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Wonderful Spirit, whose eternal shrine
Is in great Poets' souls; whose voice doth send
High truths and dreams prophetic without end
Into the blind world from those founts divine;
Deep adoration from such souls is thine:
But I have loved thee, Spirit, as a friend,
Woo'd thee, in pensive leisure, but to lend
Thy sweetness to this wayward heart of mine,
And charm my lone thoughts into joyousness.
And I have found that thou canst lay aside
Thy terrors, and thy glory, and thy pride;
Quit thy proud temples for a calm recess
In lowly hearts, and dream sweet hours away,
Winning from sterner thought a frequent holiday.
TO , ON HER VOYAGE TO INDIA.
Now, like a shooting star, thy bark doth flee
Over the azure waters, which convey
Thee and thy soldier-husband far away
From England's shores. Soon, soon on the wide sea,
When the hoarse waves are moaning sullenly,
And absent far is Friendship's cheering ray,
Shall ye two know how mighty is the sway
Of wedded love, how dear those fetters be
Which the free heart doth wear. Oh! we who doze
lii tranquil homes, and with domestic mirth
Season the warmth of the calm evening hearth,
Can know but little of the love of those
Who, in the lonely waste of sea and skies,
Find home and comfort in each other's eyes.
The gorgeous ranks of flaming cherubim,
The light, the rushing of unnumber'd wings,
The choral voices of thn host that sings
Unceasing anthems at the Throne of Him,
Th' Eternal, the Unknown, to me are dim
And unattractive dreams. My weak soul clings
To joys and hopes that flow from earthly things,
E'en when the inward eye of faith doth swim
In dreams that wander through eternity.
I cannot long for unimagined joys;
My trust is that hereafter I shall see
Forms dear to me on Earth—that many a voice
Well known in Paradise shall speak to me,
And earthly love be free from Earth's alloys.
TO A LADY, WITH A POEM BY A FRIEND.
Lady! there's scarce a holier thing on earth
Than the first dream of a young poet's brain;
Therefore, with reverence view this wayward
And should it, haply, seem of doubtful worth,
Yet, as the premature but wondrous birth
Of a great mind, respect it, and refrain
From captious censure or cold scorn, nor stain
Thy Spirit's brightness with unseemly mirth.
Thou hast the vision and the soul divine,
Exquisite thoughts, and fancies high and proud;
And never, never, hath my spirit bow'd
In woman's presence as it bows in thine;
Nor have I found on earth a heart more fit
Than thine to feel this lay and cherish it.
So, froward maiden, thou wilt quit for ever
Thy country and her many-weather'd skies;
All old home-thoughts and early sympathies
Abjuring, and wilt strive, with vain endeavour,
To quench thine English spirit:—never, never,
Though herding with our natural enemies,
May'st thou do this; for thou art bound by ties
Which neither thou, nor time, nor fate can sever.
Therefore, although thy children must not claim
Freedom, the Briton's birth-right; though the song
Of Milton be to them an idle name,
And Shakespeare's wisdom vain, thou wilt not
Thy country with cold scorn, nor think it shame To weep when thoughts of home into thy bosom throng.
Lady! I know three poets who know thee;
And all write sonnets, in the which they swear
That thou art most superlatively fair,
Meek, silver-voiced—and so forth. As for me,
Not having seen thee, I am fancy-free;
And, pretty lady, little do I care
Whether thou art indeed beyond compare,
A being to whom Bards must bow the knee,
Or a mere woman, with good face and shape ;—
I only know that I'm so tired of hearing
The list of thy perfections, that I gape
Sometimes, instead of duly sonneteering?
And therefore am I called brute, bear, and ape,
And other names ' past mentioning or bearing.'
ON SEEING THE SAME LADY. i
I Look'd on the pale face which poets love,
And scann'd its sweetness with a stedfast eye;
I listen'd to the eloquent witchery
Of her low, plaintive song:—awhile she wove
Her fairy meshes round me, and did move
My soul to a wild worship. Then did I,
By the strong aid of wakeful Memory,
Whose sprites for ever at Love's hidding rove,
Summon lone from her silent cell.
Sudden, in all the glory and the pride
Of intellectual beauty, at my side
She stood, and on my soul her bright eyes fell,
Beaming with earnest thought.—I heard one tone
Of her far voice—and straight that phantom pale
was flown. N0v. 1822.
TO THE SAME.
Oh! not for worlds, thou simple-soul'd Adine,
Would I be loved by thee.—Yet I confess
That thou dost wear a deeper loveliness
Than the most lovely whom these eyes have seen,
Save One—and she is of a different mien;
Wild-eyed, and how wild-hearted!—yet no less
Fit than thyself a poet's love to bless—
My Gloriana bright, my Faery Queen!