Page images






[ocr errors]

Vra Ships the Sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed ;
Sonne lying fast at anchor in the road,
Some veering up and down, one knew not why.
goodly Vessel did I then espy

Corne like a giant from a haven broad; bronne

And lastily along the Bay she strode,

* Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.” la deset l'his Ship was nought to me, nor I to her, och det Yet I pursued her with a Lover's look; pod wad l'his Ship to all the rest did I prefer :

When will she turn, and whither? She will brook s em No tarrying; where she comes the winds must stir: de Oa went She, and due north her journey took.

How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks
The wayward brain, to saunter through a wood !
An old place, full of many a lovely brood,
Tall trees, green arbours, and ground-flowers in flocks
And wild rose tip-toe upon hawthorn stocks,
Like a bold Girl, who plays her agile pranks
At Wakes and Fairs with wandering Mountebanks, –
When she stands cresting the Clown's head, and mocks
The crowd beneath her. Verily I think,
Such place to me is sometimes like a dream
Or map of the whole world : thoughts, link by link,
Enter through ears and eyesight, with such gleam
Of all things, that at last in fear I shrink,
And leap at once from the delicious stream.




I am not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk, -
Of Friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or Neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
And, for my chance-acquaintance, Ladies bright,
Sons, Mothers, Maidens withering on the stalk,
These all wear out of me, like Forms, with chalk
Painted on rich men’s floors, for one feast-night.
Better than such discourse doth silence long,
Long, barren silence, square with


desire; To sit without emotion,

"Sade the stars shine, or while day's purple eye



Va Tue world 19 too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours; * We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! Hi Tha Sca that bares her bosom to the moon; 13 'The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers ; EXFor this, for every thing, we are out of tune;

It moves us nol. - Great God! I'd rather be

Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
La & might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ; ollave sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

or aim,
In the loved presence of my cottage-fire,
And listen to the flapping of the flame,
Or kettle whispering its faint under-song.




A VOLANT Tribe of Bards on earth are found,
Wha, while the flattering Zephyrs round them play,
On “coignes of vantage” bang their nests of clay;
It w quickly from that aery hold unbound,
Dozat for oblivion! To the solid ground

nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye ; counced that there, there only, she can lay Store foundations. As the year runs round, 1 eet she toils within the chosen ring;

“Yet life,” you say, “is life; we have seen and see',
And with a living pleasure we describe;
And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe
The languid mind into activity.
Sound sense, and love itself, and mirth and giee
Are fostered by the comment and the gibe.”
Even be it so: yet still among your tribe,
Our daily world's true Worldlings, rank not me!
Children are blest, and powerful; their world lies
More justly balanced ; partly at their feet,
And part far from them; - sweetest melodies
Are those that are by distance made more sweet ;
Whose mind is but the mind of his own eyes,
He is a Slave; the meanest we can meet!

li menly closing with the flowers of spring :
i'here even the motion of an Angel's wing
Would interrupt the intense tranquillity
Of silent Hills, and more than silent sky.

[ocr errors]

For Fancy's errands, — then, from fields half-tilier?

Thee might thy Minions crown, and chant thy power



Wings have we, - and as far as we can go

High is our calling, Friend ! - Creative Art We may find pleasure : wilderness and wood,

(Whether the instrument of words she use, Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,) Which with the lofty sanctifies the low.

Demands the service of a mind and heart, Dreams, Books, are each a world ; and books, we know, Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part

, Are a substantial world, both pure and good :

Heroically fashioned - to infuse Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,

Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse, Our pastime and our happiness will grow.

While the whole world seerns adverse to desert There find I personal themes, a plenteous store, And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may, Matter wherein right voluble I am,

Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress, To which I listen with a ready ear;

Still to be strenuous for the bright reward, Two shall be named, pre-eminently dear,

And in the soul admit of no decay, The gentle Lady married to the Moor;

Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness.
And heaverly Una with her milk-white Lamb.

Great is the glory, for the strife is hard !


From the dark chambers of dejection freed,
Nor can I not believe but that hereby

Spurning the unprofitable yoke of care, Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote Rise, Gillies, rise: the gales of youth shall bear From evil-speaking ; rancour never sought,

Thy genius forward like a winged steed. Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.

Though bold Bellerophon (so Jove decreed Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I

In wrath) fell headlong from the fields of air, Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous thought: Yet a rich guerdon waits on minds that dare, And thus from day to day my little Boat

If aught be in them of immortal seed, Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably.

And reason govern that audacious flight Blessings be with them — and eternal praise, Which heavenward they direct. — Then droop met Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares —

thou, The Poets, who on earth have made us Heirs

Erroneously renewing a sad vow Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays !

In the low dell 'mid Roslin's faded grove:
Oh! might my name be numbered among theirs, A cheerful life is what the Muses love,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.

A soaring spirit is their prime delight.

