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TO HOPE.

When by my solitary hearth I sit,

And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
When no fair dreams before my " mind's eye" flit,

And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope ! ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.

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,
Peep with the moonbeams through the leafy roof,
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof.

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart

When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:

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
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,

O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:

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!
Sweet Hope! ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.

In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade!

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,
Great liberty! how great in plain attire!

With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:

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.

February, 1815.

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,
Vying with fish of brilliant dye below;
Whose silken fins' and golden scales' light
Cast upward, through the waves, a ruby glow:
There saw the swan his neck of arched snow,
And oar'd himself along with majesty:
Sparkled his jetty eyes ; his feet did show
Beneath the waves like Afric's ebony,
And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously.

Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle
That in that fairest lake had placed been,
I could e'en Dido of her grief beguile;
Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen:

For sure so fair a place was never seen
Of all that ever charm'd romantic eye:
It seemed an emerald in the silver sheen
Of the bright waters ; or as when on high,
Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the cerulean sky.

And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
Slopings of>verdure through the glossy tide,
Which, as it were in gentle amity,
Rippled delighted up the flowery side;
As if to glean the ruddy tears it tried,
Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem!
Haply it was the workings of its pride,
In strife to throw upon the shore a gem
Outvying all the buds in Flora's diadem.

Woman ! when I behold thee flippant, vain,

Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies;

Without that modest softening that enhances
The downcast eye, repentant of the pain
That its mild light creates to heal again;

E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,

E'en then my soul with exultation dances
For that to love, so long, I 've dormant lain:
But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender,

Heavens ! how desperately do I adore
Thy winning graces ;—to be thy defender

I hotly burn—to be a Calidore—
A very Red Cross Knight—a stout Leander—

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
Till the fond, fixed eyes, forget they stare.
From such fine pictures, Heavens! I cannot dare

To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd

They be of what is worthy,—though not drest,
In lovely modesty, and virtues rare.
Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark;

These lures I straight forget,—e'en ere I dine,

Or thrice my palate moisten: but when I mark
Such charms with mild intelligences shine,

My ear is open like the greedy shark,
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.

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
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'T is not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

Ii.
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been

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:

HI.

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.

IV.

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:
Already with thee! tender is the night,

And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet

Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

VL

Darkling I listen ; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,

Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,

To cease upon the midnight with no pain,

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