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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.
But what, without the social thought of thee,
Thine ear, and find thy gentle heart; so well
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
I'll gather some by spells, and incantation.
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
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!
To one who has been long in city pent,
'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,
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER
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.
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,
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
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
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
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
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,
And meekly let your fair hands joineil be,
As if so gentle that ye could not see,
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
Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile :
He's gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath!
Is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling;
TO AILSA ROCK,
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 !
Now I direct my eyes into the West,
Spenserian vowels that elope with ease,
Who read for me the sonnet swelling loudly
Who found for me the grandeur of the ode,
Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load ?
Show'd me that epic was of all the king,
You too upheld the veil from Clio's beauty,
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,
What my enjoyments in my youthful years,
No, doubly no ;-yet should these rhymings please,
I shall roll on the grass with twofold ease ;
Of my rough verses not an hour misspent;
In lucent Thames reflected:-warm desires
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,
And peers among the cloudlets, jet and white,
The air that floated by me seem'u to say
“ 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,
Though with their grace I was not over-smitten,
Of a peculiar sort,—a consummation ;-
Verses from which the soul would never wean;
Was warm'd luxuriously by divine Mozart;
Since I have walk'd with you through shady lanes
That freshly terminate in open plains,
The north cannot undo them,
In a drear-nighted December,
Ah! would 't were so with many
No, nor till cordially you shook my hand