Page images
PDF
EPUB

POEMS OF THE FANCY.

A MORNING EXERCISE.

Fancs, who leads the pastimes of the glad,
Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw;
Sending sad shadows after things not sad,
Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe;
Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry
Becomes an echo of man's misery.

Blithe ravens croak of death; and when the owl Tries his two voices for a favourite strain Tu-uhil Tu-whoo! the unsuspecting fowl Forebodes mishap, or seems but to complain : Fancy, intent to harass and annoy, Can thus pervert the evidence of joy.

To the last point of vision, and beyond, Mount, daring warbler! -- that love-prompted strain, ('Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond) Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain : Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing All independent of the leafy spring.

How would it please old ocean to partake, With sailors longing for a breeze in vain, The harmony thy notes most gladly make Where earth resembles most his own domain! Urania's self might welcome with pleased ear These matins mounting towards her native sphere.

Chanter by heaven attracted, whom no bars To day-light known deter from that pursuit, ’T is well that some sage instinct, when the stars Come forth at evening, keeps thee still and mutc; For not an eyelid could to sleep incline Wert thou among them, singing as they shine!

Throngh border wilds where naked Indians stray, Myriads of notes attest her subtle skill; A feathered task-master cries, “ Work AWAY!" And, in thy iteration, “ WHIP POOR WILL," Is beard the spirit of a toil-worn slave, Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave!

TO THE DAISY.

[blocks in formation]

See Waterton's Wanderings in South America.

+ His muse.

137

And all day long I number yet,
All seasons through, another debt,
Which I, wherever thou art met,

To thee am owing;
An instinct call it, a blind sense ;
A happy, genial influence,
Coming one knows not how, nor whence,

Nor whither going.

Child of the year! that round dost run Thy course bold lover of the sun, And cheerful when the days begun

As morning Leveret, Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain; Dear shalt thou be to future men As in old time; – tho not in vain

Art Nature's favourite.

A WHIRL-BLAST from behind the hill Rushed o'er the wood with startling sound: Then - all at once the air was still, And showers of hail-stones pattered round Where leafless Oaks towered high abrie I sat within an undergrove Of tallest hollies, tall and greon; A fairer bower was never seen. From year to year the spacious floor With withered leaves is covered o'er, And all the year the bower is green, But see! where'er the hail-stones drop The withered leaves all skip and hop; There's not a breeze - no breath of airYet here, and there, and everywhere Along the floor, beneath the shade By those embowering hollies made, The leaves in myriads jump and spring, As if with pipes and music rare Some Robin Good-fellow were there, And all those leaves, in festive glee, Were dancing to the minstrelsy.

Whole summer fields are thine by right;
And Autumn, melancholy Wight!
Doth in thy crimson head delight

When rains are on thee.

In shoals and bands, a morrice train,
Thou greetest the Traveller in the lane;
If welcome thou countest it gain;

Thou art not daunted,
Nor carest if thou be set at naught:
And oft alone in nooks remote
We meet thee like a pleasant thought,

When such are wanted.

Be Violets in their secret mews
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose;
Proud be the Rose, with rains and dews

Her head impearling;
Thou livest with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame;
Thou art indeed by many a claim

The Poet's darling.

If to a rock from rains he fly,
Or, some bright day of April sky,
Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie

Near the green holly,
And wearily at length should fare;
He needs but look about, and there
Thou art!- a Friend at hand, to scare

His melancholy.

A hundred times, by rock or bower,
Ere thus I have lain couched an hour,
Have I derived from thy sweet power

Some apprehension ;
Come steady love; some brief delight;
Some memory that had taken flight;
Some chime of fancy wrong or right;

Or stray invention.

if stately passions in me burn,
And one chance look to Thee should turn,
I drink out of an humbler urn

A lowlier pleasure;
The homely sympathy that heeds
The common life our nature breeds;
A wisdom fitted to the needs

Of hearts at leisure.

