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O one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair And open face of heaven,- to breathe a prayer Full in the smile of the blue firmament. Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair And gentle tale of love and languishment ? Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,- an eye Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by, E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.
THE HUMAN SEASONS.
OUR Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span: He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto Heaven: quiet coves
He furleth close; contented so to look
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook. He has his Winter too of pale misfeature, Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
WRITTEN BEFORE RE-READING KING LEAR.
GOLDEN-TONGUED Romance with
serene lute! Fair plumed Syren! Queen! if far away!
Leave melodizing on this wintry day, Shut up thine olden volume, and be mute. Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute,
Betwixt Hell torment and impassion’d clay
Must I burn through; once more assay The bitter sweet of this Shakespearian fruit. Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
Begetters of our deep eternal theme, When I am through the old oak forest gone,
Let me not wander in a barren dream, But when I am consumed with the Fire, Give me new Phoenix-wings to fly at my desire.
FRAGMENT OF A SONNET.
ATURE withheld Cassandra in the skies
For more adornment, a full thousand years; She took their cream of Beauty, fairest dies,
And shaped and tinted her above all peers : Meanwhile Love kept her dearly with his wings,
And underneath their shadow fill'd her eyes With such a richness that the cloudy Kings
Of high Olympus utter'd slavish sighs. When from the Heavens I saw her first descend,
My heart took fire, and only burning painsThey were my pleasures -- they my Life's sad end;
Love pour'd her beauty into my warm veins.
ANSWER TO A SONNET BY J. H.
"Dark eyes are dearer far
LUE! '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, grey, 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 flowers — Forget-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!
TANDING 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 befel, To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.
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 harbour such a happy thought.