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Hight Castalie: and (sureties of thy faith)
Of tides obedient to external force, That Pity and Simplicity stood by,
And currents self-determined, as might seem, And promised for thee, that thou shouldst renounce Or by some inner Power; of moments awful, The world's low cares and lying vanities,
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad, Stedfast and rooted in the heavenly Muse,
When Power stream'd from thee, and thy soul And wash'd and sanctified to Poesy:
received Yes—thou wert plunged, but with forgetful hand The light reflected, as a light bestow'dHeld, as by Thetis erst her warrior Son :
Of Fancies fair, and milder hours of youth, And with those recreant un baptized heels
Hy blean murmurs of poetic thought Thou ’rt flying from thy bounden ministeries- Industrious in its joy, in Vales and Glens So sore it seems and burthensome a task
Native or outland, Lakes and famous Hills! To weave unwithering flowers ! But take thou heed: Or on the lonely High-road, when the Stars For thou art vulnerable, wild-eyed Boy,
Were rising; or by secret Mountain-streams, And I have arrows* mystically dipp'd,
The Guides and the Companions of thy way! Such as may stop thy speed. Is thy Burns dead? And shall he die unwept, and sink to Earth
Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense • Without the meed of one melodious tear?”
Distending wide, and Man beloved as Man, Thy Burns, and Nature's own beloved Bard,
Where France in all her towns lay vibrating Who to the “ Illustrioust of his native land
Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst • So properly did look for patronage."
Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud Ghost of Mæcenas ! hide thy blushing face! Is visible, or shadow on the Main. They snatch'd him from the Sickle and the Plow For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, To gauge Ale-Firkins.
Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
Amid a mighty nation jubilant,
When from the general heart of human-kind
Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity! There stands a lone and melancholy tree,
Of that dear Hope aflicted and struck down Whose aged branches in the midnight blast
So summond homeward, thenceforth calm and sure Make solemn music: pluck its darkest bough,
From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute Self, Ere yet the unwholesome night-dew be exhaled,
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look And weeping wreath it round thy Poet's tomb.
Far on-herself a glory to behold, Then in the outskirts, where pollutions grow,
The Angel of the vision! Then (last strain) Pick the rank henbane and the dusky flowers
Of Duty, chosen laws controlling choice, Of night-shade, or its red and tempting fruit. Action and Joy !- An orphic song indeed, These with stopp'd nostril and glove-guarded hand
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts, Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine
To their own music chanted!
O great Baru'
Of ever-enduring men. The truly Great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Shed influence! They, both in power and act, COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION Are permanent, and Time is not with thein, OF A POEM ON THE GROWTH OF AN INDIVIDUAL Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
Nor less a sacred roil, than those of old,
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame FRIEND of the Wise! and Teacher of the Good ! Among the archives of mankind, thy work Into my heart have I received that lay
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth, More than historic, that prophetic lay,
Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay, Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright) Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes' Of the foundations and the building up
Ah! as I listend with a heart forlorn, Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell
The pulses of my being beat anew : What may be fold, lo ihe understanding mind And even as life returns upon the drown'd, Revealable ; and what within the mind,
Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of painsBy vital breathings secret as the soul
Keen Panys of Love, awakening as a babe Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart ; Thoughts all too deep for words
And Fears self-willid, that shunn'd the eye of Hopm
And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear
Theme hard as high! Sense of past Youth, and Manhood come in vain of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears And Genius given, and knowledge won in vain The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth), And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild
And all which patient toil had reard, and all, regular; and even when at a considerable distance or high Commune with thee had open'd out-but flowers above us, we plainly hear the quill feathers ; their shafts and Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier, Webs upon one another creak as the joints or working of a In the same coffin, for the self-same grave! resul in a tempestuous sea."
• Vide Pind. Olymp. iii. I. 156.
That way no more! and ill beseems it me, milits and Gentry of the Caledonian Hunt.
Who came a welcomer in herald's guise.
Singing of Glory, and Futurity,
· Most musical, most melancholy” bird ! To wander back on such unhealthful road, A melancholy bird ? Oh! idle ihought! Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill In nature there is nothing melancholy. Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths But some night-wandering man, whose heart was Strew'd before thy advancing !
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Nor do thou, Or slow distemper, or neglected love Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour (And so, poor Wretch! filled all things with himself Of my communion with thy nobler mind
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
Of his own sorrow), he and such as he,
When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs
By Sun or Moon-light, to the influxes
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
And youths and maidens most poetical, With momentary Stars of my own birth,
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring Fair constellated Foam,* still darting off
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still, Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea,
Full of meek sympathy, must heave their sighs Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the Moon. O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.
