« PreviousContinue »
FROM THE SAME. TO THE SUPREME BEING.
The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed
If Thou the spirit give by which I pray:
My unassisted heart is barren clay,
Which of its native self can nothing feed:
Of good and pious works thou art the seed,
Which quickens only where thou say'st it may:
Unless thou shew to us thine own true way
No man can find it: Father! thou must lead.
Do Thou, then, breathe those thoughts into my mind
By which such virtue may in me be bred
That in thy holy footsteps I may tread;
The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind,
That I may have the power to sing of thee,
And sound thy praises everlastingly.
No mortal object did these eyes behold When first they met the placid light of thine, And my Soul felt her destiny divine, And hope of endless peace in me grew bold:Heaven-born, the Soul a heaven-ward course must hold; Beyond the visible world She soars to seek,
VOL. III. K
I Heard (alas! 'twas only in a dream)
* See the Phedo of Plato, by which this Sonnet was suggested.
The Stars are mansions built by Nature's hand;
And, haply, there the spirits of the blest
Live, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;
Huge Ocean frames, within his yellow strand,
A Habitation marvellously planned,
For life to occupy in love and rest;
All that we see — is dome, or vault, or nest,
Or fort, erected at her sage command.
Is this a vernal thought? Even so, the Spring
Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart,
Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring;
And while the youthful year's prolific art.—
Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower — was fashioning
Abodes, where self-disturbance hath no part.
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED THE PUBLICATION
See Milton's Sonnet, beginning
A Book came forth of late, called " Peter Bell;"
Not negligent the style; — the matter ? — good
As aught that song records of Robin Hood;
Or Roy, renowned through many a Scottish dell;
But some (who brook these hacknied themes full well,
Nor chafe, at Tam o' Shanter's name, their blood)
Waxed wroth, and with foul claws, a harpy brood,
On Bard and Hero clamorously fell.
Heed not, wild Rover once through heath and glen,
Who mad'st at length the better life thy choice,
Heed not such onset! nay, if praise of men
To thee appear not an unmeaning voice,
Lift up that grey-haired forehead, and rejoice
In the just tribute of thy Poet's pen!