travell'd he with wandering wings:
Many Summers, many Winters—
I can't tell half his adventures.

At length he came back, and with him a She,.
And the acorn was grown to a tall oak tree.
They built them a nest in the topmost bough,
And young ones they had, and were happy enow.
But soon came a woodman in leathern guise,
His brow, like a pent-house, hung over his eyes.
He’d an ax in his hand, not a word he spoke,
But with many a hem! and a sturdy stroke,
At length he brought down the poor Raven's own
oak.
His young ones were kill'd; for they could not
depart,
And their mother did die of a broken heart.

The boughs from the trunk the woodman did sever;
And they floated it down on the course of the river.
They saw'd it in planks, and its bark they did strip,
And with this tree and others they made a good ship.
The ship it was launch'd; but in sight of the land
Such a storm there did rise as no ship could with-
stand.
It bulged on a rock, and the waves rush'd in fast:
The old Raven flew round and round, and caw'd to
the blast.

He heard the last shriek of the perishing souls— See: see! o'er the topmast the mad water rolls! Right glad was the Raven, and off he went fleet, And Death riding home on a cloud he did meet, And he thank'd him again and again for this treat: They had taken his all, and Revenge was sweet!

ABSENCE.

A FAREweli, ODE ON QUitting school, Fort Jesus COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

Where graced with many a classic spoil
Cam rolls his reverend stream along,
I haste to urge the learned toil
That sternly chides my lovelorn song:
Ah me! too mindful of the days
Illumed by Passion's orient rays,
When Peace, and Cheerfulness, and Health
Enrich'd me with the best of wealth,

Ah fair delights! that o'er my soul
On Memory's wing, like shadows fly!
Ah Flowers! which Joy from Eden stole
While Innocence stood smiling by —
But cease, fond heart! this bootless moan:
Those hours on rapid pinions flown
Shall yet return, by Absence crown'd,
And scatter lovelier roses round.

The Sun who ne'er remits his fires
On heedless eyes may pour the day:
The Moon, that oft from Heaven retires,
Endears her renovated ray.
What though she leaves the sky unblest
To mourn awhile in murky vest?
When she relumes her lovely light,
We bless the wanderer of the night.

LINES ON AN AUTUMNAL EVENING.

O thou, wild Fancy, check thy wing! No more
Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore!
Northere with happy spirits speed thy flight
Bathed in rich amber-glowing floods of light;
Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day,
With western peasants hail the morning ray!
Ah! rather bid the perish'd pleasures move,
A shadowy train, across the soul of Love!
O'er Disappointment's wintry desert fling
Each flower that wreathed the dewy locks of Spring,
When blushing, like a bride, from Hope's trim
bower
She leap'd, awaken'd by the pattering shower.
Now sheds the sinking Sun a deeper gleam,

Aid, lovely Sorceress' aid thy poet's dream!

With fairy wand O bid the Maid arise,
Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes;
As erst when from the Muses' calm abode
I came, with Learning's meed not unbestow'd;
When as she twined a laurel round my brow,
And met my kiss, and half return'd my vow,
O'er all my frame shot rapid my thrill'd heart,
And every nerve confess'd th’ electric dart.

O dear deceit! I see the Maiden rise,
Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes!
When first the lark, high soaring, swells his throat,
Mocks the tired eye, and scatters the wild note,
I trace her footsteps on the accustom'd lawn,
I mark her glancing 'mid the gleam of dawn.
When the bent flower beneath the night-dew weeps
And on the lake the silver lustre sleeps,

Amid the paly radiance soft and sad,
She meets my lonely path in moon-beams clad.
With her along the streamlet's brink I rove;
With her I list the warblings of the grove;
And seems in each low wind her voice to float,
Lone-whispering Pity in each soothing note!

Spirits of Love! ye heard her name! obey
The powerful spell, and to my haunt repair.
Whether on clustering pinions ye are there,
Where rich snows blossom on the myrtle trees,
Or with sond languishment around my fair
Sigh in the loose luxuriance of her hair;
O heed the spell, and hither wing your way,
Like far-off music, voyaging the breeze!

Spirits! to you the infant Maid was given,
Form'd by the wondrous alchemy of heaven!
No fairer maid does Love's wide empire know,
No fairer maid e'er heaved the bosom's snow.
A thousand Loves around her forehead fly;
A thousand Loves sit melting in her eye;
Love lights her smile—in Joy's red nectar dips
His myrtle flower, and plants it on her lips.
She speaks! and hark that passion-warbled song—
Still, Fancy! still that voice, those notes prolong,
As sweet as when that voice with rapturous falls
Shall wake the soften’d echoes of Heaven's halls!

