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When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright ray, Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him, as the morning frightens night!
Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!
Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair, O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
In the long vista of the years to roll,
O let me see our land retain her soul 1
Her pride, her freedom ; and not freedom's shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed—
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!
Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
But let me see thee stoop from Heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud; Brightening the half-veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, Sweet Hope ! celestial influence round me shed, Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head.
IMITATION OF SPENSER. ******* Now morning from her orient chamber came And her first footsteps touch'd a verdant hill: Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame, Silvering the untainted gushes of its rill; Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distil, And after parting beds of simple flowers, By many streams a little lake did fill, Which round its marge reflected woven bowers, And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.
There the kingfisher saw his plumage bright,
Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle
For sure so fair a place was never seen
And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
Woman ! when I behold thee flippant, vain,
Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies;
Without that modest softening that enhances
E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,
E'en then my soul with exultation dances
Heavens ! how desperately do I adore
I hotly burn—to be a Calidore—
Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.
Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair;
Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast;
Are things on which the dazzled senses rest
To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd
They be of what is worthy,—though not drest,
These lures I straight forget,—e'en ere I dine,
Or thrice my palate moisten: but when I mark
My ear is open like the greedy shark,
Ah ! who can e'er forget so fair a being?
Who can forget her half-retiring sweets?
God ! she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,
Will never give him pinions, who intreats
Such innocence to ruin,—who vilely cheats A dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing One's thoughts from such a beauty ; when I hear
A lay that once I saw her hand awake, Her form seems floating palpable, and near:
Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear,
And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
Mr heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sun-burnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs; Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away ! away ! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
Darkling I listen ; and for many a time
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,