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It cnanced, I pass'd again that way.
In autumn's latest hour,
And wond'ring saw the self-same spray
Rich with the self-same flower.
Ah, fond deceit! the rude green bud,
Alike in shape, place, name,
Had bloom’d, where bloom'd its parent stud,
Another and the same!
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 labored lays impart
As one rude rhyme warm from a friendly heart?-Anon.
OR 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 wafted spirit is with you,
And soothes your boding fears :
I see you all oppressed with gloom
Sit lonely in that cheerless room-
Ah me! you are in tears !
Beloved Woman! did you fly
Chilled 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 unblest
Should Fancy rouse within my breast
Dim-visaged shapes of Dread ?
Untenanting its beauteous clay
My Sara's soul has wing’d its way,
And hovers round
I felt it prompt the tender dream,
When slowly sank 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 channelled Isle*
(Where stands one solitary pile
Unslated by the blast)
The watchfire, like a sullen star,
Twinkles to many a dozing tar
Rude cradled on the mast.
* The Holmes, in the Bristol Channel.
Even there—beneath that light-house tower—
In the tumultuous evil hour
with Sara came,
Time was, I should have thought it sweet
To count the echoings of my feet,
And watch the storm-vexed flame.
And there in black soul-jaundiced fit
A sad gloom-pampered 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-shattered 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 opened rose! From heaven they fell,
And with the sun-beam blend.
Blest 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
cheek Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek
In Pity's dew divine;
And from your heart the sighs that steal
Shall make your rising bosom feel
The answering swell of mine !
How oft, my Love! with shapings sweet
I paint the moment, we shall meet !
With eager speed I dart-
I seize you in the vacant air,
And fancy, with a husband's care
'Tis said, in Summer's evening hour
Flashes the golden-colored flower
A fair electric flame :
And so shall Aash my love-charged eye
When all the heart's big ecstasy
Shoots rapid through the frame!
IN ANSWER TO A MELANCHOLY LETTER.
AWAY, those cloudy looks, that laboring sigh,
The peevish offspring of a sickly hour! Nor meanly thus complain of Fortune's power, When the blind gamester throws a luckless die.
Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam
Behind those broken clouds, his stormy train;
To-morrow shall the many-colored main
In brightness roll beneath his orient beam!
Wild as the autumnal gust, the hand of Time
Flies o'er his mystic lyre; in shadowy dance
The alternate groups of Joy and Grief advance
Responsive to his varying strains sublime !
Bears on its wing each hour a load of Fate;
The swain, who, lulld by Seine's wild murmurs, led
His weary oxen to their nightly shed,
To-day may rule a tempest-troubled State.
Nor shall not Fortune with a vengeful smile
Survey the sanguinary despot's might,
And haply hurl the pageant from his height
Unwept to wander in some savage isle.
There shiv'ring sad beneath the tempest's frown,
Round his tired limbs to wrap the purple vest;
And mix'd with nails and beads, an equal jest !
Barter for food the jewels of his crown.
A DESULTORY POEM, WRITTEN ON THE CHRISTMAS
EVE OF 1794.
THIS is the time, when most divine to hear,
The voice of adoration rouses me,
As with a Cherub's trump: and high upborne,
Yea, mingling with the choir, I seem to view