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will not go
DEJECTION: AN ODE
O Lady! in this and heartless (1802)
To other thoughts by yonder throstle Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon, With the old Moon in her arms;
wooed, And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
All this long eve, so balmy and serene, We shall have a deadly storm. Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence. Have I been gazing on the western sky,
And its peculiar tint of yellow green: And still I gaze
and with how blank an eye!
30 Well! If the bard was weather-wise, who And those thin clouds above, in flakes and made
bars, The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick That give away their motion to the stars; Spence,
Those stars, that glide behind them or beThis night, so tranquil now,
Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always Unroused by winds that ply a busier trade Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it flakes,
grew Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue; rake's
I see them all so excellently fair, Upon the strings of this Æolian lute,
I see, not feel, how beautiful they are! Which better far were mute. For lo! the New-moon winter-bright! And overspread with phantom light, (With swimming phantom light o'er
My genial spirits fail; spread,
And what can these avail But rimmed and circled by a silver
To lift the smothering weight from off my thread)
breast? I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling
It were a vain endeavor, The coming-on of rain and squally blast.
Though I should gaze for ever And oh! that even now the gust were
On that green light that lingers in the swelling, And the slant night-shower driving loud
I may not hope from outward forms to and fast!
win Those sounds which oft have raised me,
The passion and the life whose fountains whilst they awed,
are within. And sent my soul abroad, Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give,
O Lady! we receive but what we give, Might startle this dull pain, and make it And in our life alone does Nature live: move and live!
20 Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her
shroud! And would we aught behold, of higher
worth, A grief without a pang, void, dark, and Than that inanimate cold world allowed drear,
To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd, A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud In word, or sigh, or tear
Enveloping the Earth —
And from the soul itself must there be
sent A sweet and potent voice, of its own
birth, Of all sweet sounds the life and element!
O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of
What this strong music in the soul may
be! What, and wherein it doth exist, This light, this glory, this fair luminous
mist, This beautiful and beauty-making power. Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was
given, Save to the pure,
and in their purest hour, Life, and Life's effluence, cloud at once
and shower, Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power Which, wedding Nature to us, gives in
dower A new Earth and new Heaven, Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud
70 Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous
We in ourselves rejoice! And thence flows all that charms or ear
or sight, All melodies the echoes of that voice, All colors a suffusion from that light. 75
Of agony by torture lengthened out
rav'st without, Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted
tree, Or pine-grove whither woodman never
clomb, Or lonely house, long held the witches'
home, Methinks were fitter instruments for
thee, Mad Lutanist! who in this month of
showers, Of dark brown gardens, and of peeping
flowers, Mak'st Devil's yule, with worse than
wintry song, The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves
among. Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds!
There was a time when, though my path
was rough, This joy within me dallied with dis
tress, And all misfortunes were but as the
stuff Whence Fancy made me dreams of hap
piness: For hope grew round me, like the twining
Their life the eddying of her living soul!
O simple spirit, guided from above, Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice, Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.
THE GOOD, GREAT MAN
Thou mighty Poet, even to frenzy bold !
What tell'st thou now about?
rout, With groans of trampled men, with
smarting wounds At once they groan with pain, and shudder
with the cold! But hush! there is a pause of deepest
silence! And all that noise, as of a rushing
crowd, With groans, and tremulous shudder
ings - all is over — It tells another tale, with sounds less
deep and loud!
And tempered with delight,
Upon a lonesome wild,
way: And now moans low in bitter grief and
fear, And now screams loud, and hopes to make
her mother hear.
“How seldom, friend! a good great man
inherits Honor or wealth with all his worth
and pains! It sounds like stories from the land of
spirits If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains.” 5
REPLY TO THE ABOVE
For shame, dear friend, renounce this
canting strain! What would'st thou have a good great
man obtain ? Place? titles? salary? a gilded chain? Or throne of corses which his sword had
slain? Greatness and goodness are not means,
but ends! Hath he not always treasures, always
friends, The good great man? three treasures,
LOVE, and LIGHT, And calm THOUGHTS, regular as infant's
breath: And three firm friends, more sure than
day and night, HIMSELF, his MAKER, and the
'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I
of sleep: Full seldom may my friend such vigils
keep! Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of
healing, And may this storm be but a mountain
birth, May all the stars hang bright above her
Gay fancy, cheerful eyes,
voice; To her may all things live, from pole to
THE PAINS OF SLEEP
THE KNIGHT'S TOMB
Where is the grave of Sir Arthur O’Kel
lyn? Where may the grave of that good man
be? By the side of a spring, on the breast of
Helvellyn, Under the twigs of a young birch tree! The oak that in summer was sweet to hear,
5 And rustled its leaves in the fall of the
year, And whistled and roared in the winter alone,
- and the birch in its stead is grown. The Knight's bones are dust, And his good sword rust; His soul is with the saints, I trust.
But yester-night I prayed aloud
YOUTH AND AGE
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
When I was young!
weather When Youth and I lived in't together. Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like; Friendship is a sheltering tree; O! the joys, that came down shower
like, Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
Had waked me from the fiendish dream, O'ercome with sufferings strange and
wild, I wept as I had been a child: And having thus by tears subdued My anguish to a milder mood, Such punishments, I said, were due To natures deepliest stained with sin, For aye entempesting anew The unfathomable hell within, The horror of their deeds to view, To know and loathe, yet wish and do! Such griefs with such men well agree, But wherefore, wherefore fall on me? 50 To be beloved is all I need, And whom I love, I love indeed.
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom
ye may, For
ye bloom not! Glide, rich
streams, away! With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow,
I stroll: And would you learn the spells that
drowse my soul? Work without Hope draws nectar in a
sieve, And Hope without an object cannot live.
THE GARDEN OF BOCCACCIO
(1828) Of late, in one of those most weary
hours, When life seems emptied of all genial
powers, A dreary mood, which he who ne'er has
known May bless his happy lot, I sate alone; And, from the numbing spell to win relief,
5 Called on the Past for thought of glee or
grief. In vain! bereft alike of grief and glee, I sate and cow'red o'er my own vacancy! And as I watched the dull continuous
ache, Which, all else slumb'ring, seemed alone
to wake; O Friend! long wont to notice yet con
ceal, And soothe by silence what words cannot
heal, I but half saw that quiet hand of thine Place on my desk this exquisite design: Boccaccio's Garden and its faery, The love, the joyaunce, and the gallantry! An Idyll, with Boccaccio's spirit warm, Framed in the silent poesy of form.
WORK WITHOUT HOPE
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave
their lair The bees are stirring — birds are on the
wing – And Winter slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of
Spring! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, 5 Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor
Yet well I ken the banks where ama
ranths blow, Have traced the fount whence streams
of nectar flow.
Of music soft, that not dispels the sleep, But casts in happier moulds the slum