O (have I sigh'd) were mine the wizard's rod,
Or mine the power of Proteus, changeful god!
A flower-entangled arbor I would seem, -
To shield my Love from noontide's sultry beam:
Or bloom a Myrtle, from whose odorous boughs
My love might weave gay garlands for her brows.
When twilight stole across the fading vale,
To fan my love I'd be the Evening Gale;
Mourn in the soft folds of her swelling vest,
And flutter my saint pinions on her breast!
On Seraph wing I'd float a Dream by night,
To soothe my Love with shadows of delight —
Or soar aloft to be the Spangled Skies,
And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes!

As when the Savage, who his drowsy frame
Had bask'd beneath the Sun's unclouded flame,
Awakes amid the troubles of the air,
The skiey deluge, and white lightning's glare—
Aghast he scours before the tempest's sweep,
And sad recalls the sunny hour of sleep:—
So toss'd by storms along Life's wildering way,
Mine eye reverted views that cloudless day,
When by my native brook I wont to rove,
While Hope with kisses nursed the Infant Love.

Dear native brook! like Peace, so placidly
Smoothing through fertile fields thy current meek!
Dear native brook! where first young Poesy
Stared wildly-eager in her noontide dream!
Where blameless pleasures dimple Quiet's cheek,
As water-lilies ripple thy slow stream!
Dear native haunts! where Virtue still is gay,
Where Friendship's fix’d star sheds a mellow'd ray,
Where Love a crown of thornless Roses wears,
Where soften’d Sorrow smiles within her tears;
And Memory, with a Vestal's chaste employ,
Unceasing seeds the lambent flame of joy!

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And He the glitter of the Dew Scatters on the Rose's hue. Bashful, lo! she bends her head, And darts a blush of deeper red'

Too well those lovely lips disclose
The triumphs of the opening Rose;
O fair! O graceful!' bid them prove
As passive to the breath of Love.
In tender accents, faint and low,
Well-pleased I hear the whisper'd “No!"
The whisper'd “No”—how little meant!
Sweet falsehood that endears consent!
For on those lovely lips the while
Dawns the soft-relenting smile,
And tempts with feign'd dissuasion coy
The gentle violence of Joy.

-

TO A YOUNG ASS. its mothert being tetherted NEAR it.

Poor little foal of an oppressed race!
I love the languid patience of thy face:
And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread,
And clap thy ragged coat, and pat thy head.
But what thy dulled spirits hath dismay’d,
That never thou dost sport along the glade?
And (most unlike the nature of things young)
That earthward still thy moveless head is hung?
Do thy prophetic fears anticipate,
Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?
The starving meal, and all the thousand aches
• Which patient merit of the unworthy takes?”
Or is thy sad heart thrill'd with filial pain
To see thy wretched mother's shorten’d chain?
And truly, very piteous is her lot—
Chain'd to a log within a narrow spot
Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen,
While sweet around her waves the tempting green!

Poor Ass! thy master should have learnt to show
Pity—best taught by fellowship of woe!
For much I fear me that he lives like thee,
Half famish'd in a land of luxury'
How askingly its footsteps hither bend ?
It seems to say, “And have I then one friend?"
Innocent Foal! thou poor despised forlorn'
I hail thee brother—spite of the fool's scorn!
And sain would take thee with me, in the dell
Of peace and mild equality to dwell,
Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his Bride,
And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless side'
How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play,
And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay!
Yea! and more musically sweet to me
Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
The aching of pale fashion's vacant breast!

DOMESTIC PEACE.

TELL me, on what holy ground . May Domestic Peace be found? Halcyon Daughter of the skies, Far on fearful wings she flies,

From the pomp of sceptred state,
From the rebel's noisy hate.
In a cottaged vale She dwells
Listening to the Sabbath bells'
Still around her steps are seen
Spotless Honor's meeker mien,
Love, the sire of pleasing fears,
Sorrow smiling through her tears,
And, conscious of the past employ,
Memory, bosom-spring of joy.

The SIGh.

WHEN Youth his faery reign began
Ere sorrow had proclaim'd me man;
While Peace the present hour beguiled,
And all the lovely prospect smiled;
Then, Mary! 'mid my lightsome glee
I heaved the painless Sigh for thee.

And when, along the waves of woe,
My harass'd heart was doom'd to know
The frantic burst of outrage keen,
And the slow pang that gnaws unseen;
Then shipwreck'd on life's stormy sea,
I heaved an anguish'd Sigh for thee!

But soon reflection's power impress'd
A stiller sadness on my breast;
And sickly hope with waning eye
Was well content to droop and die:
I yielded to the stern decree,
Yet heaved a languid Sigh for thee!

