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Tis sweet to hear a brook, 't is sweet
To hear the Sabbath-bell,
Deep in a woody dell.
Late, late yestreen, I saw the new Moon, His limbs along the moss, his head
With the old Moon in her arms;
And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
We shall have a deadly storm.
Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens. That brook e'en on a working day Might chatter one to sleep.
WELL! if the Bard was weather-wise, who made And he had pass'd a restless night,
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, And was not well in health ;
This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence The women sat down by his side,
Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade
Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes,
Or the dull sobbing draught, that moans and rakes "The sun peeps through the close thick leaves,
Upon the strings of this Æolian lute,
Which better far were mute.
For lo! the New-moon winter-bright!
And overspread with phantom light,
But rimm'd and circled by a silver thread) “A tiny sun, and it has got
I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling
The coming on of rain and squally blast.
And oh! that even now the gust were swelling, Make up a glory, gay and bright,
And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast Round that small orb, so blue.'
Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst
And sent my soul abroad, And then they argued of those rays,
Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give, What color they might be :
Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and Says this, “ they're mostly green;" says that,
live! “ They're amber-like to me.”
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts A stifled, drowsy, unimpassion’d grief, Were troubling Edward's rest;
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh, or tear-
O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,
All this long eve, so balmy and serene, • A Mother too!” these self-same words Have I been gazing on the western sky, Did Edward mutter plain;
And its peculiar tint of yellow green: His face was drawn back on itself,
And still I gaze-and with how blank an eye!
And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
Those stars, that glide behind them or between, Both groan'd at once, for both knew well Now sparkling, now bedimm'd, but always seen: What thoughts were in his mind;
Yon crescent Moon, as fix'd as if it grew
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue;
I see them all so excellently fair,
I see, not feel, how beautiful they are !
My genial spirits fail, • O God forgive me! (he exclaim'd)
And what can these avail
To lift the smothering weight from off my breast?
It were a vain endeavor,
Though I should gaze for ever,
On that green light that lingers in the west:
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within
IV. Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow! O Lady! we receive but what we give, and To-morrow! and To-morrow!
And in our life alone does nature live :
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud! Makest Devils' yule, with worse than wintry sung,
And would we aught behold, of higher worth, The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among. Than that inanimate cold world allow'd
Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds! To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd,
Thou mighty Poet, e'en to Frenzy bold ! Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth,
What tellist thou now about? A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
"T is of the Rushing of an Host in rout, Enveloping the Earth
With groans of trampled men, with smarting And from the soul itself must there be sent
woundsA sweet and potent voice, of its own birth, At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the Of all sweet sounds the life and element!
But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence ! O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
And all that poise, as of a rushing crowd, What this strong music in the soul may be !
With groans, and tremulous shudderings—all is What, and wherein it doth exist,
(loud ! This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and This beautiful and beauty-making power.
A tale of less affright,
And temper'd with delight,
As Otway's self had framed the tender lay,
"Tis of a little child Life, and Life's EMuence, Cloud at once and Shower,
Upon a lonesome wild,
Not far from home, but she hath lost her way, Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power, Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower
And now moans low in bitter grief and fear, A new Earth and new Heaven,
And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother
'T is midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep: And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep! All melodies the echoes of that voice,
Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of healing, All colors a suffusion from that light.
And may this storm be but a mountain-birth,
May all the stars hang bright above her dwellirg, VI.
Silent as though they watch'd the sleeping Earth. There was a time when, though my path was
With light heart may she rise, rough,
Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, This joy within me dallied with distress,
Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice :
To her may all things live, from Pole to Pole
O simple spirit, guided from above,
Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice, But now afflictions bow me down to earth :
Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.
But oh! each visitation
My shaping spirit of Imagination.
ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF But to be still and patient, all I can;
DEVONSHIRE, And haply by abstruse research to steal
ON THE TWENTY-FOURTH STANZA IN HER “PASSAGE
OVER MOUNT GOTHARD."
And hail the Chapel ! bail the Platform wild !
Where Tell directed the avenging Dart,
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child
Then ajm'd the arrow at the Tyrant's heart.
Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream Splendor's fondly foster'd child!
