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"Tis sweet to hear a brook, 'tis sweet To hear the Sabbath-bell,
"Tis sweet to hear them both at once, Deep in a woody dell.
His limbs along the moss, his head Upon a mossy heap,
With shut-up senses, Edward lay:
That brook e'en on a working day Might chatter one to sleep.
And he had pass'd a restless night, And was not well in health;
The women sat down by his side, And talk'd as 't were by stealth.
“The sun peeps through the close thick leaves,
"Tis in the leaves, a little sun,
“A tiny sun, and it has got
Ten thousand threads and hairs of light,
Make up a glory, gay and bright,
And then they argued of those rays,
Says this, “they're mostly green;” says that,
So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts Were troubling Edward's rest;
But soon they heard his hard quick pants, And the thumping in his breast.
“A Mother too!” these self-same words
His faco was drawn back on itself,
Both groan'd at once, for both knew well What thoughts were in his mind;
When he waked up, and stared like one That hath been just struck blind.
He sat upright; and ere the dream Had had time to depart,
“O God forgive me ! (he exclaim'd) I have torn out her heart.”
Then Ellen shriek'd, and forthwith burst
And Mary shiver'd, where she sat,
Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow!
Late, late yestreen, I saw the new Moon,
I. WELL! if the Bard was weather-wise, who made The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes, Or the dull sobbing draught, that moans and rakes Upon the strings of this AEolian lute, Which better far were mute. For lo! the New-moon winter-bright! And overspread with phantom light, (With swimming phantom light o'erspread But rimm'd and circled by a silver thread) I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling The coming on of rain and squally blast. And oh! that even now the gust were swelling, And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast! Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed, And sent my soul abroad, Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give, Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live! II. A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, A stifled, drowsy, unimpassion'd grief, Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, In word, or sigh, or tear— O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood, To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo'd. All this long eve, so balmy and serene, Have I been gazing on the western sky, And its peculiar tint of yellow green: And still I gaze—and with how blank an eye And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, That give away their motion to the stars; Those stars, that glide behind them or between, Now sparkling, now bedimm'd, but always seen: Yon crescent Moon, as fix’d as if it grew In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue; I see them all so excellently fair, I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!
III. My genial spirits fail, And what can these avail To lift the smothering weight from off my breast? It were a vain endeavor, Though I should gaze for ever, On that green light that lingers in the west: I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within
IV. O Lady! we receive but what we give,
and To-morrow! and To-morrow!
And in our life alone does nature live :
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!
O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
There was a time when, though my path was
VII. Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, Reality's dark dream :
I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream Of agony by torture lengthend out That lute sent forth ! Thou Wind, that ravest
Bare crag, or mountain-tairn,” or blasted tree, Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, Or lonely house, long held the witches' home,
Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, Mad Lutanist' who in this month of showers, Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,
* Tairn is a small lake, generally, if not always, applied to the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the feeders of those in the valleys. This address to the Storm-wind will not appear extravagant to those who have heard it at night, and on a mountainous country.
Makest Devils' yule, with worse than wintry song,
VIII. "T is midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep: Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep! Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of healing, And may this storm be but a mountain-birth, May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling, Silent as though they watch'd the sleeping Earth! With light heart may she rise, Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice: To her may all things live, from Pole to Pole, Their life the eddying of her living soul! O simple spirit, guided from above, Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice, Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.
ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE,
on THE TWENTY-FOURTH STANZA in HER “PASSAGE overt MoUNT Gothard.”
And hail the Chapel: hail the Platform wild !
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child,
Splendor's fondly foster'd child!
Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,
Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
Detain'd your eye from nature : stately vests,
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine,
There crowd your finely-fibred frame,
You were a Mother! That most holy name,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell! O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure! Thence learnt you that heroic measure.
ODE TO TRANQUILLITY.
TRANQUILLITY thou better name Than all the family of Fame! Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age To low intrigue, or factious rage; For oh! dear child of thoughtful Truth, To thee I gave my early youth, And left the bark, and blest the stedfast shore, Ere yet the Tempest rose and scared me with its roar.
Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine, On him but seldom, power divine, Thy spirit rests' Satiety And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee, Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope And dire Remembrance interlope, To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind: The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind.
But me thy gentle hand will lead At morning through the accustom'd mead ; And in the sultry summer's heat Will build me up a mossy seat; And when the gust of Autumn crowds And breaks the busy moonlight clouds, Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune, Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding Moon.
The feeling heart, the searching soul, To thee I dedicate the whole ! And while within myself I trace The greatness of some future race, Aloof with hermit-eye I scan The present works of present man— A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile, Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile !
TO A YOUNG FRIEND,
ON HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE AUTHOR.
composed in 1796.
A MoUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep,
Such agreen mountain't were most sweet to climb, E’en while the bosom ached with loneliness— How more than sweet, if some dear friend should bless The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime Now lead, now follow : the glad landscape round, Wide and more wide, increasing without bound !
O then 't were loveliest sympathy, to mark The berries of the half-uprooted ash Dripping and bright; and list the torrent's dash,_ Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark, Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock; In social silence now, and now to unlock The treasured heart; arm link'd in friendly arm, Save if the one, his muse's witching charm Muttering brow-bent, at unwatch'd distance lag; Till high o'erhead his beckoning friend appears, And from the forehead of the topmost crag Shouts eagerly: for haply there uprears That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs, Which latest shall detain the enamour'd sight Seen from below, when eve the valley dims, Tinged yellow with the rich departing light; And haply, basin'd in some unsunn'd cleft, A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears, Sleeps shelter'd there, scarce wrinkled by the gale! Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left, Stretch'd on the crag, and shadow’d by the pine, And bending o'er the clear delicious sount, Ah! dearest youth ! it were a lot divine To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, While west-winds fann'd our temples toil-bedev'd : Then downwards slope, oft pausing, from the mount, To some lone mansion, in some woody dale, Where smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss Gives this the Husband's, that the Brother's kiss'
Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore, The Hill of Knowledge I essay’d to trace; That verdurous hill with many a resting-place, And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour
To glad and fertilize the subject plains; That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod, And many a fancy-blest and holy sod,
Where Inspiration, his diviner strains Low murmuring, lay; and starting from the rocks Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age, And Bigotry's mad fire-invoking rage'
0 meek retiring spirit! we will climb,
LINES TO W. L. ESQ. while HE SANG A SoNG TO PURCELL's MUSIC.
WHILE my young cheek retains its healthful hues,
ADDRESSED To A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE,
who ABANDONED histSELF TO AN INDoleNT AND CAUSELESS Melancholy.
HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe,
SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.
DEAR native Brook' wild Streamlet of the West:
way, Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs: Ah! that once more I were a careless child :
composed on A Journey HomewARD; THE AUTHOR HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE or The Binth of A son, sepTEMBER 20, 1796. Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll Which makes the present (while the flash doth last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past, Mix'd with such feelings, as perplex the soul Self-question'd in her sleep; and some have said” We lived, ere yet this robe of Flesh we wore. O my sweet baby! when I reach my door, If heavy looks should tell me thou art dead (As sometimes, through excess of hope, I fear), I think that I should struggle to believe Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere Sentenced for some more venial crime to grieve ; Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick reprieve, While we wept idly o'er thy little bier!
To A FRIEND WHO AskED, how I FELT WHEN THE NURSE First preSENTED MY INFANT TO ME.
CHARLEs my slow heart was only sad, when first