« AnteriorContinuar »
His virtues (though I know that they are great),
Because he locks, then barricades, the gate
Within which they inhabit. Of his wit
And wisdom, you'll cry out when you are bit.
He is a pearl within an oyster-shell,
One of the richest of the deep. And there
Is English Peacock, with his mountain fair,—
Turned into a Flamingo, that shy bird
That gleams i' the Indian air. Have you not heard,
When a man marries, dies, or turns Hindoo,
His best friends hear no more of him? But you
Will see him, and will like him too, I hope,
With the milk-white Snowdonian antelope
Matched with this camelopard. His fine wit
Makes such a wound the knife is lost in it;
A strain too learned for a shallow age,
Too wise for selfish bigots;—let his page,
Which charms the chosen spirits of the time
Fold itself up for a serener clime
Of years to come, and find its recompense
In that just expectation. Wit and sense,
Virtue and human knowledge, all that might
Make this dull world a business of delight,
Are all combined in Horace Smith.—And these
(With some exceptions, which I need not teaze
Your patience by descanting on) are all
You and I know in London.
I recall My thoughts, and bid you look upon the night. As water does a sponge, so the moonlight Fills the void, hollow, universal air. What see you?—Unpavilioned heaven is fair; Whether the Moon, into her chamber gone, Leaves midnight to the golden stars, or wan Climbs with diminished beams the azure steep; Or whether clouds sail o'er the inverse deep, Piloted by the many-wandering blast, And the rare stars rush through them, dim and fast. All this is beautiful in every land. But what see you beside? A shabby stand Of hackney-coaches—a brick house or wall
Fencing some lonely court, white with the scrawl
Of our unhappy politics;—or worse—
A wretched woman reeling by, whose curse,
Mixed with the watchman's, partner of her trade,
You must accept in place of serenade,
Or yellow-haired Pollonia murmuring
To Henry some unutterable thing.
/ see a chaos of green leaves and fruit
Built round dark caverns, even to the root
Of the living stems who feed them, in whose bowers
There sleep in their dark dew the folded flowers.
Beyond, the surface of the unsickled corn
Trembles not in the slumbering air; and, borne
In circles quaint and ever-changing dance,
Like winged stars the fireflies flash and glance,
Pale in the open moonshine, but each one
Under the dark trees seems a little sun,
A meteor tamed, a fixed star gone astray
From the silver regions of the milky way.
Afar the contadino's song is heard,
Rude but made sweet by distance, and a bird
Which cannot be a nightingale, and yet
I know none else that sings so sweet as it
At this late hour:—and then all is still.
Now, Italy or London, which you will!
Next winter you must pass with me. I'll have
Oh, that Hunt, , and , were there,
With everything belonging to them fair!
We will have books, Spanish, Italian, Greek;
IAnd ask one week to make another week
ODE TO NAPLES.
Epodb I. a-
And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
The listening soul in my suspended blood;
Around me gleamed many a bright sepulchre, Of whose pure beauty Time, as if his pleasure Were to spare Death, had never made erasure; But every living lineament was clear
As in the sculptor's thought, and there The wreaths of stony myrtle, ivy, and pine,
Like winter leaves o'ergrown by moulded snow, Seemed only not to move and grow Because the crystal silence of the air Weighed on their life, even as the Power divine Which then lulled all things brooded upon mine.
Epodb II. /3-
From the unknown graves
Strophe I. tt.
Naked beneath the lidless eye of heaven!
Long lost, late won, and yet but half regained!
Which armed Victory offers up unstained
Thou which wert once, and then didst cease to be,
Strophe II. /9.
Antistrophe I. a.
Freedom and thee? Thy shield is as a mirror
Be thou like the imperial basilisk,
Antistrophe II. /9.