And did you hail the Platform wild, That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that ravest Where once the Austrian fell without,
Beneath the shaft of Tell ? Bare crag, or mountain-tairn,* or blasted tree,
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure !
Whence learnt you that heroic measure ?
Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,
Enchanting music lull'd your infant ear, * Tairn is a small lake. generally, if not always, applied to obeisance, praises soothed your infant heart : the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the feeders of
Emblazonments and old ancestral crests, those in the valleys. This address to the Storm-wind will not With many a bright obtrusive form of art, appear extravagant to those who have heard it at night, and in a mountainous country.
Detain'd your eye from nature • stately verts
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell!
Thence learnt you that heroic measure.
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell !
ODE TO TRANQUILLITY.
TRANQUILLITY! thou better name
Than all the family of Fame! There crowd your finely-fibred frame,
Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age All living faculties of bliss ;
To low intrigue, or factious rage ; And Genius to your cradle came,
For oh ! dear child of thoughtful Truth, His forehead wreathed with lambent flame,
To thee I gave my early youth, And bending low, with godlike kiss
And left the bark, and blest the stedfast shore, Breathed in a more celestial life ;
Ere yet the Tempest rose and scared me with its roar
Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine,
Thy spirit rests ! Satiety
And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee,
Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope
And dire Remembrance interlope,
To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind :
The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind.
But me thy gentle hand will lead
At morning through the accustom'd mead; The sordid vices and the abject pains,
And in the sultry summer's heat Which evermore must be
Will build me up a mossy seat; The doom of Ignorance and Penury !
And when the gust of Autumn crowds But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
And breaks the busy moonlight clouds, You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild, Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune Where once the Austrian fell
Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding Moon Beneath the shaft of Tell ! O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure !
The feeling heart, the searching soul,
To thee I dedicate the whole !
The greatness of some future race,
Aloof with hermit-eye I scan Which Heaven and Nature bless,
The present works of present man I may not vilely prostitute to those
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile, Whose Infants owe them less
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile! Than the poor Caterpillar owes
Its gaudy Parent Fly.
The Babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye,
TO A YOUNG FRIEND,
Without the Mother's bitter groans :
COMPOSED IN 1796.
A MOUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep,
But a green mountain variously up-piled, The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep, His chariot-planet round the goal of day,
Or color'd lichens with slow oozing weep; All trembling gazes on the Eye of God,
Where cypress and the darker yew start wild A moment turn'd his awful face away ;
And 'mid the summer torrent's gentle dash And as he view'd you, from his aspect sweet Dance brighten'd the red clusters of the ash; New influences in your being rose,
Beneath whose boughs, by those still sounds be Blest Intuitions and Communions fleet
guiled, With living Nature, in her joys and woes ! Calm Pensiveness might muse herself to sleep; Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see
Till haply startled by some fleecy dam, The shrine of social Liberty !
That rustling on the bushy clift above, O beautiful! O Nature's child!
With melancholy bleat of anxious love, 'Twas thence you hail'd she Platform wild, Made meek inquiry for her wandering lamb
ON HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE
WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT AND
Such a green mountain 't were most sweet to climb,
LINES TO W. L. ESQ.
WHILE HE SANG A SÓNG TO PURCELL'S MUSIC bless
WHILE my young cheek retains its healthful hues, The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime And I have many friends who hold me dear; Now lead, now follow : the glad landscape round, -! methinks, I would not often hear Wide and more wide, increasing without bound! Such melodies as thine, lest'I should lose
All memory of the wrongs and sore distress, O then 't were loveliest sympathy, to mark
For which my miserable brethren weep!
But should uncomforted misfortunes steep
My daily bread in tears and bitterness;
With no beloved face at my bed-side,
To fix the last glance of my closing eye,
Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel-guide
Would make me pass the cup of anguish by, Save if the one, his muse's witching charm
Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died ! Muttering brow-bent, at unwatch'd distance lag;
Till high o'erhead his beckoning friend appears,
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE
HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe,
O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear!
To plunder'd Want's half-shelter'd hovel go, Sleeps shelter'd there, scarce wrinkled by the gale!