I watch, and long have watched, with calm regret, Fair Prime of life! were it enough to gild
Yon slowly-sinking star — immortal Sire

With ready sunbeams every straggling shower:
(So might he seem) of all the glittering quire ! And, if an unexpected cloud should lower,
Blue ether still surrounds him — yet — and yet ; Swiftly thereon a rainbow arch to build
But now the horizon's rocky parapet
Is reached, where, forfeiting his bright attire, Gathering green weeds to mix with

He burns — transmuted to a sullen fire,
That droops and dwindles, — and, the appointed debt Unpitied by the wise, all censure stilled.
To the flying moments paid, is seen no more.

Ah! show that worthier honours are thy due; Angels and gods! we struggle with our fate, Fair Prime of Life! arouse the deeper heart; While health, power, glory, pitiably decline,

Confirm the Spirit glorying to pursue Depressed and then extinguished: and our state, Some path of steep ascent and lofty aim; In this, how different, lost star, from thine,

And, if there be a joy that slights the claim That no to-morrow shall eur beams restore !

Of grateful memory, bid that joy depart.



ATENE I AEARD (alas ! 't was only in a dream)
Strains — which, as sage Antiquity believed,

By waking ears have sometimes been received,

SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned Walled adown the wind from lake or stream;

Mindless of its just honours ; with this Key A most melodious requiem, a supreme

Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody And perfect harmony of notes, achieved

Of this small Lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound , By a fair Swan on drowsy billows heaved,

A thousand times this Pipe did Tasso sound; O'er which her pinions shed a silver gleam. ? For is she not the votary of Apollo?

Camöens soothed with it an Exile's grief; And knows she not, singing as he inspires,

The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle Leaf 31. That bliss awaits her which the ungenial hollow*

Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned dy Of the dull earth partakes not, nor desires ?

His visionary brow: a glow-worm Lamp,

It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land niin lount, tuneful Bird, and join the immortal quires ! She soared—and I awoke, struggling in vain to follow. Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand

To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp
The Thing became a Trumpet, whence he blew
Soul-animating strains — alas, too few!



Is the whole weight of what we think and feel,
Sare only far as thought and feeling blend
With action, were as nothing, patriot Friend !
From thy remonstrance would be no appeal ;
Put to promote and fortify the weal
Of our own Being is her paramount end;
A truth which they alone shall comprehend
Who shun the mischief which they cannot heal.
Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss;
llere, with no thirst but what the stream can slake,
And startled only by the rustling brake,
Cool air I breathe ; while the unincumbered Mind
By some weak aims at services assigned
To gentle Natures, thanks not Heaven amiss.

Nor Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell
Of civil conflict, nor the wrecks of change,
Nor Duty struggling with afflictions strange,
Not these alone inspire the tuneful shell;
But where untroubled peace and concord dwell,
There also is the Muse not loth to range,
Watching the blue smoke of the elmy grange,
Skyward ascending from the twilight dell.
Meek aspirations please her, lone endeavour,
And sage content, and placid melancholy;
She loves to gaze upon a crystal river,
Diaphanous, because it travels slowly;
Soft is the music that would charm for ever;
The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.





Calvert! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name, that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem :
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where'er I liked; and finally array
My temples with the Muse's diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth,
If there be anght of pure, or good, or great,

my past verse; or shall be, in the lays
Of higher mood, which now I meditate,
It gladdens me, 0 worthy, short-lived Youth !
'To think how much of this will be thy praise.

WHILE not a leaf seems faded, while the fields,
With ripening harvest prodigally fair,
In brightest sunshine bask, — this nipping air,
Sent from some distant clime where Winter wields
His icy scimitar, a foretaste yields
Of bitter change — and bids the Flowers beware;
And whispers to the silent Birds, “Prepare
Against the threatening Foe your trustiest shields."
For me, who under kindlier laws belong
To Nature's tuneful quire, this rustling dry
Through leaves yet green, and yon crystalline sky,
Announce a season potent to renew,
'Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of song,

*Se de Phedo of Plato, by which this Sonnet war sugeted. And nobler cares than listless summer knew.

[blocks in formation]


How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright
The effluence from yon distant mountain's head,
Which, strewn with snow smooth as the heaven can

Shines like another Sun on mortal sight
Uprisen, as if to check approaching night,
And all her twinkling stars. Who now would tread,
If so he might, yon mountain's glittering head-
Terrestrial — but a surface, by the flight
Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing,
Unswept, unstained ? Nor shall the aerial Powers
Dissolve that beauty — destined to endure,
White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure,
Through all vicissitudes — till genial spring
Have filled the laughing vales with welcome flowers.

WHEN haughty expectations prostrate lie,
And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
Mature release, in fair society
Survive, and Fortune's utmost anger try;
Like these frail snow-drops that together cling,
And nod their helmets, smitten by the wing
Of many a furious whirl-blast sweeping by.
Observe the faithful flowers! if small to great
May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to stand
The Emathian phalanx, nobly obstinate;
And so the bright immortal Theban band,
Whom onset, fiercely urged at Jove's command,
Might overwhelm, but could not separate!

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]

ONE who was suffering tumult in his soul
Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer,
Went forth — his course surrendering to the care
Of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings prowl
Insidiously, untimely thunders growl;
While trees, dim seen, in frenzied numbers, tear
The lingering remnant of their yellow hair,
And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl
As if the sun were not.

