Page images

“This visage tells thee that my doom is past :
Of sense were able to return as fast
Calm pleasures there abide- majestic pains.

He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space; “Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
Accept the gift, behold him face to face!"

Rebellious passion: for the Gods approve

The depth, and not the lumult, of the soul; Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to clasp; A fervent, not ungovernable love. Again that consummation she essayed;

Thy transports moderate; and meekly mourn But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp

When I depart, for brief is my sojourn —"
As often as that eager grasp was made.
The Phantom parts -- but parts to re-unite,

“Ah, wherefore? - Did not Hercules by force And re-assume his place before her sight.

Wrest from the guardian Monster of the tomb

Alcestis, a reanimated Corse, “Protesiláus, lo! thy guide is gone!

Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom? Confirm, I pray, the Vision with thy voice:

Medea's spells dispersed the weight of years, This is our Palace, — yonder is thy throne;

And Æson stood a Youth 'mid youthful peers, Speak, and the floor thou treadest on will rejoice. Not to appal me have the Gods bestowed

“The Gods to us are merciful — and they This precious boon, — and blest a sad Abode.” Yet further may relent: for mightier far

Than strength of nerve and sinew, or the sway “Great Jove, Laodamia! doth not leave

Of magic potent over sun and star, His gifts imperfect:- Spectre though I be,

Is love, though oft to agony distrest, I am not sent to scare thee or deceive;

And though his favourite seat be feeble Woman's breast But in reward of thy fidelity. And something also did my worth obtain ;

“But if thou goest, I follow _" "Peace!" he said – For fearless virtue bringeth boundless gain,

She looked upon him and was calmed and cheered,

The ghastly colour from his lips had Aled; 'Thou knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold

In his deportment, shape, and mien, appeared That the first Greek who touched the Trojan strand Elysian beauty, melancholy grace, Should die ; but me the threat could not withhold;

Brought from a pensive though a happy place. A generous cause a Victim did demand; And forth I leapt upon the sandy plain ;

He spake of love, such love as Spirits feel A self-devoted chief — by Hector slain.”

In worlds whose course is equable and pure;

No fears to beat away — no strife to heal — “Supreme of Heroes -- bravest, noblest, best !

The past unsighed for, and the future sure; Thy matchless courage I bewail no more,

Spake of heroic arts in mood

graver Which then, when tens of thousands were deprest

Revived, with finer harmony pursued ; By doubt, propelled thee to the fatal shore ;

here thou art Of all that is most beauteous — imaged there Thou found'st -- and I forgive thee

In happier beauty : more pellucid streams,
A nobler counsellor than my poor heart.

An ampler ether, a diviner air,
And fields invested with purpureal gleams;
Climes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day
Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.
Yet there the Soul shall enter which hath earned
That privilege by virtue. — “ III," said he,
The end of man's existence I discerned,
Who from ignoble games and revelry
Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight
While tears were thy best pastime — day and night:
And while my youthful peers, before my eyes
(Each Hero following his peculiar bent)
Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise
By martial sports, — or, seated in the tent,
Chieftains and kings in council were detained ;

What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained.
Earth destroys

The wished-for wind was given :- I then revolved
The oracle, upon the silent sea;

“But thou, though capable of sternest deed,
Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave;
And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed
That thou should’st cheat the malice of the grave;
Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair
As when their breath enriched Thessalian air,

“No Spectre greets me, - - no vain Shadow this;
Come, blooming Hero, place thee by my side !
Give, on this well known couch, one nuptial kiss
To me, this day, a second time thy bride!"
Jove frowned in heaven: the conscious Parcæ threw
Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue.

Know, virtue were not virtue if the joys

And surely as they vanish.
Those raptures duly - Erebus disdains:

[merged small][ocr errors]

Yet bitter, ofl-times bitter, was the pang
When of thy loss I thought, beloved Wife!

On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
Le And on the joys we shared in mortal life, -
The paths which we had trod — these fountains

flowers ;
My new-planned Cities, and unfinished Towers.

And ever, when such stature they had gained
That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
The trees' tall summits withered at the sight;
A constant interchange of growth and blight !* |
An judo he uitly whovo demping red
iter who is reasont spite hit wit out cine
was in a transpalvica thens,
Welurred from tlu saling yolce et tinued

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

and these trail elements, to father flowers of the point. THE TRIAD.

