« PreviousContinue »
And she hath smiles to earth unknown;
Smiles, that with motion of their own
Do spread, and sink, and rise ;
That come and go with endless play,
And ever, as they pass away,
Are hidden in her eyes.
She loves her fire, her cottage home;
Yet o'er the moorland will she roam
In weather rough and bleak;
And, when against the wind she strains,
Oh! might I kiss the mountain rains
That sparkle on her cheek.
Take all that's mine beneath the moon,'
If I with her but half a noon
May sit beneath the walls
Of some old cave, or mossy nook,
When up she winds along the brook,
To hunt the waterfalls.
SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam'd upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair,
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair ;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn ;
A dancing shape, and image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too !
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty ;
A countenance in which did meet
Long, and long was he unheard of :
To his brother then he came,
Made confession, ask'd forgiveness,
Ask'd it by a brother's name,
And by all the saints in heaven ;
And of Eustace was forgiven :
Then in a convent went to hide
His melancholy head, and there he died.
But Sir Eustace, whom good angels
Had preserved from murderers' hands,
And from pagan chains had rescued,
Lived with honour on his lands.
Sons he had, saw sons of theirs :
And through ages, heirs of heirs,
A long posterity renown'd,
Sounded the horn which they alone could sound.
A simple child That lightly draws its breath, And feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death ?
I met a little cottage girl :
She was eight years old she said ;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That cluster'd round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair ;
- Her beauty made me glad.
Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be ?'
Unvisited, where not a broken bough
Droop'd with its wither'd leaves, ungracious sign
Of devastation, but the hazels rose
Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters hung,
A virgin scene! A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the heart
As joy delights in ; and, with wise restraint
Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
The banquet,- or beneath the trees I sat
Among the flowers, and with the flowers I play'd ;
A temper known to those, who, after long
And weary expectation, have been bless'd
With sudden happiness beyond all hope.
Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves
The violets of five seasons reappear
And fade, unseen by any human eye ;
Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on
For ever, — and I saw the sparkling foam,
And with my cheek on one of those green stones
That, fleeced with moss, beneath the shady trees,
Lay round me, scatter'd like a flock of sheep,
I heard the murmur and the murmuring sound,
In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay
Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure,
The heart luxuriates with indifferent things,
Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,
And on the vacant air. Then up I rose,
And dragg’d to earth both branch and bough, with crash
And merciless ravage ; and the shady nook
Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower,
Deform'd and sullied, patiently gave up
Their quiet being : and, unless I now
Confound my present feelings with the past,
Even then, when from the bower I turn’d away
Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings,
I felt a sense of pain when I beheld
The silent trees and the intruding sky.
Then, dearest maiden ! move along these shades
In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand
Touch – for there is a spirit in the woods.
STAY near me do not take thy flight !
A little longer stay in sight !
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy !
Float near me, do not yet depart !
Dead times revive in thee :
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art !
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!
Oh ! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly !
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey :— with leaps and springs
I follow'd on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her ! fear'd to brush
The dust from off its wings.
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky :
So was it when my life began ;
So is it now I am a man ;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die !
The child is father of the man ;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
From the conclusion of a Poem, composed upon leaving
DEAR native regions, I foretell,
From what I feel at this farewell,
That wheresoe'er my steps shall tend,
And whensoe'er my course shall end,
If in that hour a single tie
Survive of local sympathy,
My soul will cast the backward view,
The longing look, alone on you.
Thus, when the sun, prepared for rest,
Hath gain’d the precincts of the west,
Though his departing radiance fail
To illuminate the hollow vale,
A lingering light he fondly throws
On the dear hills where first he rose.
OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray :
And, when I cross'd the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day,
The solitary child.
No mate, no comrade, Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,
- The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door !