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Is this the land of song-ennobled line?
ls this the land, where Genius ne'er in vain
Pour'd forth his lofty strain
Ah me! yet Spenser, gentlest bard divine,
Beneath chill Disappointment's shade
His weary limbs in lonely anguish laid.
And o'er her darling dead
Pity hopeless hung her head,
While “‘mid the pelting of that merciless storm,”
Sunk to the cold earth Otway's famish'd form!
Sublime of thought, and confident of fame,
From vales where Avon winds, the Minstrel" came.
Light-hearted youth ! aye, as he hastes along,
He meditates the future song,
How dauntless AElla fray'd the Dacian foe;
And while the numbers flowing strong
In eddies whirl, in surges throng,
Exulting in the spirits' genial throe,
In tides of power his life-blood seems to flow.
And now his cheeks with deeper ardors flame,
His eyes have glorious meanings, that declare
More than the light of outward day shines there,
A holier triumph and a sterner aim!
Wings grow within him; and he soars above
Or Bard's, or Minstrel's lay of war or love.
Friend to the friendless, to the Sufferer health,
He hears the widow's prayer, the good man's praise;
To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied wealth,
And young and old shall now see happy days.
On many a waste he bids trim gardens rise,
Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner's eyes;
And now in wrath he grasps the patriot steel,
And her own iron rod he makes Oppression feel.
Sweet Flower of Hope! free Nature's genial child!
That didst so fair disclose thy early bloom,
Filling the wide air with a rich perfume !
For thee in vain all heavenly aspects smiled;
From the hard world brief respite could they win–
The frost nipp'd sharp without, the canker prey'd
Ah! where are fled the charms of vernal Grace,
And Joy's wild gleams that lighten’d o'er thy face?
Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye!
Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps, I view,
On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew,
And oh! the anguish of that shuddering sigh!
Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour, When Care, of wither'd brow, Prepar'd the poison's death-cold power: Already to thy lips was raised the bowl, When near thee stood Affection meek (Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek,) Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll On scenes that well might melt thy soul; Thy native cot she flash’d upon thy view, Thy native cot, where still, at close of day, *eace siniling sate, and listen'd to thy lay; Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear, And mark thy Mother's thrilling tear; See, see her breast's convulsive throe, Her silent agony of woe! Ah! dash the poison'd chalice from thy hands And thou hadst dash'd it, at her soft command,
* Avon. a river near Bristol; the birth-place of Chatterton.
But that Despair and Indignation rose,
And told again the story of thy woes;
Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart;
The dread dependence on the low-born mind;
Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart,
Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined :
Recoiling quick, thou bad'st the friend of pain
Roll the black tide of Death through every freezing
Ye woods ! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep, To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring deep! For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave, Watching, with wistful eye, the saddening tints of eve Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove, In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove, Like star-beam on the slow sequester'd tide Lone-glittering, through the high tree branching wide. And here, in Inspiration's eager hour, When most the big soul feels the mastering power, These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er, Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, With wild unequal steps he pass'd along, Oft pouring on the winds a broken song: Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow Would pause abrupt—and gaze upon the waves below.
Poor Chatterton! he sorrows for thy fate
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too
Poor Chatterton' farewell ! of darkest hues
This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb;
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse,
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom:
For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing,
Have blacken'd the fair promise of my spring;
And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart
The last pale Hope that shiver'd at my heart!
Hence, gloomy thoughts! no more my soul shall
On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh
The shame and anguish of the evil day,
Wisely forgetful! O'er the ocean swell
Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell,
Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray;
And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay,
The wizard Passions weave a holy spell!
The Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of beings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. At a small distance from a village in that county, half-way up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation called the Pixies' Parlor. The roots of old trees form its ceiling ; and on its sides are innumerable ciphers, among which the author discovered his own cipher and those of his brothers, cut by the hand of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Otter.
To this place the Author conducted a party of young Ladies, during the Summer months of the year 1793; one of whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion colorless yet clear, was proclaimed the Faery Queen. On which occasion the following irregular Ode was written.
When Evening's dusky car, Crown'd with her dewy star, Steals o'er the fading sky in shadowy flight, On leaves of aspen trees We tremble to the breeze, Veil'd from the grosser ken of mortal sight Or, haply, at the visionary hour, Along our wildly-bower'd sequester'd walk, We listen to the enamour'd rustic's talk; Heave with the heavings of the maiden's breast, Where young-eyed Loves have built their turtle nest; Or guide of soul-subduing power The electric flash, that from the melting eye Darts the fond question and the soft reply.
Or through the mystic ringlets of the vale We flash our faery feet in gamesome prank; Or, silent-sandall'd, pay our defter court Circling the Spirit of the Western Gale, Where wearied with his flower-caressing sport Supine he slumbers on a violet bank; Then with quaint music hymn the parting gleam By lonely Otter's sleep-persuading stream; Or where his waves with loud unquiet song Dash'd o'er the rocky channel froth along; Or where, his silver waters smoothed to rest, The tall tree's shadow sleeps upon his breast.
Hence, thou lingerer, Light! Eve saddens into Night. Mother of wildly-working dreams! we view The sombre hours, that round thee stand With downcast eyes (a duteous band') Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew. Sorceress of the ebon throne! Thy power the Pixies own, When round thy raven brow Heaven's lucent roses glow, And clouds, in watery colors drest, Float in light drapery o'er thy sable vest: What time the pale moon sheds a softer day, Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam : For mid the quivering light 'tis ours to play, Aye dancing to the cadence of the stream.
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
His young ones were kill'd; for they could not
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 goodship.
The ship it was launch'd; but in sight of the land
Such a storm there did rise as no ship could with-
It bulged on a rock, and the waves rush'd in fast:
The old Raven flew round and round, and caw'd to
He heard the last shriek of the perishing souls— See : see 1 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!
A FAREWELL ODE ON QUITTING SCHOOL FOR 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
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 maide'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 faint 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 feeds the lambent flame of joy!
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 K
Dawns the soft-relenting smile, .* -
And tempts with feign'd dissuasion coy
The gentle violence of Joy. 7 x~ , TO A YOUNG ASS...S.,
, its Moth ER BEING TETHERED 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 7
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 1"
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
Pty—best taught by sellowship 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 fain 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!
TELL me, on what holy ground
May Domestic Peace be found !
Halcyon Daughter of the skies,
Far on fearful wings she flies,