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Eve's lingering clouds extend in solid bars

Through the grey west; and lo! these waters, steeled

By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield

A vivid repetition of the stars;

Jove — Venus — and the ruddy crest of Mars,

Amid his fellows, beauteously revealed

At happy distance from earth's groaning field,

Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.

Is it a mirror ? — or the nether sphere

Opening its vast abyss, while fancy feeds

On the rich show! — But list! a voice is near;

Great Pan himself low-whispering through the reeds.

"Be thankful thou; for, if unholy deeds

Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!"


OXFORD, MAT 30, 1820.

Ye sacred Nurseries of blooming Youth!

In whose collegiate shelter England's Flowers

Expand — enjoying through their vernal hours

The air of liberty, the light of truth;

Much have ye suffered from Time's gnawing tooth,

Yet, O ye Spires of Oxford! Domes and Towers 1

Gardens and Groves! your presence overpowers

The soberness of Reason; 'till, in sooth,

Transformed, and rushing on a bold exchange,

I slight my own beloved Cam, to range

Where silver Isis leads my stripling feet;

Pace the long avenue, or glide adown

The stream-like windings of that glorious street,

— An eager Novice robed in fluttering gown!


OXFORD, MAT 30, 1820.

Shame on this faithless heart! that could allow
Such transport — though but for a moment's space:
Not while — to aid the spirit of the place —
The crescent moon cleaves with its glittering prow
The clouds, or night-bird sings from shady bough:
But in plain day-light: — She, too, at my side,
Who, with her heart's experience satisfied,
Maintains inviolate its slightest vow.
Sweet Fancy! other gifts must I receive;
Proofs of a higher sovereignty I claim;
Take from her brow the withering flowers of Eve.
And to that brow Life's morning wreath restore;
Let her be comprehended in the frame
Of these illusions, or they please no more.



Ward of the Law ! — dread Shadow of a King!
Whose Realm had dwindled to one stately room;
Whose universe was gloom immersed in gloom,
Darkness as thick as Life o'er Life could fling,
Yet haply cheered with some faint glimmering
Of Faith and Hope; if thou, by nature's doom,
Gently hast sunk into the quiet tomb,
Why should we bend in grief, to sorrow cling,
When thankfulness were best?—Fresh-flowing tears,
Or, where tears flow not, sigh succeeding sigh,
Yield to such after-thought the sole reply
Which justly it can claim. The Nation hears
In this deep knell — silent for threescore years,
An unexampled voice of awful memory!


June, 1820.

Fame tells of Groves — from England far away —
* Groves that inspire the Nightingale to trill
And modulate, with subtle reach of skill
Elsewhere unmatched, her ever-varying lay;
Such bold report I venture to gainsay:
For I have heard the choir of Richmond hill
Chaunting with indefatigable bill;
While I bethought me of a distant day;
When, haply under shade of that same wood,
And scarcely conscious of the dashing oars
Plied steadily between those willowy shores,
The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons stood —
Listening, and listening long, in rapturous mood,
Ye heavenly Birds! to your Progenitors.

* Wallachia is the country alluded to.

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