And when-O Friend ! my comforter and guide : My friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength
A different lore: we may not thus profane Thy long sustained song finally closed,
Nature's sweet voices, always full of love And thy deep voice had ceased—yet thou thyself And joyance ! "T is the merry Nightingale Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates That happy vision of beloved faces
With fast thick warble his delicious notes, Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
As he were fearful that an April night I sate, my being blended in one thought
Would be too short for him to utter forth (Thought was it? or Aspiration ? or Resolve ?) His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul Absorbid, yet hanging still upon the sound
Of all its music!
And I know a grove
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many Nightingales ; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
They answer and provoke each other's song, No cloud, no relic of the sunken day
With skirmish and capricious passagings, Distinguishes the West, 20 long thin slip
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. And one low piping sound more sweet than allCome, we will rest on this old moesy bridge ! Stirring the air with such a harmony, You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, That should you close your eyes, you might almoss But hear no murmuring : it flows silently, Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes, O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, A balmy night! and though the stars be dim, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright Taat gladden the green earth, and we shall find
and full, A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, Lights up her love-torch.
" A beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary intervals † This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superio coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and little stars to that of mere description. It is spoken in the character of the of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it: and every melancholy man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam author makes this remark, to rescue bimself from the charge darted off from the vessel's side, each with its own small con- of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton: a charge than stellation, over the sea, and scoured out of sight like a Tartar which none could be more painful to him, except perhaps that troop over a wilderness."— The Friend, p. 220.
of having ridiculed his Bible.
A most gentle Maid, By its own moods interprets, everywhere Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
Echo or mirror seeking of itself, Hard by the castle, and at latest eve
And makes a toy of Thought. (Even like a lady yow'd and dedicate To something more than Nature in the grove)
But O! how oft, Glides through the pathways ; she knows all their How oft, at school, with most believing mind noies,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, That gentle Maid! and oft a moment's space, To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft What time the Moon was lost behind a cloud, With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt Haih heard a pause of silence; till the Moon Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-toner Emerging, hath awaken'd earth and sky
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang With one sensation, and these wakeful Birds From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day, Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
So sweetly, that they stirr'd and haunted me As if some sudden gale had swept at once With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear A hundred airy harps ! And she haih watch'd Most like articulate sounds of things to come! Many a Nightingale perch'd giddily
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Fix'd with mock study on my swimming book :
Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, How he would place his hand beside his ear, Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm, His liule hand, the small forefinger up,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
In the great city, pent ’mid cloisters dim,
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth Che Frost performs its secret ministry, ('nhelp'd by any wind. The owlet's cry
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Came loud--and hark, again! loud as before.
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops Have left me to that solitude, which suits
fall Abstruser musings: save that at my side My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
Ileard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
TO A FRIEND.
TOGETHER WITH AN UNFINISHED POEM
Elaborate and swelling: yet the heart Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers
I ask not now, my friend! the aiding verse,
Embow'rs me from noon's sultry influence !
Of sober tint, and herbs of med'cinable powers!
Virtue and Truth shall love your gentler song'; But Poesy demands th' impassion'd theme : Waked by Heaven's silent dews at eve's mild gleam, What balmy sweets Pomona breathes around! But if the vext air rush a stormy stream, Or Autumn's shrill gust moan in plaintive sound, With fruits and flowers she loads the tempest
THE HOUR WHEN WE SHALL MEET AGAIN.
COMPOSED DURING ILLNESS AND IN ABSENCE.
DIM hour! that sleep'st on pillowing clouds" afar,
IV. ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS
THE THREE GRAVES. A FRAGMENT OF A SEXTON'S TALE.
[The Author has published the following humble fragment LINES TO JOSEPH COTTLE.
encouraged by the decisive recommendation of more than one
of our most celebrated living Poets. The language was inMy honor'd friend! whose verse concise, yet clear, tended to be dramatic; that is, suited to the narrator: and the Tunes to smooth melody unconquer'd sense,
metre corresponds to the homeliness of the diction. It is there
fore presented as the fragment, not of a Poem, but of a com May your fame fadeless live, as “never-sere"
mon Ballad-tale. Whether this is sufficient to justify the adop The ivy wreathes yon oak, whose broad defence tion of such a style, in any metrical composition not profesi
edly ludicrous, the Author is himself in some doubt. At all * I utterly recant the sentiment contained in the lines
events, it is not presented as Poetry, and it is in no way cob
nected with the Author's judgment concerning Poetic diction. Of whose omniscient and all-spreading love
Its merits, if any, are exclusively Psychological. The story Aught to implore were impotence of mind, it being written in Scripture, “ Ask, and it shall be given you," and my human reason being moreover convinced of the pro
*War, a Fragment. † John the Baptist, a Poer. priety of offering petitions as well as thanksgivings to the Deity. Monody on John Henderson.
