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ODE TO SARA,

WRITTEN AT SHURTON BARS, NEAR BRIDGWATER SEPTEM

BER, 1795, IN ANSWER TO A LETTER FROM BRISTOL.

[The first Stanza alludes to a Passage in the Letter.]

Nor travels my meand'ring eye
The starry wilderness on high ;

Nor now with curious sight
I mark the glow-worm, as I pass,
Move with “green * radiance" thro' the grass,

An Emerald of Light..

O ever-present to my view!
My wafted spirit is with you,

And sooths your boding fears :
I see you all oppress'd with gloom
Sit lonely in that cheerless room-

Ah me! You are in tears !

Beloved Woman ! did you fly
Chillid Friendship's dark disliking eye,

Or Mirth's untimely din ?
With cruel weight these trifles press
A temper sore with Tenderness,

When aches the void within.

* The expression “green radiance” is borrowed from Mr. Wordsworth, a Poet whose versification is occasionally harsh, and his diction too frequently obscure; but whom I deem unrivalled among the writers of the present day, in manly sentiment, novel imagery, and vivid colouring.

But why with sable wand unbless'd
Should Fancy rouse within my breast

Dim-visag'd shapes of Dread ?
Untenanting its beauteous clay
My Sara's soul has wing'd its way,

And hovers round my head !

I felt it prompt the tender Dream,
When slowly sunk the day's last gleam ;

You rous'd each gentler sense,
As sighing o'er the Blossom's bloom,
Meek Evening wakes its soft perfume

With viewless influence.

And hark, my Love! The sea-breeze moans Thro' yon reft house! O'er rolling stones

With broad impetuous sweep, The fast encroaching tides supply The silence of the cloudless sky

With mimic thunders deep.

Dark-red’ning from the channel'd Isle *
(Where stands one solitary pile

Unslated by the blast)
The Watchfire, like a sullen star,
Twinkles to many a dozing Tar

Rude-cradled on the mast.

Ev'n there-beneath that light-house tower-
In the tumultuous evil hour

Ere Peace with Sara came,
Time was, I should have thought it sweet

* The Holmes, in the Bristol Channel.

To count the echoings of my feet,

And watch the troubled flame.

And there in black and jaundic'd fit
A sad gloom-pamper'd Man to sit,

And listen to the roar:
When mountain Surges bellowing deep
With an uncouth monster leap

Plung'd foaming on the shore.

Then by the Lightning's blaze to mark
Some toiling tempest-shatter'd bark;

Her vain distress-guns hear:
And when a second sheet of light
Flash'd o'er the blackness of the night-

To see no Vessel there!

But Fancy now more gaily sings ;
Or if awhile she droop her wings,

As sky-larks mid the corn,
On summer fields she grounds her breast :
Th’ oblivious Poppy o'er her nest

Nods, till returning morn. ,

O mark those smiling tears, that swell The open’d Rose! From heaven they fell,

And with the sun-beam blend ; Blest visitations from above : Such are the tender woes of Love

Fost'ring the heart, they bend !

When stormy Midnight howling round
Beats on our roof with clatt'ring sound,
To me your arms you'll stretch :

Great God ! you'll say—To us so kind,
O shelter from this loud bleak wind

The houseless, friendless wretch !

The tears that tremble down your cheek,
Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek

In Pity's dew divine ;
And from your heart the sighs that steal
Shall make your rising bosom feel

The answ'ring swell of mine!

How oft, my Love! with shapings sweet
I paint the moment, we shall meet!

With eager speed I dart -
I seize you in the vacant air,
And fancy, with a Husband's care

I press you to my heart !

'Tis said, on Summer's evening hour
Flashes the golden-colourd flower *

A fair electric flame:
And so shall flash my love-charg'd eye
When all the heart's big ecstacy

Shoots rapid thro' the frame !

COMPOSED AT CLEVEDON,

SOMERSETSHIRE.

My pensive Sara ! thy soft cheek reclin'd
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is

• Light from plants. In Sweden a very curious phenomenon has been observed on certain flowers by M. Haggern, lecturer in natural

To sit beside out cot, our cot o'er grown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow-sad'ning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field! and the world so hush'd !
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of Silence. And that simplest Lute
Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark !
How by the desultory breeze caress’d,
Like some coy Maid half-yielding to her Lover,

history. One evening he perceived a faint flash of light repeatedly dart from a marigold. Surprised at such an uncommon appearance, he resolved to examine it with attention; and, to be assured it was no deception of the eye, he placed a man near him, with orders to make a signal at the moment when he observed the light. They both saw it constantly at the same moment.

The light was most brilliant on marigolds of an orange or flame colour ; but scarcely visible on pale ones.

The flash was frequently seen on the same flower two or three times in quick succession ; but more commonly at intervals of several minutes; and when several flowers in the same place emitted their light together, it could be observed at a considerable distance.

This phenomenon was remarked in the months of July and August at sun-set, and for half an hour, when the atmosphere was clear; but after a rainy day, or when the air was loaded with vapours nothing of it was seen.

The following flowers emitted flashes, more or less vivid, in this order :

1. The marigold, galendula officinalis.
2. Monk's-hood, tropælum majus.
3. The or nge-lily, lilium bulbiferum.

4. The Indian pink, tagetes patula & erecta. From the rapidity of the flash, and other circumstances, it may be conjectured that there is something of electricity in this phenomenon.

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