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To higher zest shall Memory wake thy soul,
And Virtue mingle in the ennobled bowl.
But if, 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 VILLAGE.
ONCE more, sweet Stream with slow foot wander-
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;
Northine unseen in cavern depths to well,
The Hermit-fountain 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 foams along !
who dired OF A FRENzY FEVER INDUCED BY CALUMNious reports.
EDMUND! thy grave with aching eye I scan,
And inly groan for Heaven's poor outcast—Man!
"Tis tempest all or gloom: in early youth,
If gifted with the Ithuriel lance of Truth,
We force to start amid her feign'd caress
Vice, siren-hag! in native ugliness;
A brother's fate will haply rouse the tear,
And on we go in heaviness and sear!
But if our sond hearts call to Pleasure's bower
Some pigmy Folly in a careless hour,
The faithless guest shall stamp the enchanted ground
And mingled forms of Misery rise around:
Heart-fretting Fear, with pallid look aghast,
That courts the future woe to hide the past;
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 Friendshir's precious pearls, like hour-glass
I weep, yet stoop not! the saint anguish flows,
A dreamy pang in Morning's feverish doze.
Is this piled earth our being's passless mound &
Tell me, cold grave! is Death with poppies crown'd
Tired sentinel ' 'mid fitful starts I nod,
And fain would sleep, though pillow'd on a clod!
TO A YOUNG LADY, WITH A POEM ON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
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'er thy 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 sad 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 .1ccount.
f Suuthey's Retrospect. 18
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 O' 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.
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.
My heart has thank'd thee, Bowles' for those soft
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
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.
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,
Biasting with wizard spell my laurell'd same.
Yet never, Burke! thou drank'st Corruption's bow!!
The stormy Pity and the cherish'd lure
Of Pomp, and proud Precipitance of soul Wilder'd with meteor fires. Ah spirit pure! That error's mist had left thy purged eye: So might I clasp thee with a mother's joy!
Though roused by that dark Vizir, Riot rude
Have driven our PRIEst over the ocean swell:
Though Superstition and her wolfish brood
Bay his mild radiance, impotent and fell;
Calm in his halls of brightness he shall dwell!
For lo! Religion at his strong behest
Starts with mild anger from the Papal spell,
And flings to earth her tinsel-glittering vest,
Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy;
And Justice wakes to bid the Oppressor wail,
Insulting aye the wrongs of patient Folly:
And from her dark retreat by Wisdom won,
Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil
To smile with fondness on her gazing son!
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
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.
It was some Spirit, SHERIDAN! 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
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's sword
O what a loud and fearful shriek was there,
As though a thousand souls one death-groan pour'd''
Ah me! they view'd beneath a hireling's sword
Fallen Kosciusko! Through the burthen’d air
(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 cheek
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!
Remorse 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 ruine eye and dim with heaviness.
Why didst thou listen to Hope's whisper bland?
Or, listening, why forget the healing tale,
When Jealousy with feverish sancies 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!
SONNET. to the AUTHOR of THE “Robbers.”
SCHILLER! 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!
Awhile with mute awe gazing I would brood:
Then weep aloud in a wild ecstasy!
composed while cliMBING THE LEFT AscENT or BRockLEY coomb, 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 town boughs
(Mid which the May-thorn blends its blossoms white)
Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats,
I rest:-and now have gain'd the topmost site.
Ah! what a luxury of landscape meets
My gaze : Proud Towers, and Cots more dear to me,
Elm-shadow’d Fields, and prospect-bounding Seal
Deep sighs my lonely heart I drop the tear:
Enchanting spot! O were my Sara here!
in the MANNER or SPENSER.
O PEACE" that on a lilied bank dost love
To rest thine head beneath an Olive Tree,
I would, that from the pinions of thy Dove
One quill withouten pain ypluck'd might be
For O' I wish my Sara's frowns to flee,
And sain to her some soothing song would write,
Lest she resent my rude discourtesy,
Who vow'd to meet her ere the morning light,
But broke my plighted word—ah! false and recreant
Last night as I my weary head did pillow
With thoughts of my dissever'd Fair engross'd,
Chill Fancy droop'd wreathing herself with willow,
As though my breast entomb’d a pining ghost.
“From some blest couch, young Rapture's bridal
Rejected Slumber! hither wing thy way;
But leave me with the matin hour, at most'
As night-closed Floweret to the orient ray,
My sad heart will expand, when I the Maid survey.”
But Love, who heard the silence of my thought,
Contrived a too successful wile, I ween:
And whisper'd to himself, with malice fraught—
“Too long our Slave the Damsel's smiles hath seen :
To-morrow shall he ken her alter'd mien'."
He spake, and ambush'd lay, till on my bed
The morning shot her dewy glances keen,
When as I'gan to lift my drowsy head—
“Now, Bard ' I'll work thee woe!” the laughing
Sleep, softly-breathing God! his downy wing
Was fluttering now, as quickly to depart;
When twang'd an arrow from Love's mystic string,
With pathless wound it pierced him to the heart.
Was there some magic in the Elfin's dart 2
Or did he strike my couch with wizard lance 1
For straight so fair a Form did upwards start
(No fairer deck'd the Bowers of old Romance)
That Sleep enamour'd grew, nor moved from his
sweet trance :
My Sara came, with gentlest look divine;
Bright shone her eye, yet tender was its beam:
I felt the pressure of her lip to mine!
Whispering we went, and Love was all our theme—
Love pure and spotless, as at first, I deem,
He sprang from Heaven! Such joys with Sleep did
That I the living Image of my Dream
Fondly forgot. Too late I woke, and sigh'd—
“0” how shall 1 behold my Love at eventide?”
THE stream with languid murmur creeps,
In Lumin's flowery vale:
Beneath the dew the Lily weeps,
Slow-waving to the gale.
“Cease, restless gale!” it seems to say,
“Nor wake me with thy sighing!
The honors of my vernal day
On rapid wing are flying.
“To-morrow shall the Traveller come
Who late beheld me blooming:
His searching eye shall vainly roam
The dreary vale of Lumin.”
With eager gaze and wetted cheek
My wonted haunts along,
Thus, faithful Maiden! thou shalt seek
The Youth of simplest song.
But I along the breeze shall roll
The voice of feeble power;
And dwell, the moon-beam of thy soul,
In Slumber's nightly hour.
THE COMPLAINT OF NINATHOMA
How long will ye round me be swelling,
O ye blue-tumbling waves of the Sea?
Not always in Caves was my dwelling,
Nor beneath the cold blast of the Tree.
Through the high-sounding halls of Cathlöma
In the steps of my beauty I stray'd;
The Warriors beheld Ninathoma,
And they blessed the white-bosom'd Maid!
A Ghost! by my cavern it darted
In moon-beams the Spirit was drest—
For lovely appear the departed
When they visit the dreams of my rest!
But, disturb’d by the Tempest's commotion,
Fleet the shadowy forms of Delight—
Ah cease, thou shrill blast of the Ocean'
To howl through my Cavern by Night.
IF, while my passion I impart,
You deem my words untrue,
O place your hand upon my heart—
Feel how it throbs for you !
Ah no! reject the thoughtless claim,
In pity to your lover!
That thrilling touch would aid the flame
It wishes to discover.
Ah cease thy tears and Sobs, my little Life! I did but snatch away the unclasp'd Knife: Some safer Toy will soon arrest thine eye,
And to quick Laughter change this peevish cry!
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 alarms
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 reft 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