And though in distant climes to roam,

A wanderer from my native home,

I sain would soothe the sense of Care

And lull to sleep the Joys that were:

Thy Image may not banish'd be—

Still, Mary! still I sigh for thee. June, 1794.

EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.

ERE Sin could blight or Sorrow fade, Death came with friendly care;

The opening bud to Heaven convey'd, And bade it blossom there.

LINES WRITTEN AT THE KING'S ARMS
ROSS.
For MERLY THE HOUSE of THE “MAN OF ROSs.”

Richer than miser o'er his countless hoards,
Nobler than kings, or king-polluted lords,
Here dwelt the man of Ross! O Traveller, hear!
Departed merit claims a reverent tear.
Friend to the friendless, to the sick man health,
with generous joy he view'd his modest wealth;
He hears the widow's heaven-breath'd prayer of
praise,
He mark'd the shelter'd orphan's tearful gaze,
Or where the sorrow-shrivell'd captive lay,
Pours the bright blaze of Freedom's noontide ray.
Beneath this roof if thy cheer'd moments pass,
Fill to the good man's name one grateful glass:

To higher zest shall Memory wake thy soul,
And Virtue mingle in the ennobled bowl.
But is, like me, through life's distressful scene,
Lonely and sad, thy pilgrimage hath been ;
And if thy breast with heart-sick anguish fraught,
Thou journeyest onward tempest-toss'd in thought;
Here cheat thy cares! in generous visions melt,
And dream of goodness, thou hast never felt '

LINES To A BEAUTIFUL SPRING IN A - WILLAGE.

ONCE more, sweet Stream! with slow foot wander-
ing near, -
I bless thy milky waters cold and clear.
Escaped the flashing of the noontide hours
With one fresh garland of Pierian flowers
(Ere from thy zephyr-haunted brink I turn)
My languid hand shall wreath thy mossy urn.
For not through pathless grove with murmur rude
Thou soothest the sad wood-nymph, Solitude;
Nor thine unseen in cavern depths to well,
The Hermit-sountain of some dripping cell'
Pride of the Vale! thy useful streams supply
The scatter'd cots and peaceful hamlet nigh.
The elfin tribe around thy friendly banks
With infant uproar and soul-soothing pranks,
Released from school, their little hearts at rest,
Launch paper navies on thy waveless breast.
The rustic here at eve with pensive look
Whistling lorn ditties leans upon his crook,
Or, starting, pauses with hope-mingled dread
To list the much-loved maid's accustom'd tread:
She, vainly mindful of her dame's command,
Loiters, the long-fill'd pitcher in her hand.
Unboastful Stream!'thy fount with pebbled falls
The faded form of past delight recalls,
What time the morning sun of Hope arose,
And all was joy; save when another's woes
A transient gloom upon my soul imprest,
Like passing clouds impictured on thy breast.
Life's current then ran sparkling to the noon,
Or silvery stole beneath the pensive Moon:
Ah! now it works rude brakes and thorns among,
Or o'er the rough rock bursts and soams along |

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Remorse, the poison'd arrow in his side,
And loud lewd Mirth, to anguish close allied:
Till Frenzy, fierce-eyed child of moping pain,
Darts her hot lightning flash athwart the brain.
Rest, injured shade' Shall Slander squatting near
Spit her cold venom in a dead Man's ear?
"Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow
In Merit's joy, and Poverty's meek woe:
Thine all that cheer the moment as it flies,
The zoneless Cares, and smiling Courtesies.
Nursed in thy heart the firmer Virtues grew,
And in thy heart they wither'd : Such chill dew
Wan indolence on each young blossom shed;
And Vanity her filmy net-work spread,
With eye that roll'd around, in asking gaze, .
And tongue that traffick'd in the trade of praise.
Thy follies such the hard world mark'd them well ?
Were they more wise, the proud who never fell ?
Rest, injur'd shade! the poor man's grateful prayer
On heavenward wing thy wounded soul shall bear.
As oft at twilight gloom thy grave I pass,
And sit me down upon its recent grass,
With introverted eye I contemplate
Similitude of soul, perhaps of Fate!
To me hath Heaven with bounteous hand assign'd
Energic Reason and a shaping mind,
The daring ken of Truth, the Patriot's part,
And Pity's sigh, that breathes the gentle heart.
Sloth-jaundic'd all ! and from my graspless hand
Drop Friendship's precious pearls, like hour-glass
sand.
I weep, yet stoop not! the saint anguish flows,
A dreamy pang in Morning's feverish doze.

