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With these the magic dews, which Evening brings,
Brush'd from the Idalian star by fairy wings:
Each tender pledge of sacred Faith he join’d,
Each gentler pleasure of th' unspotted mind-
Day-dreams, whose tints with sportive brightness glow,
And Hope, the blameless parasite of Woe.
The eyeless Chemist heard the process rise,
The steamy chalice bubbled up in sighs;
Sweet sounds transpir’d, as when the enamour'd dove
Pours the soft murm'ring of responsive love.
The finish'd work might Envy vainly blame,
And “ Kisses” was the precious compound's name.
With half the God his Cyprian mother blest,
And breath'd on Sara's lovelier lips the rest,
An cease thy tears and sobs, my little Life!
I did but snatch away the unclasp'd knife:
Some safer toy will soon arrest thine eye
And to quick laughter change this peevish cry!
Poor stumbler on the rocky coast of Woe,
Tutor’d by Pain each source of pain to know !
Alike the foodful fruit and scorching fire,
Or rouse thy screams or wake thy young desire:
Yet art thou wise, for 'mid thy brief alarms
Thou closely clingest to thy Mother's arms,
Nestling thy little face in that fond breast
Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy rest!
Man's breathing miniature ! thou mak'st me sigh-
A Babe art thou—and such a thing am I!
ON THE CHRISTENING OF A FRIEND'S CHILD, 75
To anger rapid, and as soon appeas'd,
For trifles mourning and by trifles pleas'd,
Break friendship's mirror with a fretful blow
Yet snatch what coals of fire on Pleasure's altar glow !
O thou that rearest with celestial aim
The future Seraph in my mortal frame,
Thrice holy Faith! whatever thorns I meet
As on I totter with unpractis'd feet,
Still let me stretch my arms and cling to thee,
Meek Nurse of souls thro’ their long infancy!
ON THE CHRISTENING OF A FRIEND'S CHILD.
This day among the faithful plac'd
And fed with fontal manna ;
O with maternal title grac'd
Dear Anna's dearest Anna!
While others wish thee wise and fair,
A maid of spotless fame,
I'll breathe this more compendious prayer-
May'st thou deserve thy name!
Thy Mother's name, a potent spell,
That bids the Virtues hie
From mystic grove and living cell,
Confess’d to Fancy's eye ;
Meek Quietness without offence ;
Content in homespun kirtle;
True Love; and True Love's Innocence,
White blossom of the myrtle !
ON THE CHRISTENING OF A FRIEND'S CHILD.
Associates of thy name, sweet Child !
These Virtues may'st thou win;
With face as eloquently mild
To say, they lodge within.
So, when her tale of days all flown,
Thy Mother shall be miss'd here;
When Heaven at length shall claim its own,
And angels snatch their sister;
Some hoary-headed friend, perchance,
May gaze with stifled breath;
And oft, in momentary trance,
Forget the waste of death.
Ev’n thus a lovely rose I view'd
In summer-swelling pride;
Nor mark'd the bud, that green and rude,
Peep'd at the rose's side.
It chanc'd, I pass'd again that way
In Autumn's latest hour,
And wond'ring saw the self-same spray
Rich with the self-same flower.
Ah fond deceit! the rude green bud
Alike in shape, place, name,
Had bloom'd, where bloom'd its parent stud,
Another and the same!
No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the west, no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge !
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring; it flows silently
O'er its soft bed of verdure, All is still,
A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark! the nightingale begins its song,
"Most musical, most melancholy *" bird !
A melancholy bird ? O idle thought!
In nature there is nothing melancholy.
-But some night-wandring man, whose heart was pierced
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Or slow distemper, or neglected love,
(And so, poor wretch! filled all things with himself,
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
Of his own sorrows) he and such as he
First named these notes a melancholy strain :
And many a poet echoes the conceit;
* This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description : it is spoken in the character of the melancholy man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The anthor makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton: a charge than which none could be more painful to him, except, perhaps, that of having ridiculed his Bible.
Poet, who hath been building up the rhyme
When he had better far have stretched his limbs
Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell,
By sun or moon-light, to the influxes
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
And of his fame forgetful! so his fame
Should share in nature's immortality,
A venerable thing! and so his song
Should make all nature lovlier, and itself
Be loved, like nature !-But 'twill not be so;
And youths and maidens most poetical,
Who lose the deep’ning twilights of the spring
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still
Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs
O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.
My friend, and my friend's sister! we have learnt
A different lore: we may not thus profane
Nature's sweet voices always full of love
And joyance! 'Tis the merry Nightingale
Thạt crowds, and huries, and precipitates,
With fast thick warble, his delicious notes,
As he were fearful that an April night
Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
Of all its music! and I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
Which the great lord inhabits not : and so
This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
And the trim walks are broken
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many Nightingales : and far and near
In wood and thicket over the wide grove