When, smitten by the morning ray,
I see thee rise, alert and gay,
Then, cheerful Flower! my spirits play

With kindred gladness:
And when, at dusk, by dews opprest
Thou sink'st, the image of thy rest
Hath often eased my pensive breast

Of careful sadness.

THE GREEN LINNET.
BENEATH these fruit tree boughs that shed
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine'round me spread

Of spring's unclouded weather,
In this sequestered nook how sweet
To sit upon my Orchard-seat!
And birds and flowers once more to greet,

My last year's Friends together.
One have I marked, the happiest Guest
In all this covert of the blest:

Hail to Thee, far above the rest * See, in Chaucer and the elder Poets, the honours formerly paid to this flower

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Modest, yet withal an Elf Bold, and lavish of thyself; Since we needs must first have met I have seen thee, high and low, Thirty years or more, and yet 'Twas a face I did not know; Thou hast now, go where I may, Fifty greetings in a day. Ere a leaf is on a bush, In the time before the Thrush Has a thought about her nest, Thou wilt come with half a call, Spreading out thy glossy breast Like a careless Prodigal; Telling tales about the sun, When we've little warmth or none. Poets, vain men in their mood ! Travel with the multitude; Never heed them; I aver That they are all wanton Wooers; But the thrifty Cottager, Who stirs little out of doors, Joys to spy thee near her home; Spring is coming, Thou art come! Comfort have thou of thy merit, Kindly, unassuming Spirit ! Careless of thy neighbourhood, Thou dost show thy pleasant face On the moor, and in the wood, In the lane - there's not a place, Howsoever mean it be, But 't is good enough for thee. I befall the yellow Flowers, Children of the flaring hours ! Buttercups, that will be seen, Whether we will see or no; Others, too, of lofty mien; They have done as worldlings do, Taken praise that should be thine, Little, humble Celandine! Prophet of delight and mirth, Ill-requited upon earth ; Herald of a mighty band, Of a joyous train ensuing, Serving at my heart's command, Tasks that are no tasks renewing, I will sing as doth behove, Hymns in praise of what I love !

Celandine! and long ago, Praise of which I nothing know. I have not a doubt but he, Whosoe'er the man might be, Who the first with pointed rays (Workmen worthy to be sainted) Set the sign-board in a blaze, When the rising sun he painted, Took the fancy from a glance At thy glittering countenance. Soon as gentle breezes bring News of winter's vanishing, And the children build their bowers Sticking 'kerchief-plots of mould All about with full-blown flowers, Thick as sheep in shepherd's fold. With the proudest thou art there, Mantling in the tiny square. Often have I sighed to measure By myself a lonely pleasure, Sighed to think, I read a book Only read, perhaps, by me; Yet I long could overlook Thy bright coronet and Thee, And thy arch and wily ways, And thy store of other praise. Blithe of heart from week to week Thou dost play at hide-and-seek; While the patient primrose sits Like a Beggar in the cold, Thou, a Flower of wiser wits, Slip’st into thy sheltering hold; Liveliest of the vernal train When ye all are out again. Drawn by what peculiar spell, By what charm of sight or smell, Does the dim-eyed curious Bee, Labouring for her waxen cells, Fondly settle upon Thee, Prized above all buds and bells Opening daily at thy side, By the season multiplied ? Thou art not beyond the moon, But a thing “beneath our shoon :" Let the bold Discoverer thrid In his bark the polar sea; Rear who will a pyramid; Praise it is enough for me, If there be but three or four Who will love my little Flower.

TO THE SAME FLOWER. PLEASURES newly found are sweet When they lie about our feet: February last, my heart First at sight of thee was glad; All unheard of as thou art, Thou must needs, I think, have had,

THE WATERFALL AND THE EGLANTINE.

BEGONE, thou fond presumptuous Elf,"
Exclaimed an angry Voice,
“Nor dare to trust thy foolish self
Between me : choice."

« PreviousContinue »