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It tells me too, that on a happy day,
When some good spirit walks upon the earth, HIGH-MINDEDNESS, a jealousy for food,
Thy name with Alfred's, and the great of yore A loving-kindness for the great man's fame, Gently commingling, gives tremendous birth Dwells here and there with people of no name,
To a loud hymn, that sounds far, far away In noisome alley, and in pathless wood :
To where the great God lives for evermore. And where we think the truth least understood,
Oft may be found a “singleness of aim,"
That ought to frighten into hooded shame Happy is England! I could be content A money-mong'ring, pitiable brood.
To see no other verdure than its own; How glorious this affection for the cause
To feel no other breezes than are blown Of sted fast genius, toiling gallantly!
Through its tall woods with high romances blent: What when a stout unbending champion awes
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment Envy, and malice to their native sty?
For skies Italian, and an inward groan Unnumber'd souls breathe out a still applause, To sit upon an Alp as on a throne, Proud to behold him in his country's eye. And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;
Enough their sinple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging: ADDRESSED TO THE SAME.
Yet do I often warmly burn to see
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, Great spirits now on earth are sojourning : He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,
And float with them about the summer waters. Who on Helvellyn's summit, wide awake, Catches his freshness from Archangel's wing: He of the rose, the violet, the spring,
THE HUMAN SEASONS. The social smile, the chain for Freedom's sake:
And lo! whose sted fastness would never take Four Seasons fill the measure of the year ; A meaner sound than Raphael's whispering. There are four seasons in the mind of man: And other spirits there are standing apart
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear Upon the forehead of the age to come ;
Takes in all beauty with an easy span : These, these will give the world another heart, He has his Summer, when luxuriously And other pulses. Hear ye not the hum
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves Of mighty workings ?
To ruminate, and by such dreaming nigh
Is nearest unto heaven : quiet coves
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
He has his winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature. When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead: That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead
ON A PICTURE OF LEANDER. In summer luxury,—he has never done
Come hither, all sweet maidens soberly, With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
Down-looking aye, and with a chasten'd light He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white, The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
And meekly let your fair hands joined be,
As if so gentle that ye could not see,
Sinking away to his young spirit's night,
Sinking bewilder'd 'mid the dreary sea: The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
'Tis young Leander toiling to his death ; December 30, 1816.
Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weasy lips For Hero's cheek, and smiles against her smile. O horrid dream! see how his body dips
Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile: TO KOSCIUSKO.
He's gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath! Good Kosciusko! thy great name alone
Is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling ;
TO AILSA ROCK.
The names of heroes, burst from clouds concealing, Give answer from thy voice, the sea-fowl's screams !
And changed to harmonies, for ever stealing When were thy shoulders maniled in huge streams : Through cloudless blue, and round each silver throne. When, from the sun, was thy broad forehead hid ?
How long is'ı since the mighty power bid
And intertwined the cassia's arms unite, Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams? With its own drooping buds, but very white. Sleep in the lap of thunder or sunbeams,
Where on one side are covert branches hung, Or when gray clouds are thy cold cover-lid ? 'Mong which the nightingales have always sung Thou answer'st not, for thou art dead asleep! In leafy quiet; where to pry, aloof Thy life is but two dead eternities
Atween the pillars of the sylvan roof, The last in air, the former in the deep;
Would be to find where violet beds were nestling, First with the whales, last with the eagle-skies And where the bee with cowslip bells was wrestling Drown'd wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep, There must be too a ruin dark, and gloomy, Another cannot wake thy giant size.
To say, “ Joy not too much in all that's bloomy."
Yet this is vain-O Mathew! lend thy aid
Where we may soft humanity put on,
And sit, and rhyme, and think on Chatterton;
With reverence would we speak of all the sages Among the rest a shepherd (though but young Who have left streaks of light athwart their ages: Yet hartned to his pip) with all the skill
And thou shouldst moralize on Milton's blindnex, His few yeeres could, began to fit bis quill.
And mourn the fearful dearth of human kindness
To those who strove with the bright golden wing
Thrown by the pitiless world. We next could tell
of those who in the cause of freedom fell ;
of our own Alfred, of Helvetian Tell; Sweet are the pleasures that to verse belong, Or him whose name to every heart's a solace, And doubly sweet a brotherhood in song;
High-minded and unbending William Wallace Nor can remembrance, Mathew! bring to view While to the rugged north our musing turns A fate more pleasing, a delight more true
We well might drop a tear for him, and Bums. Than that in which the brother poets joy'd, Felton! without incitements such as these, Who, with combined powers, their wit employ'd How vain for me the niggard Muse to tease! To raise a trophy to the drama's muses.