which must be supposed to have been narrated in the first and second parts, is as follows,
Edward, a young farmer, meets, at the house of Ellen, her bosom friend, Mary, and commences an acquaintance, which ends in a mutual attachment. With her consent, and by the advice of their common friend Ellen, he announces his hopes and intentions to Mary's Mother, a widow-woman bordering on ber fortieth year, and from constant health, the possession of a competent property, and from having had no other children bat Mary and another daughter (the Father died in their infaf*), retaining, for the greater part, her personal attractions and comeliness of appearance; but a woman of low education and violent temper. The answer which she at once returned to Edward's application was remarkablem"Well, Edward ! you are a handsome young fellow, and you shall have my Daughter." From this time all their wooing passed under the Mother's eye; and, in fine, she became herself enamoured of her future Son-in-law, and practised every art, both of endearment and of calumpy, to transfer his affections from her daughter to herself. (The outlines of the Tale are positive facts, and of no very distant date, though the author has purposely altered the Dames and the scene of action, as well as invented the characters of the parties and the detail of the incidents.) Edward, howeret, though perplexed by her strange detraction from her daughter's good qualities, yet in the innocence of his own heart still mistaking her increasing fondness for motherly affection she, at length overcome by her miserable passion, after much abuse of Mary's temper and moral tendencies, exclaimed with violent ernotion—"Edward! indeed, indeed, she is not fit for you-she has not a heart to love you as you deserve. It is I that love you! Marry me, Edward! and I will this very day settle all my property on you."- The Lover's eyes were now opened, and thus taken by surprise, whether from the effect of the horror which he felt, acting as it were hysterically on his dervous system, or that at the first moment he lost the sense of the proposal in the feeling of its strangeness and absurdity, he floog her from him and burst into a fit of laughter. Irritated by this almost to frenzy, the woman fell on her knees, and in a Joud voice that approached to a scream, she prayed for a Curse both on him and on her own Child. Mary happened to be in the room directly above them, beard Edward's.laugh and her Mother's blasphemous prayer, and fainted away. He, hearing the fall, rao up stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried her off to Ellen's home; and after some fruitless attempts on her part toward a reconciliation with her Mother, she was married to him.-And here the third part of the Tale begins.
I was not led to choose this story from any partiality to tragie, much less to monstrous events (though at the time that I composed the verses, somewhat more than twelve years ago, I was less averse to such subjects than at present), but from finding in it a striking proof of the possible effect on the imagination, from an idea violently and suddenly impressed on it. I had been reading Bryan Edwards's account of the effect of the Osy Witchcraft on the Negroes in the West Indies, and Heame's deeply interesting Anecdotes of similar workings on the imagination of the Copper Indians (those of my readers who bave it in their power will be well repaid for the trouble of referring to those works for the passages alluded to), and I conceived the design of showing that instances of this kind are not Deculiar to savage or barbarous tribes, and of illustrating the mode in which the mind is affected in these cases, and the progress and symptoms of the morbid action on the fancy from the teginning.
(The Tale is supposed to be narratoil by an old Sexton, in a country church-yard, to a Traveller whose curiosity had been awakened by the appearance of three graves, close by each other, to two only of which there were grave-stones. On the first of these were the name, and dates, as usual: on the second, bo name, but only a date, and the words, The Mercy of God is infinie.
And o'er the church-path they return'd
I saw poor Mary's back, Just as she stepp'd beneath the boughs
Into the mossy track.
Her feet upon the mossy track
The married maiden set: That moment-I have heard her say
She wish'd she could forget.
The shade o'erflush'd her limbs with heat
Then came a chill like death: And when the merry bells rang out,
They seem'd to stop her breath.
Beneath the foulest Mother's curse
No child could ever thrive: A Mother is a Mother still,
The holiest thing alive.
So five month's passid : the Mother still
Would never heal the strife; But Edward was a loving man,
And Mary a fond wife.
"My sister may not visit us,
My mother says her nay: O Edward ! you are all to me, I wish for your sake I could be
More lifesome and more gay.
“I'm dull and sad ! indeed, indeed
I know I have no reason! Perhaps I am not well in health,
And 't is a gloomy season." 'Twas a drizzly time-no ice, no snow!
And on the few fine days She stirr'd not out, lest she might meet
Her Mother in her ways. But Ellen, spite of miry ways
And weather dark and dreary, Trudged every day to Edward's house, And made them all more cheery.
THE grapes upon the vicar's wall
Were ripe as ripe could be ; And yellow leaves in sun and wind
Were falling from the tree.