THE TRJAD: cadrang berater o . Show me the noblest Youth of present time


Whose trembling fancy would to love give birth;
Some God or Hero, from the Olympian clime
Returned, to seek a Consort upon earth;
Or, in no doubtful prospect, let me see
The brightest star of ages yet to be,
And I will mate and match him blissfully.

I will not fetch a Naiad from a flood
Pure as herself - (song lacks not mightier power)
Nor leaf-crowned Dryad from a pathless wood,
Nor Sea-nymph glistening from her coral bower;
Mere Mortals bodied forth in vision still,
Shall with Mount Ida's triple lustre fill
T'he chaster coverts of a British bill.

“Appear! obey my lyre's command !
Come, like the Graces, hand in hand!
For ye, though not by birth allied,
Are Sisters in the bond of love;
And not the boldest tongue of envious pride
In you those interweavings could reprove
Which They, the progeny of Jove,
Learnt from the tuneful spheres that glide
In endless union earth and sea above."
- I speak in vain, — the pines have hushed their

waving :
A peerless Youth expectant at my side,
Breathless as they, with unabated craving
Looks to the earth, and to the vacant air ;
And, with a wandering eye that seems to chide,
Asks of the clouds what Occupants they hide :
But why solicit more than sight could bear,
By casting on a moment all we dare?
Invoke we those bright Beings one by one,
And what was boldly promised, truly shall be done.

“Fear not this constraining measure!
Drawn by a poetic spell,
Lucida! from domes of pleasure,
Or from cottage-sprinkled dell,

* For the account of these long-lived trees, see Pliny's Natu ral History, lib. xvi. cap. 44.; and for the features in the charac ter of Protesilaus, see the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides. Virgil places the Shade of Laodamia in a mournful region, among unhappy Lovers,

His Laodamia
It Comes

[blocks in formation]

Come to regions solitary,

She hastens to the tents
Where the eagle builds her aery,

Of nature, and the lonely eleinents.
Above the hermit's long-forsaken cell!"

Air sparkles round her with a dazzling sheen, - She comes !- behold

And mark her glowing cheek, her vesture green That Figure, like a ship with silver sail!

And, as if wishful to disarm Nearer she draws- a breeze uplifts her veil Or to repay the potent charm, Upon her coming wait

She bears the stringed lute of old romance, As pure a sunshine and as soft a gale

That cheered the trellised arbour's privacy, As e'er on herbage covering earthly mould, And soothed war-wearied knights in raftered hall

, Tempted the bird of Juno to unfold

How light her air ! how delicate her glee! His richest splendour, when his veering gait So tripped the Muse, inventress of the dance; And every motion of his starry train

So, truant in waste woods, the blithe Euphrosyne ! Seem governed by a strain Of music, audible to him alone.

But the ringlets of that head O Lady, worthy of earth's proudest throne! Why are they ungarlanded ! Nor less, by excellence of nature, fit

Why bedeck her temples less
Beside an unambitious hearth to sit

Than the simplest shepherdess?
Domestic queen, where grandeur is unknown; Is it not a brow inviting
What living man could fear

Choicest fowers that ever breathed,
The worst of Fortune's malice, wert thou near, Which the myrtle would delight in
Humbling that lily stem, thy sceptre meek,

With Idalian rose enwreathed ? That its fair flowers may brush from off his cheek But her humility is well content The too, too happy tear?

With one wild floweret (call it not forlorn) Queen and handmaid lowly!

FLOWER OF THE WINDS, beneath her bosom worn, Whose skill can speed the day with lively cares, Yet is it more for love than ornament. And banish melancholy

Open, ye thickets! let her fly, By all that mind invents or hand prepares;

Swift as a Thracian Nymph o'er field and height: O thou, against whose lip, without its smile,

For She, to all but those who love Her shy, And in its silence even, no heart is proof;

Would gladly vanish from a Stranger's sight; Whose goodness sinking deep, would reconcile

Though where she is beloved, and loves, as free The softest Nursling of a gorgeous palace

As bird that rifles blossoms on a tree, To the bare life beneath the hawthorn roof

Turning them inside out with arch audacity. Of Sherwood's archer, or in caves of Wallace Who that hath seen thy beauty could content

Alas! how little can a moment show His soul with but a glimpse of heavenly day?