He raised his eye
Soul-smitten, for, that instant, did appear
Large space, ʼmid dreadful clouds, of purest sky,
An azure orb - shield of Tranquillity,
Invisible, unlooked-for minister
Of providential goodness ever nigh!

The Stars are mansions built by Nature's hand,
The sun is peopled; and with Spirits blest :
Say, can the gentle Moon be unpossessed ?
Huge Ocean shows, within his yellow strand,
A Habitation marvellously planned,
For life to occupy in love and rest ;
All that we see

is dome, or vault, or nest,
Or fort, erected at her sage command.
Glad thought for every season! but the Spring
Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart,
'Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring;
And while the youthful year's prolific art –
Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower – was fashioning
Abodes where self-disturbance hath no part.





TO THE LADY BEAUMONT. Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they, LADY! the songs of Spring were in the grove But hardier far, once more I see thee bend

While I was shaping beds for winter flowers; Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,

While I was planting green unfading bowers, Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day, And shrubs to hang upon the warm alcove, Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay And sheltering wall; and still, as Fancy wove The rising sun, and on the plains descend;

The dream, to time and nature's blended powers
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend

I gave this paradise for winter hours,
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May A labyrinth, Lady! which your feet shall rove.
Shall soon behold this border thickly set

Yes! when the sun of life more feebly shines,
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing

Becoming thoughts, I trust, of solemn gloom On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;

Or of high gladness, you shall hither bring; Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,

And these perennial bowers and murmuring pines Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring, Be gracious as the music and the bl vom And pensive monitor of fleeting years!

And all the avishment of spring.

[blocks in formation]


Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour ! With a selection from the Poems of Anne, Countess of Win- Not dull art Thou, as undiscerning Night; chelsea; and extracts of similar character from other writers: But studious only to remove from sight transcribed by a female friend.

Day's mutable distinctions. - Ancient Power! LADY! I rifled a Parnassian Cave

Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower, (But seldom trod) of mildly-gleaming ore;

To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest
And culled, from sundry beds, a lucid store

Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest
her Of genuine crystals, pure as those that pave On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower
The azure brooks where Dian joys to lave

Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen Her spotless limbs; and ventured to explore

The self-same Vision which we now behold, Dim shades — for reliques, upon Lethe's shore, At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power! brought forth; Cast up at random by the sullen wave.

These mighty barriers, and the gulf between; To female hands the treasures were resigned;

The floods, – the stars, - a spectacle as old
And lo, this Work! a grotto bright and clear As the beginning of the heavens and earth!
From stain or taint! in which thy blameless mind
May feed on thoughts though pensive not austere;
Or, if thy deeper spirit be inclined
To holy musing, it may enter here.



There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Which only Poets know ; - 't was rightly said ;
Whom could the Muses else allure to tread
Their smoothest paths, to wear their lightest chains ?
When bappiest Fancy has inspired the Strains,
How of the malice of one luckless word
Pursues the Enthusiast to the social board,
Haunts him belated on the silent plains !
Yet he repines not, if his thought stand clear,
At last, of hinderance and obscurity,
Presh as the Star that crowns the brow of Morn;
Bright, speckless, as a softly moulded tear
The moment it has left the Virgin's eye,
Or rain-drop lingering on the pointed Thorn.

Wrth how sad steps, O Moon, thou climbest the sky,
How silently, and with how wan a face! *
Where art thou? Thou whom I have seen on high
Running among the clouds a wood-nymph's race !
Unhappy Nuns, whose common breath's a sigh
Which they would stifle, move at such a pace!
The northern Wind, to call thee to the chase,
Must blow to-night his bugle horn. Had I
The power of Merlin, Goddess ! this should be:
And the keen Stars, fast as the clouds were riven,
Should sally forth, an emulous Company,
All hurrying with thee through the clear blue heaven
But, Cynthia ! should to thee the palm be given,
Queen both for beauty and for majesty.



The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,
"Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!"
Forthwith, that little Cloud, in ether spread,
And penetrated all with tender light,
She cast away, and showed her fulgent head
Uncovered; – dazzling the Beholder's sight
As if to vindicate her beauty's right,
Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged.
Meanwhile that Veil, removed or thrown aside,
Went, floating from her, darkening as it went;
And a huge Mass, to bury or to hide,
Approached this glory of the firmament;
Who meekly yields, and is obscured ;-content
With one calm triumph of a modest pride.


Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress
Of a bedimming sleep, or as a lamp
Suddenly glaring through sepulchral damp,
So burns yon Taper 'mid a black recess
Of mountains, silent, dreary, motionless :
The Lake below reflects it not; the sky,
Muffled in clouds, affords no company
To mitigate and cheer its loneliness.
Yet, round the body of that joyless Thing
Which sends so far its melancholy light,
Perhaps are seated in domestic ring
A gay society with faces bright,
Conversing, reading, laughing ; - or they sing,
While hearts and voices in the song unite.

* From a Sonnet of Sir Philip Sidney.

« PreviousContinue »