For thee, she will thy every dwelling grace, The thought of this great partnership diffuses And make “ a sunshine in a shady place :" Over the genius-loving heart, a feeling
For thou wast once a floweret blooming wild, Of all that's high, and great, and good, and healing. Close to the source, bright, pure, and undefiled, Too partial friend! fain would I follow thee Whence gush the streams of song: in happy hour Past each horizon of fine poesy ;
Came chaste Diana from her shady bower, Fain would I echo back each pleasant note Just as the sun was from the east uprising; As o'er Sicilian seas, clear anthems float
And, as for him some gist she was devising, 'Mong the light-skimming gondolas far parted,
Beheld thee, pluck'd thee, cast thee in the stream Just when the sun his farewell beam has darted :
To meet her glorious brother's greeting beam. But 't is impossible ; far different cares
I marvel much that thou hast never told Beckon me sternly from soft “ Lydian airs,” How, from a flower, into a fish of gold And hold my faculties so long in thrall,
Apollo changed thee : how thou next didst seem That I am oft in doubt whether at all
A black-eyed swan upon the widening stream; I shall again see Phabus in the morning;
And when thou first didst in that mirror trace Or flush'd Aurora in the roseale dawning;
The placid features of a human face: Or a white Naiad in a rippling stream;
That thou hast never told thy travels strange, Or a rapt seraph in a moonlight beam;
And all the wonders of the mazy range Or again witness what with thee I've seen,
O'er pebbly crystal, and o'er golden sands;
But might I now each passing moment give
TO MY BROTHER GEORGE.
FULL many a dreary hour have I past, 'Mid contradictions her delights to lend.
My brain bewilder'd, and my mind o'ercast Should e'er the fine-eyed maid 10 me be kind, With heaviness ; in seasons when I've thought Ah! surely it must be whene'er I find
No sphery strains by me could e'er be caught Some flowery spot, sequesterd, wild, romantic, From the blue dome, though I to dimness gaze That often must have seen a poet frantic; On the far depth where sheeted lightning plays, Where oaks, that erst the Druid knew, are growing, Or, on the wavy grass outstretch'd supinely, And flowers, the glory of one day, are blowing ; Pry 'mong the stars, to strive to think divinely : Where the dark-leaved labumum's drooping clusters That I should never hear Apollo's song, Reflect athwart the stream their yellow lustres, Though feathery clouds were floating all along
The purple west, and, two bright streaks between, With aster-times.—The patriot shall feel
My stern alarum, and unsheath his steel ;
Or in the senate thunder out my numbers, Would never teach a rural song to me:
To startle princes from their easy slumbers. That the bright glance from beauty's eyelids slanting The sage will mingle with each moral theme Would never make a lay of mine enchanting, My happy thoughts sententious : he will teem Or warm my breast with ardor to unfold
With lofty periods when my verses fire him,
And then I'll stoop from heaven to inspire him.
That maids will sing them on their bridal-night.
When they have tired their gentle limbs with play, A sudden glow comes on them, naught they see And form'd a snowy circle on the grass, In water, earth, or air, but Poesy.
And placed in midst of all that lovely lass It has been said, dear George, and true I hold it, Who chosen is their queen,—with her fine head, (For knightly Spenser to Libertas told it),
Crown'd with flowers purple, white, and red : That when a Poet is in such a trance,
For there the lily, and the musk-rose, sighing, In air he sees white coursers paw and prance, Are emblems true of hapless lovers dying: Bestridden of gay knights, in gay apparel,
Between her breasts, that never yet felt trouble, Who at each other tilt in playful quarrel ;
A bunch of violets full-blown, and double, And what we, ignorantly, sheet-lightning call, Serenely sleep:—she from a casket takes Is the swift opening of their wide portal,
A little book,—and then a joy awakes When the bright warder blows his trumpet clear, About each youthful heart,— with stifled cries, Whose tones reach naught on earth but poet's ear. And rubbing of white hands, and sparkling eyes : When these enchanted portals open wide,
For she's to read a tale of hopes, and fears; And through the light the horsemen swiftly glide, One that I foster'd in my youthful years : The Poet's eye can reach those golden halls, The pearls, that on each glistening circlet sleep, And view the glory of their festivals :
Gush ever and anon with silent creep, Their ladies fair, that in the distance seem
Lured by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest Fit for the silv'ring of a seraph's dream;
Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast, Their rich brimm'd goblets, that incessant run, Be lull'd with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu! Like the bright spots that move about the sun : Thy dales and hills are fading from my view: And when upheld, the wine from each bright jar Swiftly I mount, upon wide-spreading pinions, Pours with the lustre of a falling star.
Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions. Yet further off, are dimly seen their bowers, Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air, Of which no mortal eye can reach the flowers; That my soft verse will charm thy daughters fair, And 't is right just, for well Apollo knows
And warm thy sons!" Ah, my dear friend and brother, "Twould make the Poet quarrel with the rose. Could I, at once, my mad ambition smother, All that's reveal'd from that far seat of blisses, For tasting joys like these, sure I should be Is, the clear fountains' interchanging kisses, Happier, and dearer to society. As gracefully descending, light and thin,
At times, 't is true, I've felt relief from pain Like silver streaks across a dolphin's fin,
When some bright thought has darted through my When he up-swimmeth from the coral caves,
brain: And sports with half his tail above the waves. Through all that day I've felt a greater pleasure
Than if I had brought to light a hidden treasure.
