Imágenes de páginas

Away ! away I for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night,

And haply the queen-moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry fays;

But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown

Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet

Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;

White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves;

And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,

The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and for many a time

I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,

To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die,

To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—

To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for earth, immortal bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown; Perhaps the self-same song that found a path

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn;

The same that ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam,

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell

To toll me back from thee to my sole self!

Adieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.


Adieu I adieu I thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,

Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley glades:

Was it a vision, or a waking dream 1
Fled is that music: Do I wake or sleep?


'Tis night ! awake, awake!
And from thy leafy covert raise thy voice I
Pour out thy soul of melody and make

The silent night rejoice!

Call to the echoes, call To the far woods that steep'd in moonlight lie; Call to the quiet sea, the desolate hall,

And each one shall reply.

From out thy leafy boughs Thy voice is as the trumpet's through the wild, Stirring all hearts; which doth from rest arouse

Mother and sleeping child.

Yet not with sense of dread Peasants are gathering in the midnight hours, Whilst high-born maidens go with stately tread

Down paths of moonlit flowers.

The gentle poet speeds Forth in the dewy hush of night, elate With song and love, and his sweet fancy feeds,

Hailing thee, his own mate.

Pour forth, pour forth thy strain Until the blue depths of the heavens are fill'd; Until the memory of thy secret pain

With thine own song is still'd.

Oh! pour, as thou didst ever,
Thy tide of song forth from thy hidden tree,
Like unspent waters of a viewless river

Feeding the mighty sea!

When poesy divine Made visible glory by the sacred spring, Thou wast a voice unto the mystic Nine

At midnight warbling.

Then from his dreamy mood,
A marvel to himself, the poet sprung,
In spiritual might, like one with youth renew'd,

And smote his lyre and sung.

Oh! as thou wast to him
Touching his spirit with ethereal fire,
Be priestess unto us, and our cold, dim,

And soulless clay inspire!

Alas I it were unjust
To deem thou couldst transmute our iron age:
Man has bow'd down his spirit to the dust,—

Has sold his heritage I

We come forth in the night,
In the pure dews and silvery light of heaven;
But in our bosoms lies the deadening blight,

The world's corrupting leaven.

Ay, sing, thou rapturous bird;
And though my spirit bear the impress of ill,
Yet, from the holy feeling thou hast stirr'd,

Thy power remaineth still.

Mary Howitt.

Thomas Haywood calls upon the birds to wish his love "good-morrow,"

Pack clouds away and welcome day

With night we banish sorrow;
Sweet air blow soft, mount larks aloft,

To give my love good-morrow!
Wings from the wind, to please her mind,

Notes from the lark I'll borrow;
Bird, prune thy wing, nightingale sing.

To give my love good-morrow I

Wake from thy nest, robin-redbreast,

Sing, birds, in every furrow;
And from each hill let music shrill

Give my fair love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush, in every bush,

Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow;
You pretty elves, among yourselves,

Sing my fair love good-morrow!



Oh the sunny summer time!

Oh the leafy summer time! Merry is the birds' life,

When the year is in its prime! Birds are by the water-falls,

Dashing in the rainbow-spray; Everywhere, everywhere,

Light and lovely things are they! Birds are in the forest old,

Building in each hoary tree; Birds are on the green hills;

Birds are on the sea!

On the moor and in the fen,

'Mong the whortle-berries green; In the yellow furze-bush

There the joyous bird is seen; In the heather on the hill;

All among the mountain-thyme; By the little brook-sides,

Where the sparkling waters chime In the crag; and on the peak,

Splinter'd, savage, wild, and bare, There the bird with wild wing

Wheeleth through the air.

Wheeleth through the breezy air,

Singing, screaming in his flight,
Calling to his bird-mate,

In troubleless delight I
In the green and leafy wood,

Where the branching ferns upcurl, Soon as is the dawning,

Wake the mavis and the merle, Wakes the cuckoo on the bough;

Wakes the jay with ruddy breast; Wakes the mother ring-dove

Brooding on her nest I

Oh, the sunny summer time!

Oh, the leafy summer time I Merry is the birds' life,

When the year is in its prime! Some are strong and some are weak;

Some love day and some love night; But whate'er a bird is,

Whate'er loves—it has delight,
In the joyous song it sings;

In the liquid air it cleaves;
In the sunshine, in the shower;

In the nest it weaves.

Do we wake, or do we sleep;

Go our fancies in a crowd
After many a dull care,

Birds are singing loud I
Sing then linnet; sing then wren;

Merle and mavis sing your fill;
And thou, rapturous skylark,

Sing and soar up from the hill!
Sing, O nightingale, and pour

Out for us sweet fancies new;
Singing for us, birds;

We will sing of you 1

Mary Howitt.

Mr. Main, in the "Magazine of Natural History," observes, that "no bird sings with more method than the lark; there is an overture performed, vivace crescendo, while the singer ascends; when at the full height, the song becomes moderate, and distinctly divided into short passages, each repeated three or four times over, like a fantasia, in the same key and tune. If there be any wind, he rises perpendicularly by bounds, and afterwards poises himself with breast opposed to it. If calm, he ascends in spiral circles; in horizontal circles during the principal part of his song, and zigzagly downwards during the performance of the finale. Sometimes, after descending about half-way, he ceases to sing, and drops with the velocity of an arrow to the ground. Those acquainted with the song of the skylark, can tell, without looking at them, whether the birds be ascending or stationary in the air, or on their descent; so different is the style of the song in each case. In the first, there is an expression of ardent impatience; in the second, an andante composure, in which rests of a bar at a time frequently occur; and in the last, a graduated sinking of the strains, often touching the subdominant before the final close. The time and number of the notes often correspond with the vibration of the wings; and though they sometimes sing while on the ground, as they are seen

« AnteriorContinuar »