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His aged heart P no happy wiles
To cheat the hoary one to smiles P
Onward he comes — the cruel North
Pours his furious whirlwind forth
Before him — and we breathe the breath
Of famished bears that howl to death.
Onward he comes from rocks that blanch
O'er solid, streams that never flow ;
His tears all ice, his locks all snow,
Just crept from some huge avalanche –
A thing half-breathing and half-warm,
As if one spark began to glow
Within some statue's marble form,
Or pilgrim stiffened in the storm.
O! will not Mirth's light arrows fail
To pierce that frozen coat of mail P
O! will not joy but strive in vain
To light up those glazed eyes again?
No! take him in, and blaze the oak, And pour the wine, and warm the ale; His sides shall shake to many a joke, His tongue shall thaw in many a tale, His eyes grow bright, his heart be gay, And even his palsy charmed away. What heeds he then the boisterous shout Of angry winds that scold without, Like shrewish wives at tavern door P What heeds he then the wild uproar Of billows bursting on the shore? In dashing waves, in howling breeze, There is a music that can charm him ; When safe, and sheltered, and at ease, He hears the storm that cannot harm him.
But hark those shouts that sudden din
Of little hearts that laugh within.
O! take him where the youngsters play,
And he will grow as young as they!
They come ! they come ! each blue-eyed Sport,
The Twelfth-Night King and all his court —
'Tis Mirth fresh crowned with mistletoe
Music with her merry fiddles,
Joy “on light fantastic toe,”
Wit with all his jests and riddles,
Singing and dancing as they go.
And Love, young Love, among the rest,
A welcome — nor unbidden guest.
But still for Summer dost thou grieve? Then read our poets — they shall weave A garden of green fancies still, Where thy wish may rove at will. They have kept for after treats The essences of summer sweets, And echoes of its songs that wind In endless music through the mind: They have stamped in visible traces The “thoughts that breathe,” in words that shine The flights of soul in suñny places — To greet and company with thine. These shall wing thee on to flowers— The past or future that shall seem All the brighter in thy dream For blowing in such desert hours. The summer never shines so bright As thought of in a winter's night; And the sweetest, loveliest rose Is in the bud before it blows;
The dear one of the lover's heart
Is painted to his longing eyes,
In charms she ne'er can realize —
But when she turns again to part.
Dream thou then, and bind thy brow
With wreath of fancy roses now,
And drink of summer in the cup
Where the Muse hath mixed it up;
The “dance, and song, and sun-burnt mirth,”
With the warm nectar of the earth:
Drink! 'twill glow in every vein,
And thou shalt dream the winter through:
Then waken to the sun again,
And find thy summer vision true!
I SAw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn; —
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.
Where are the songs of Summer P- With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the South,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds?— Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
Lest owls should prey
Undazzled at noon-day, And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes. Where are the blooms of Summer ? — In the west, Blushing their last to the last sunny hours, When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest Like tearful Proserpine, snatched from her flowers
To a most gloomy breast. Where is the pride of Summer, — the green prime, The many, many leaves all twinkling P-Three On the mossed elm ; three on the naked lime Trembling, — and one upon the old oak tree
Where is the Dryad's immortality?— Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew, Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through In the smooth holly's green eternity. The squirrel gloats on his accomplished hoard, The ants have brimmed their garners with ripe grain, And honey-bees have stored The sweets of summer in their luscious cells; The swallows all have winged across the main; But here the Autumn melancholy dwells, And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
Upon a mossy stone,
She sits and reckons up the dead and gone,
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the withered world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drownéd past
In the hushed mind's mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.
O, go and sit with her, and be o'ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair :
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care; —
There is enough of withered every where
To make her bower, — and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, - whose doom
Is Beauty's, - she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light; —
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear, –
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!
A LAKE and a fairy boat
To sail in the moonlight clear, –
And merrily we would float
From the dragons that watch us here!
Thy gown should be snow-white silk :
And strings of orient pearls,
Like gossamers dipped in milk,
Should twine with thy raven curls!
Red rubies should deck thy hands,
And diamonds should be thy dower —
But fairies have broke their wands,
And wishing has lost its power!