Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

of pleasure's temple.—Round about were hung E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write, The glorious features of the bards who sung

Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping In other ages-cold and sacred busts

So scantly, that it seems her bridal night, Smiled at each other. Happy he who trusts

And she her half-discover'd revels keeping.
To clear Futurity his darling fame!

But what, without the social thought of thee,
Then there were fauns and satyrs taking aim Would be the wonders of the sky and sea ?
At swelling apples with a frisky leap,
And reaching fingers 'mid a luscious heap
Of vine-leaves. Then there rose to view a fane

TO
Of liney marble, and thereto a train
Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the sward : Had I a man's fair form, then might my sighs
One, loveliest, holding her white hand toward Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell
The dazzling sunrise : two sisters sweet

Thine ear, and find thy gentle heart; so well
Bending their graceful figures till they meet Would passion arm me for the enterprise :
Over the trippings of a little child :

But ah! I am no knight whose foeman dies ; And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild

No cuirass glistens on my bosom's swell; Thrilling liquidity of dewy piping.

I am no happy shepherd of the dell See, in another picture, nymphs are wiping Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes. Cherishingly Diana's timorous limbs ;

Yet must I dote upon thee,-call thee sweet, A fold of lawny mantle dabbling swims

Sweeter by far than Hybla's honey'd roses
At the bath's edge, and keeps a gentle niotion When steep'd in dew rich to intoxication.
With the subsiding crystal : as when ocean Ah! I will taste that dew, for me 'tis meet,
Heaves calmly its broad swelling smoothness o'er And when the moon her pallid face discloses,
Ils rocky marge, and balances once more

I'll gather some by spells, and incantation.
The patient weeds; that now unshent by foam,
Feel all about their undulating home.
Sappho's meek head was there half smiling down
At nothing ; just as though the earnest frown

WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT LEFT

PRISON. Of over-thinking had that moment gone From off her brow, and left her all alone. What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,

Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he

In his immortal spirit, been as free Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes,

As the sky-searching lark, and as elate. As if he always listen'd to the sighs

Minion of grandeur! think you he did wait? Of the goaded world ; and Kosciusko's, worn

Think you he naught but prison-walls did see, By horrid sufferance-mightily forlorn.

Till, so unwilling, thou unturn'dst the key?

Ah, no! far happier, nobler was his fate! Petrarch, out-stepping from the shady green, In Spenser's halls he stray'd, and bowers fair, Starts at the sight of Laura ; nor can wean

Culling enchanted flowers; and he flew His eyes from her sweet face. Most happy they! With daring Milton through the fields of air : For over them was seen a free display

To regions of his own, his genius true Of outspread wings, and from between them shone Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair The face of Poesy: from off her throne

When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew? She overlook'd things that I scarce could tell, The very sense of where I was might well Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that there came Thought after thought to nourish up the flame How many bards gild the lapses of time! Within my breast; so that the morning light

A few of them have ever been the food Surprised me even from a sleepless night;

of my delighted fancy.— I could brood And up I rose refresh'd, and glad, and gay,

Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime : Resolving to begin that very day

And often, when I sit me down to rhyme, These lines; and howsoever they be done,

These will in throngs before my mind intrude : I leave them as a father does his son.

But no confusion, no disturbance rude
Do they occasion ; 't is a pleasing chime.
So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store ;

The songs of birds—the whisp'ring of the leaves

The voice of waters—the great bell that heaves SONNETS.

With solemn sound, and thousand others more, That distance of recognizance bereaves,

Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar. MANY the wonders I this day have seen :

The sun, when first he kist away the tears

That fillid the eyes of Morn;—the laurell'd peers Who from the feathery gold of evening lean ;

TO A FRIEND WHO SENT ME SOME ROSES. The Ocean with its vastness, its blue green, As late I rambled in the happy fields,

Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,— What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears

From his lush clover covert :-when anew Must think on what will be, and what has been. Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields :

TO MY BROTHER GEORGE

I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields, KEEN fitful gusts are whispering here and there

A fresh-blown musk-rose; 't was the first that threw Among the bushes, half leafless and dry;

Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew The stars look very cold about the sky, As is the wand that queen Titania wields. And I have many nuiles on foot to fare. And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,

Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air, I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd;

Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily, But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me,

Or of those silver lamps that buru on high, My sense with their deliciousness was spellid : Or of the distance from home's pleasant lair: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea For I am brimful of the friendliness Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness That in a little cottage I have found; unquellid.

Of fair-hair’d Milton's eloquent distress,

And all his love for gentle Lycid' drown'd; of lovely Laura in her light-green dress,

And faithful Petrarch gloriously crown'd.

TO G. A. W.

