« PreviousContinue »
In soul from the iron bondage of my frame,
Vain boast! for in that desert's loneliness
In that dim trance, lo! something at my feet,
Nor grass nor herb, Nought but their own fair selves were smiling there, As if they all had sprouted suddenly,
Laden with full-blown blossoms, and with buds
A whispering wind, Self-born amid the silence, like a thought, A cheerful thought, not unembued with love, Nor unallied to tears, almost a sigh, Touched these sweet Harebells,—for I knew their names, Even through the uncertain glimmer of their blue And skiey beauty,—and a shower of pearls, Shook from their petals, bathed the stalks as fine As gossamer, and slipt along the leaves, The tiny leaves almost invisible Thus hid in dew, and as the dew expired, Now greener than the green of emeralds. Fancy, awakened by their loveliness, Believed one moment that she heard a chime From these blue bells, as from the magic reins Of that green-armoured elfin chivalry, That wont of old, beneath the moon and stars, In many a glittering squadron, through the woods And down the glens of Scotia to deploy, In long succession, while the lady-fern The cavalcade o'ershadowed, and the hind Or shepherd lonely and belated, viewed With beating heart, and with the holy sign Across his bosom drawn unconsciously, Ride by, the Fairy Queen and all her court!
But Fancy's dreams are transient in their flight,
All bended towards one central luminary,
The fine association filled
soul With an access of love, that overflowed My inmost being, like a flood of light Poured all at once into a room that fronts The East, when an impatient hand unbars A little bolt, and of our clay-built walls A window, to the windows of high heaven Exposed, lets morning in through all the house, Rejoicing in its tenant--the bright sun!
Still were the moorland Harebells beautiful In their own mute insensate nature, breathing Of God amid the wild; but from that shew So exquisite of heavenly workmanship, Emblems of beings far more exquisite In the endowment of immortal souls, I turned me round in gushing tenderness, And, manifest before my eyes, lo! stood Even the very flesh, no phantoms they, My own dear family, my children blest, And in the midst their mother-wife beloved ! The gentle one, whose gentle life they share,
Whose joy is oft like sadness, and her sadness
What love—what bliss—may be concentrated In one uprising of the soul within us, During one single comprehensive moment, In time a point, and as a sunbeam fleet, The swelling and the dying of a wave! Yet to the wondrous being who enjoys it, Like a long summer day, and deep and full Of mystery as the multitudinous sea. Unto the blessed phantoms, for indeed Phantoms they were, although I knew it not, Few were the tenderest words I did address In that my dear delusion! One I drew Close to my heart, within my folding arms, And with a father's prayer I kissed that head, So star-like, all the while her Christian name Murmuring, “my Mary !" and the child was blest ! Soon was her place most lovingly supplied By my bright Margaret, and the phantom sang Without my bidding, the sad favourite air That I might almost wish to hear her sing Upon my death-bed, for 't is like a hymn, And breathes of something far beyond the grave ! I felt a pressure on my knees; and lo! That merry elf, my rosy-cheeked Jane, Hung back her head with all its links of light, And laughed up in my face so joyously That in the sweet contagion of her glee I started, for an instant undeceived, At my own laughter in the wilderness. But wild, and likewise bold, as roes at play, Danced round me my two boys, then disappeared Behind a knoll, and then with shouts and springs Careering through the heather, breathless came Back to my feet, and laid them gently down, By pastime given into the arms of sleep. While, meekly standing, some small space apart,
That she might there more tranquilly enjoy
Like disenchanted flowerets at my feet!
BY THE HON. ST. GEORGE TUCKER.
Days of my youth! ye have glided away;
Days of my youth! I wish not your recall;
Days of my age! ye will shortly be past;