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WRITTEN ON THE BLANK SPACE OF A LEAF AT THE END OF CHAUCER'S TALE

OF “ THE FLOWRE AND THE LEFE.
This pleasant tale is like a little copse :

The honied lines so freshly interlace,

To keep the reader in so sweet a place,
So that he here and there full-hearted stops ;
And oftentimes he feels the dewy drops

Come cool and suddenly against his face,

And, by the wandering melody, may trace
Which way the tender-legged linnet hops.
Oh! what a power has white simplicity!

What mighty power has this gentle story!

I, that do ever feel athirst for glory,
Could at this moment be content to lie!

Meekly upon the grass, as those whose sobbings
Were heard of none beside the mournful robins.

Feb. 1817.

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ON THE SEA. :
It keeps eternal whisperings around

Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell

Gluts twice ten thousand caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found, ...

That scarcely will the very smallest shell soon

Be moved for days from where it sometime fell,
When last the winds of heaven were unbound.de
Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vexed and tired, ,

Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea; Proteine
Oh ye ! whose ears are dinn’d with uproar rude,

Or fed too much with cloying melody,- nime .
Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and brood :
Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quired!

Aug. 1817.

VI.

ON LEIGH HUNT'S POEM, THE “STORY OF RIMINI.”

Who loves to peer up at the morning sun,

With half-shut eyes and comfortable cheek,

Let him, with this sweet tale, full often seek For meadows where the little rivers run ; Who loves to linger with that brightest one

Of Heaven-Hesperus-let him lowly speak

These numbers to the night, and starlight meek,
Or moon, if that her hunting be begun.
He who knows these delights, and too is prone

To moralize upon a smile or tear,
Will find at once a region of his own,

A bower for his spirit, and will steer
To alleys, where the fir-tree drops its cone,
Where robins hop, and fallen leaves are sear.

1817.

VII.

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain, Before high piled books, in charactry,

Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain; When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance ; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour !

That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power

Of unreflecting love !-then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

VIII.

TO HOMER.
STANDING aloof in giant ignorance,

Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance

To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind !--but then the veil was rent,

For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spermy tent,

And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive ; Aye, on the shores of darkness there is light,

And precipices show untrodden green !
There is a budding morrow in midnight;

There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befell,
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

1818.

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ANSWER TO A SONNET ENDING THUS:

“ Dark eyes are dearer far
Than those that made the hyacinthine bell ;"

By J. H. REYNOLDS. BLUE! 'Tis the life of heaven,-the domain

Of Cynthia,—the wide palace of the sun,The tent of Hesperus, and all his train,–

The bosomer of clouds, gold, gray and dun. Blue ! 'Tis the life of waters-ocean

And all its vassal streams : pools numberless May rage, and foam, and fret, but never can

Subside, if not to dark-blue nativeness. Blue! Gentle cousin of the forest-green,

Married to green in all the sweetest flowersForget-me-not,—the blue bell,-and, that queen

Of secrecy, the violet : what strange powers Hast thou, as a mere shadow! But how great, When in an Eye thou art alive with fate!:

Feb. 1818.

TO J. H. REYNOLDS.
O that a week could be an age, and we
• Felt parting and warm meeting every week,
Then one poor year a thousand years would be,

The flush of welcome ever on the cheek:
So could we live long life in little space,

So time itself would be annihilate, So a day's journey in oblivious haze

To serve our joys would lengthen and dilate. O to arrive each Monday morn from Ind!

To land each Tuesday from the rich Levant!
In little time a host of joys to bind,

And keep our souls in one eternal pant!
This morn, my friend, and yester-evening taught
Me how to harbor such a happy thought.

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Time's sea hath been five years at its slow ebb;

Long hours have to and fro let creep the sand; Since I was tangled in thy beauty's web,

And snared by the ungloving of thine hand. And yet I never look on midnight sky,

But I behold thine eyes' well memoried light; I cannot look upon the rose's dye,

But to thy cheek my soul doth take its flight;
I cannot look on any budding flower,

But my fond ear, in fancy at thy lips,
And hearkening for a love-sound, doth devour

Its sweets in the wrong sense :- Thou dost eclipse
Every delight with sweet remembering,
And grief unto my darling joys dost bring.

* A lady whom he saw for some moments at Vauxhall.

XII.

TO SLEEP.
O soft embalmer of the still midnight!

Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower'd from the light,

Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,

In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,. Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws

Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;

Save me from curious conscience, that still lords Its strength, for darkness burrowing like a mole;

Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards, And seal the hushed casket of my soul. 1819.

XIII.

ON FAME

FAME, like a wayward girl, will still be coy

To those who woo her with too slavish knees, But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,

And dotes the more upon a heart at ease; She is a Gipsey,—will not speak to those

Who have not learnt to be content without her; A Jilt, whose ear was never whisper'd close,

Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her; A very Gipsey is she, Nilus-born,

Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar;
Ye love-sick Bards! repay her scorn for scorn;

Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are!
Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,

Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.

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