Of an eye where feeling plays Who that hath loved thee, but would lay

In ten thousand dewy rays; His strong hand on the wind, if it were bent

A face o'er which a thousand shadows go! To take thee in thy majesty away?

- She stops — is fastened to that rivulet's side; Pass onward (even the glancing deer

And there (while, with sedater mien,
O'er timid waters that have scarcely left
Their birth-place in the rocky cleft
She bends) at leisure may be seen
Features to old ideal grace allied,
Amid their smiles and dimples dignified
Fit countenance for the soul of primal truth,
The bland composure of eternal youth!

Till we depart intrude not here ;)
That mossy slope, o'er which the woodbine throwg
A canopy, is smoothed for thy repose !

Glad moment is it when the throng
Of warblers in full concert strong
Strive, and not vainly strive, to rout
The lagging shower, and force coy Phæbus out,
Met by the rainbow's form divine,
Issuing from her cloudy shrine;
So may the thrillings of the lyre
Prevail to further our desire,
While to these shades a Nymph I call,
The youngest of the lovely Three.
“Come, if the notes thine ear may pierce,

What more changeful than the sea ?
But over his great tides
Fidelity presides;
And this light-hearted Maiden constant is as 'e. --
High is her aim as heaven above,
And wide as ether her good-will,
And, like the lowly reed, her love
Can drink its nurture from the scantiest rill ;
Insight as keen as frosty star
Is to her charity no bar,

By none more deeply felt than thee!"

[merged small][ocr errors]

O the charm that manners draw,
Nature, from thy genuine law!
li from what her hand would do,
Her voice would utter, there ensue
Aught untoward or unfit,

She, in benign affections pure, 1 ks In self-forgetfulness secure, de Sheds round the transient harm or vague mischance

A light unknown to tutored elegance :
Her's is not a cheek shame-stricken, ,
But ber blushes are joy-flushes –
And the fault (if fault it be)
Only ministers to quicken
Laughter-loving gaiety,
And kindle sportive wit -
Leaving this Daughter of the mountains free
As if she knew that Oberon king of Faery
Had crossed her purpose with some quaint vagary,
And heard his viewless bands
Over their mirthful triumph clapping hands.

With all their fragrance, all their glistening,
Call to the heart for inward listening;
And though for bridal wreaths and tokens true
Welcomed wisely — though a growth
Which the careless shepherd sleeps on,
As fitly spring from turf the mourner weeps on,
And without wrong are cropped the marble tomb to

The charm is over; the mute phantoms gone,
Nor will return - but droop not, favoured Youtl: ,
The apparition that before thee shone
Obeyed a summons covetous of truth.
From these wild rocks thy footsteps I will guide ·
To bowers in which thy fortune may be tried,
And one of the bright Three become thy happy Bride!

“ Last of the Three, though eldest born, Rereal thyself, like pensive morn, Touched by the skylark's earliest note, Ere humbler gladness be afloat. But whether in the semblance drest Of dawn - or eve, fair vision of the west, Come with each anxious hope subdued By woman's gentle fortitude, Each grief, through meekness, settling into rest. - Or I would hail thee when some high-wrought page Of a closed volume lingering in thy hand Has raised thy spirit to a peaceful stand Among the glories of a happier age.”

LYRE! though such power do in thy magic live

As might from India's farthest plain
Recal the most unwilling maid,

Assist me to detain

The lovely fugitive: Check with thy notes the impulse which, betrayed By her sweet farewell looks, I longed to aid. Here let me gaze enwrapt upon that eye, The impregnable and awe-inspiring fort Of contemplation, the calm port By reason fenced from winds that sigh Among the restless sails of vanity. But if no wish be hers that we should part, A humbler bliss would satisfy my heart.