Go, and some hunger-bitten Infant hear Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left,
Moan haply in a dying Mother's ear : Stretch'd on the crag, and shadow'd by the pine,
Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood And bending o'er the clear delicious fount,
O'er the rank church-yard with sere elm-leaves Ah! dearest youth! it were a lot divine
strew'd, To cheat our noons in moralizing mood,
Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part While west-winds fann'd our temples toil-bedew'd :
Was slaughter'd, where o'er his uncoffin'd limbs Then downwards slope, oft pausing, from the The flocking flesh-birds scream'd! Then, while thy
heart mount, To some lone mansion, in some woody dale,
Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims, Where smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss
Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind) Gives this the Husband's, that the Brother's kiss !
What Nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal!
O abject! if, to sickly dreams resign'd,
All effortless thou leave life's commonweal
A prey to Tyrants, Murderers of Mankind.
SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.
How many various-fated years have past, Where Inspiration, his diviner strains
What happy, and what mournful hours, since last Low murmuring, lay; and starting from the rocks I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast, Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks Numbering its light leaps ! yet so deep impresto Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age, Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes And Bigotry's mad fire-invoking rage!
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise, O meek retiring spirit! we will climb,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows gray,
And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes Cheering and cheer'd, this lovely hill sublime ; And from the stirring world uplised high
Gleam'd through thy bright transparence! On my
way, (Whose noises, faintly wafted on the wind,
Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled. To quiet musings shall attune the mind,
Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs : And oft the melancholy theme supply), There, while the prospect through the gazing eye
Ah! that once more I were a careless chill!
COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR We'll discipline the heart to pure delight,
HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH Rekindling sober Joy's domestic flame.
OF A SON, SEPTEMBER 20, 1796. They whom I love shall love thee. Honor'd youth! Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll Now may Heaven realize this vision bright! Which makes the present (while the flash doth last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
We lived, ere yet this robe of Flesh we wore.
O my sweet baby! when I reach my door,
Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere
reprieve, While we wept idly o'er thy little bier !
While others wish thee wise and fair,
A maid of spotless fame,
Mayst thou deserve thy name !
That bids the Virtues hie
Confest to Fancy's eye ;
Content, in homespun kirtle ;
White Blossom of the Myrtle!
Associates of thy name, sweet Child !
These Virtues mayst thou win;
To say, they lodge within.
TO A FRIEND WHO ASKED, HOW I FELT WHEN THE
NURSE FIRST PRESENTED MY INFANT TO ME.
So when, her tale of days all flown,
Thy Mother shall be miss'd here;
And Angels snatch their Sister;
CHARLES ! my slow heart was only sad, when first
I scann'd that face of feeble infancy: For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst
All I had been, and all my child might be ! But when I saw it on its Mother's arm,
And hanging at her bosom (she the while
Bent o'er its features with a tearful smile) Then I was thrillid and melted, and most warm Impress’d a Father's kiss : and all beguiled
of dark remembrance and presageful fear,
I seem'd to see an angel-form appear-"T was even thine, beloved woman mild !
So for the Mother's sake the Child was dear, And dearer was the Mother for the Child.
Some hoary-headed Friend, perchance,
May gaze with stifled breath ;
Forget the waste of death.
Ev'n thus a lovely rose I view'd
In summer-swelling pride ;
Peep'd at the Rose's side.
It chanced, I pass'd again that way
In Autumn's latest hour,
Rich with the self-same flower.
THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE-HYMN.
VILLAGE IN GERMANY.
Ah fond deceit! the rude green bud
Alike in shape, place, name,
Another and the same!
Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridet,
Dormi, Jesu! blandule!
Blande, veni, somnule.
EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.
Its balmy lips the Infant blest
Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling
Sleep, my darling, tenderly !
Come, soft slumber, balmily!
And such my Infant's latest sigh!
ON THE CHRISTENING OF A FRIEND'S CHILD.
STRETCH'D on a moulder'd Abbey's broadest score! * Ην που ημων η ψυχη πριν εν τωδε τω ανθρωπινω Where ruining ivies propp'd the ruins steep ειδει γενεσθαι. .
Her folded arms wrapping her talter'd pall,