Nymph of the downward smile, and sidelong glance!
In what diviner moments of the day

To one who has been long in city pent,
Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray

'Tis very sweet to look into the fair Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance ?

And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer Or when serenely wand'ring in a trance Of sober thought? Or when starting away,

Full in the smile of the blue firmament. With careless robe to meet the morning ray,

Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,

Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance ?

Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair Haply 't is when thy ruby lips part sweetly,

And gentle tale of love and languishment ? And so remain, because thou listenest :

Returning home at evening, with an ear But thou to please wert nurtured so completely

Catching the notes of Philomel,-an eye That I can never tell what mood is best. I shall as soon pronounce which Grace more neatly Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career, Trips it before Apollo than the rest.

He mourns that day so soon has glided by: E'en like the passage of an angel's tear

That falls through the clear ether silently.

O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap

ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER
Of murky buildings : climb with me the steep.- Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
Nature's observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,

And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep

Round many western islands have I been 'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's swift Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. leap,

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.

That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne: But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,

Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Whose words are images of thoughts refined,

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be

When a new planet swims into his ken; Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,

Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

He stared at the Pacific-and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise

Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

TO MY BROTHERS.
SMALL, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,

ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS AT AN EARLY HOUL And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep Give me a golden pen, and let me lean

Like whispers of the household gods that keep On heap'd-up flowers, in regions clear, and far A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.

Bring me a tablet whiter than a star, And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles, Or hand of hymning angel, when 't is seen Your eyes are fix’d, as in poetic sleep,

The silver strings of heavenly harp atween: Upon the lore so voluble and deep,

And let there glide by many a pearly car, That aye at fall of night our care condoles.

Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar, This is your birth-day, Tom, and I rejoice

And half-discover'd wings, and glances keen. That thus it passes smoothly, quietly,

The while let music wander round my ears, Many such eves of gently whisp'ring noise

And as it reaches each delicious ending, May we together pass, and calmly try

Let me write down a line of glorious tone, What are this world's true joys,-ere the great Voice, and full of many wonders of the spheres : From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.

For what a height my spirit is contending! November 18, 1816.

'Tis not content so soon to be alone.

It tells me too, that on a happy day,
ADDRESSED TO HAYDON.

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 ont 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 arıless daughters;

Enough their simple loveliness for me,

Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging : ADDRESSED TO THE SAME.

Yet do I often warmly burn to see Great spirits now on earth are sojourning :

Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing,

And float with them about the summer waters. He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,

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
Listen awhile, ye nations, and be dumb.

Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look

On mists in idleness—to let fair things
ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET.

Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.

He has his winter too of pale misfeature, The poetry of earth is never dead :

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—be 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 heneath some pleasant weed.

Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white,
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:

And meekly let your fair hands joineil be,
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills Untouchd, a victim of your beauty bright,

As if so gentle that ye could not see,
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,

Sinking away to his young spirit's night, And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,

Sinking bewilderd 'rnid 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 weary 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;
It comes upon us like the glorious pealing

TO AILSA ROCK,
Of the wide spheres—an everlasting tone.
And now it tells me, that in worlds unknown, HEARKEN, thou craggy ocean pyramid !

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 !

ness.

Now I direct my eyes into the West,

Spenserian vowels that elope with ease,
Which at this moment is in sunbeams drest : And float along like birds o'er summer seas:
Why westward turn? "T was but to say 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 read for me the sonnet swelling loudly
Up to its climax, and then dying proudly?

Who found for me the grandeur of the ode,
TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE.

Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load ?
OFT have you seen a swan superbly frowning, Who let me taste that more than cordial dram,
And with proud breast his own white shadow crown. The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram?
ing;

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 stern 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,
But not a moment can he there insure them, Bereft of all that now my life endears!
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them; And can I e'er these benefits forget?
For down they rush as though they would be free, And can I e'er repay the friendly debt?
And drop like hours into eternity.

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 pennd 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 litt 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 llelicon-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 flowers : 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'u 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 swellid with pathos, and what right divine: Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;

[ocr errors]

The north cannot undo them,
With a slcety whistle through them ;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look ;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 't were so with many
A gentle girl and boy !
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steal it,
Was never said in rhyme.

607

No, nor till cordially you shook my hand
Midway between our homes your accents bland
Still sounded in my ears, when I no more
Could hear your footsteps touch the gravelly floor.
Sometimes I lost them, and then found again;
You changed the foot-path for the grassy plain.
In those still moments I have wish'd you joys
That well you know to honor :-" Life's very toys
With him," saia I. “will take a pleasant charm;
It cannot be that aught will work him harm."
These thoughts now come o'er me with all their

might :-
Again I shake your hand,—friend Charles, good-night.

September, 1816.

STANZAS.
IN a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:

THE END.

« AnteriorContinuar »