Where all things are so fair, Enough by her dear side to breathe the air

Of this Elysian weather ; And, on or in, or near, the brook, espy Shade upon the sunshine lying

Faint and somewhat pensively;
And downward image gaily vying

With its upright living tree
Mid silver clouds, and openings of blue sky
As soft almost and deep as her cerulean eye.

see it there,

- Her brow hath opened on me Brightening the umbrage of her hair; So gleams the crescent moon, that loves To be descried through shady groves. - Tenderest bloom is on her cheek; Wish not for a richer streak – Nor dread the depth of meditative eye; But let thy love, upon that azure field Of thoughtfulness and beauty, yield Its homage offered up in purity.– What would'st thou more? In sunny glade Or under leaves of thickest shade, Was such a stillness e'er diffused Since earth grew calm while angels mused? Softly she treads, as if her foot were loth To crush the mountain dew-drop, soon to melt On the flowers breast; as if she felt That flowers themselves, whate'er their hue,

Nor less the joy with many a glance
Cast up the stream or down at her beseeching,
To mark its eddying foam-balls prettily distrest
By ever-changing shape and want of rest;

Or watch, with mutual teaching,
The current as it plays
In flashing leaps and stealthy creeps

Adown a rocky maze;
Or note (translucent summer's happiest chance !)
In the slope-channel floored with pebbles bright,
Stones of all hues, gem emulous of gem,
So vivid that they take from keenest sight
The liquid veil that seeks not to hide them.




Genius of Raphael! if thy wings

Might bear thee to this glen, With faithful memory left of things

To pencil dear and pen,
Thou would'st forego the neighbouring Rhine,

And all his majesty –
A studions forehead to incline

O'er this poor family.

Weak is the will of man, his judgment blind; • Remembrance persecutes, and hope betrays ; • Heavy is woe; — and joy, for human-kind, • A mournful thing, so transient is the blaze! Thus might he paint our lot of mortal days Who wants the glorious faculty assigned To elevate the more-than-reasoning mind, And colour life's dark cloud with orient rays. Imagination is that sacred power, Imagination lofty and refined: 'T is hers to pluck the amaranthine flower Of faith, and round the sufferer's temples bind Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower, And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.

The mother - her thou must have seen,

In spirit, ere she came
To dwell these rifted rocks between,

Or found on earth a name;
An image, too, of the sweet boy,

Thy inspirations give -
Of playfulness, and love, and joy,

Predestined here to live.

Downcast, or shooting glances far,

How beautiful his eyes,
That blend the nature of the star

With that of summer skies!
I speak as if of sense beguiled;

Uncounted months are gone,
Yet am I with the Jewish child,

That exquisite Saint John.

I see the dark-brown curls, the brow,

The smooth transparent skin,
Refined, as with intent to show

The holiness within;
The grace of parting infancy

By blushes yet untamed ;
Age faithful to the mother's knee,

Nor of her arms ashamed.

Two lovely sisters, still and sweet

As flowers, stand side by side ; Their soul-subduing looks might cheat

The Christian of his pride:
Such beauty hath the Eternal poured

Upon them not forlorn,
Though of a lineage once abhorred,

Nor yet redeemed from scorn.

RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE. THERE was a roaring in the wind all night; The rain came heavily and fell in floods; But now the sun is rising calm and bright; The birds are singing in the distant woods; Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods ; The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chalters; And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters

All things that love the sun are out of doors ;
The sky rejoices in the morning's birth;
The grass is bright with rain-drops; — on the moors
The Hare is running races in her mirth;
And with her feet she from the plashy earth
Raises a mist; that, glittering in the sun,
Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.

I was a Traveller then upon the moor;
I saw the Hare that raced about with joy;
I heard the woods and distant waters roar;
Or heard them not, as happy as a Boy:
The pleasant season did my heart employ:
My old remembrances went from me wholly;
And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy!

But, as it sometime chanceth, from the might
Of joy in minds that can no further go,
As high as we have mounted in delight
In our dejection do we sink as low,
To me that morning did it happen so;
And fears and fancies thick upon me came;
Dim sadness — and blind thonghts, I knew not, no?

could name.

Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite

Of poverty and wrong,
Doth here preserve a living light,

From Hebrew fountains sprung; That gives this ragged group to cast

Around the della gleam Of Palestine, of glory past,

I heard the Sky-lark warbling in the sky;
And I bethought me of the playful Hare:
Even such a happy Child of earth am I;
Even as these blissful Creatures do I fare;
Far from the world I walk, and from all care ;
But there may come another day to me -
Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty.

And proud Jorunulom !

« PreviousContinue »