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Much on my early youth I love to dwell,
Ere yet I bade that friendly dome farewell,
Where first, beneath the echoing cloisters pale,
I heard of guilt and wonder'd at the tale !
Yet though the hours flew by on careless wing,
Full heavily of Sorrow would I sing.
Aye as the star of evening flung its beam
In broken radiance on the wavy stream,
My soul amid the pensive twilight gloom
Mourn'd with the breeze, O Lee Boo!" o'erthy tomb,
Where'er I wander'd, Pity still was near,
Breathed from the heart and glisten’d in the tear:
No knell that toll'd, but fill'd my anxious eye,
And suffering Nature wept that one should die!t

Thus to snd sympathies I soothed my breast,
Calm, as the rainbow in the weeping West:
When slumbering Freedom roused with high disdain
With giant fury burst her triple chain!

* Lee Boo, the son of Abba Thule, Prince of the Pelew Islands, came over to England with Captain Wilson, died of the small-pox, and is buried in Greenwich church-yard.—See Keats's ..?ccount.

t Southey's Retrospect. 18

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Fierce on her front the blasting Dog-star glow'd ;
Her banners, like a midnight meteor, flow'd;
Amid the yelling of the storm-rent skies!
She came, and scatter'd battles from her eyes!
Then Exultation waked the patriot fire,
And swept with wilder hand the Alcaean lyre:
Red from the tyrant's wound I shook the lance,
And strode in joy the reeking plains of France'

Fallen is the oppressor, friendless, ghastly, low,
And my heart aches, though Mercy struck the blow.
With wearied thought once more I seek the shade,
Where peaceful Virtue weaves the myrtle braid.
And 0; if eyes whose holy glances roll,
Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul;
If smiles more winning, and a gentler mien
Than the love-wilder'd Maniac's brain hath seen
Shaping celestial forms in vacant air,
If these demand the impassion'd poet's care—
If Mirth and soften’d Sense and Wit refined,
The blameless features of a lovely mind;
Then haply shall my trembling hand assign
No fading wreath to beauty's saintly shrine.
Nor, Sara! thou these early flowers refuse—
Ne'er lurk'd the snake beneath their simple hues;
No purple bloom the child of nature brings
From Flattery's night-shade; as he feels, he sings.

September, 1792. '

SONNET.

Content, as random Fancies might inspire,
If his weak harp at times, or lonely lyre
He struck with desultory hand, and drew
Some soften’d tones to Nature not untrue.
Bowles.

My heart has thank'd thee, Bowles' for those soft
strains,
Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring .
Of wild-bees in the sunny showers of spring !
For hence not callous to the mourner's pains
Through youth's gay prime and thornless path I
went :
And when the mightier throes of man began,
And drove me forth, a thought-bewilder'd man!
Their mild and manliest melancholy lent
A mingled charm, such as the pang consign'd
To slumber, though the big tear it renew'd;
Bidding a strange mysterious Pleasure brood
Over the wavy and tumultuous mind,
As the great Spirit erst with plastic sweep
*Moved on the darkness of the unform'd deep.

-

SONNET.

As late I lay in slumber's shadowy vale,
With wetted cheek and in a mourner's guise,
I saw the sainted form of Freedom rise:
She spake! not sadder moans the autumnal gale—
- Great Son of Genius! sweet to me thy name,
Ere in an evil hour with alter'd voice
Thou badst Oppression's hireling crew rejoice,
Blasting with wizard spell my laurell'd same.
Yet never, Burke! thou drank'st Corruption's bowl!
The stormy Pity and the cherish'd lure

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When British Freedom for a happier land
Spread her broad wings, that flutter'd with affright,
ErskinE! thy voice she heard, and paused her flight
Sublime of hope For dreadless thou didst stand
(Thy censer glowing with the hallow'd flame)
A hireless Priest before the insulted shrine,
And at her altar pour the stream divine
Of unmatch'd eloquence. Therefore thy name
Her sons shall venerate, and cheer thy breast
With blessings heavenward breathed. And when
the doom
Of Nature bids thee die, beyond the tomb .
Thy light shall shine : as sunk, beneath the West,
Though the great Summer Sun eludes our gaze,
Still burns wide Heaven with his distended blaze.

SONNET.

It was some Spirit, Sherida N' that breathed
O'er thy young mind such wildly various power!
My soul hath mark'd thee in her shaping hour,
Thy temples with Hymettian flow'rets wreathed:
And sweet thy voice, as when o'er Laura's bier
Sad music trembled through Vauclusa’s glade;
Sweet, as at dawn the lovelorn serenade
That wasts soft dreams to Slumber's listening ear.
Now patriot rage and indignation high
Swell the full tones! And now thine eye-beams
dance -
Meaning of Scorn and Wit's quaint revelry:
Writhes inly from the bosom-probing glance
The Apostate by the brainless rout adored,
As erst that elder fiend beneath great Michael'ssword.

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