As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them, These wonders strange he sees, and many more,
I feel delighted, still, that you should read them. Whose head is pregnant with poetic lore:
Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment, Should he upon an evening ramble fare
Stretch'd on the grass at my best-loved employment With forehead to the soothing breezes bare,
Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought Would he naught see but the dark, silent blue, With all its diamonds trembling through and through ? E'en now, I am pillow'd on a bed of flowers,
While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught. Or the coy moon, when in the waviness
That crowns a lofty cliff, which proudly towers Of whitest clouds she does her beauty dress,
Above the ocean waves. The stalks, and blades, And staidly paces higher up, and higher,
Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades. Like a sweet nun in holiday attire?
On one side is a field of drooping oats, Ah, yes! much more would start into his sight
Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats, The revelries, and mysteries of night :
So pert and useless, that they bring to mind
The scarlet coats that pester human-kind.
Ocean's blue mantle, streak'd with purple and green; These aye the living pleasures of the bard : Now 'tis I see a canvass'd ship, and now But richer far posterity's award.
Mark the bright silver curling round her prow; What does he murmur with his latest breath, I see the lark down-dmpping to his nest, While his proud eye looks through the film of death! And the broad-wing’d sea-gull never at rest; • What though I leave this dull, and earthly mould, For when no more he spreads his feathers free, Yet shall my spirit lofty converse hold
His breast is dancing on the restless sea.
Now I direct my eyes into the West,
Spenserian vowels that elope with ease, Which at this moment is in sunbeams drest :
And foat along like birds o'er summer seas : Why westward turn? 'Twas but to
adieu! Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tenderness : 'Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you! Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair slender August, 1816.
Who found for me the grandeur of the ode,
Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load?
Show'd me that epic was of all the king, He slants his neck beneath the waters bright Round, vast, and spanning all, like Saturn's ring! So silently, it seems a beam of light
You too upheld the veil from Clio's beauty, Come from the galaxy: anon he sports,
And pointed out the patriot's siern duty; With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts, The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell; Or ruffles all the surface of the lake
The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell In striving from its crystal face to take
Upon a tyrant's head. Ah! had I never seen, Some diamond water-drops, and them to treasure Or known your kindness, what might I have been! In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure.
What my enjoyments in my youthful years,
No, doubly no ;-yet should these rhymings please, Just like that bird am I in loss of time,
I shall roll on the grass with twofold ease; Whene'er I venture on the stream of rhyme ; For I have long time been my fancy feeding With shatter'd boat, oar snapt, and canvas rent, With hopes that you would one day think the reading I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent;
Of my rough verses not an hour misspent; Still scooping up the water with my fingers, Should it e'er be so, what a rich content! In which a trembling diamond never lingers. Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spires
In lucent Thames reflected:-warm desires By this, friend Charles, you may full plainly see To see the sun o'er-peep the eastern dimness, Why I have never penn'd a line to thee:
And morning-shadows streaking into slimness Because my thoughts were never free, and clear, Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water; And little fit to please a classic ear;
To mark the time as they grow broad and shorter ; Because my wine was of too poor a savor
To feel the air that plays about the hills, For one whose palate gladdens in the flavor And sips its freshness from the little rills; Of sparkling Helicon :-small good it were To see high, golden corn wave in the light To take him to a desert rude and bare,
When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night, Who had on Baia's shore reclined at ease,
And peers among the cloudlets, jet and white, While Tasso's page was floating in a breeze As though she were reclining in a bed That gave soft music from Armida's bowers, Of bean-blossoms, in heaven freshly shed. Mingled with fragrance from her rarest Powers: No sooner had I stept into these pleasures, Small good to one who had by Mulla's stream
Than I began to think of rhymes and measures; Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream ; The air that floated by me seem'd to say Who had beheld Belphebe in a brook,
Write! thou wilt never have a better day." And lovely Una in a leafy nook,
And so I did. When many lines I'd written, And Archimago leaning o'er his book :
Though with their grace I was not over-smitten, Who had of all that's sweet, tasted, and seen, Yet, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd better From silv'ry ripple, up to beauty's queen; Trust to my feelings, and write you a letter. From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania, Such an attempt required an inspiration To the blue dwelling of divine Urania :
Of a peculiar sort,—a consummation ;One, who, of late had ta'en sweet forest walks Which, had I felt, these scribblings might have been With him who elegantly chats and talks
Verses from which the soul would never wean; The wrong'd Libertas—who has told you stories But many days have past since last my heart Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories;
Was warm'd luxuriously by divine Mozart; Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city, By Arne delighted, or by Handel madden'd; And tearful ladies, made for love and pity : Or by the song of Erin pierced and sadden'd: With many else which I have never known. What time you were before the music sitting, Thus have I thought; and days on days have flown And the rich notes to each sensation fitting. Slowly, or rapidly-unwilling still
Since I have walk'd with you through shady lanes For you to try my dull, unlearned quill.
That freshly terminate in open plains, Nor should I now, but that I've known you long; And revellid in a chat that ceased not, That you first taught me all the sweets of song: When, at night-fall, among your books we got: The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine: No, nor when supper came, nor after that, What swell’d with pathos, and what right divine: Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;
The north cannot undo them,
No, nor till cordially you shook my hand
might :Again I shake your hand,—friend Charles, good-night.
In a drear-nighted December,