Page images

And seen the soul of truth in every part;
A faith, a trust that could not be betrayed.
So once it would have been,-'tis so no more;
I have submitted to a new control:
A power is gone, which nothing can restore;
A deep distress hath humanized my soul.
Not for a moment could I now behold
A smiling sea, and be what I have been:
The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old;
This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.
Then, Beaumont, friend! who would have been the friend,
If he had lived, of him whom I deplore,
This work of thine I blame not, but commend;
This sea in anger, and that dismal shore.
Oh, 'tis a passionate work !-yet wise and well;
Well chosen is the spirit that is here;
That hulk which labours in the deadly swell,
This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear!
And this huge castle, standing here sublime,
I love to see the look with which it braves,
Cased in the unfeeling armour of old Time,
The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves.
Farewell, farewell, the heart that lives alone,
Housed in a dream, at distance from its kind !
Such happiness, wherever it be known,
Is to be pitied; for 'tis surely blind.
But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer,
And frequent sights of what is to be borne !
Such sights, or worse, as are before me here.-
Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.

TO THE DAISY. Sweet flower! belike one day to have A place upon thy poet's grave, I welcome thee once more: But he, who was on land, at sea, My brother, too, in loving thee, Although he loved more silently, Sleeps by his native shore. Ah! hopeful, hopeful was the day When to that ship he bent his way, To govern and to guide: His wish was gained : a little time Would bring him back in manhood's prime, And free for life, these hills to climb, With all his wants supplied. And full of hope day followed day While that stout ship at anchor lay Beside the shores of Wight; The May had then made all things green; And floating there in pomp serene, That ship was goodly to be seen, His pride and his delight! Yet then, when called ashore, he sought The tender peace of rural thought; In more than happy mood To your abodes, bright daisy flowers ! He then would steal at leisure hours, And loved you glittering in your bowers, A starry multitude. But hark the word !-the ship is gone;From her long course returns ;-anon Sets sail :-in season due,

Once more on English earth they stand:
But, when a third time from the land
They parted, sorrow was at hand
For him and for his crew.
Ill-fated vessel !-ghastly shock!
At length delivered from the rock,
The deep she hath regained;
And through the stormy night they steer,
Labouring for life, in hope and fear,
Towards a safer shore-how near,
Yet not to be attained!

Silence!" the brave commander cried ;
To that calm word a shriek replied,
It was the last death shriek.
A few appear by morning light,
Preserved upon the tall mast's height:
Oft in my soul I see that sight;
But one dear remnant of the night-
For him in vain I seek.
Six weeks beneath the moving sea
He lay in slumber quietly;
Unforced by wind or wave
To quit the ship for which he died
(All claims of duty satisfied);
And there they found him at her side,
And bore him to the grave.
Vain service! yet not vainly done
For this, if other end were none,
That he, who had been cast
Upon a way of life unmeet
For such a gentle soul and sweet,
Should find an undisturbed retreat
Near what he loved at last;

That neighbourhood of grove and field
To him a resting-place should yield.
A meek man and a brave!
The birds shall sing and ocean make
A mournful murmur for his sake;
And thou, sweet flower, shalt sleep and wake
Upon his senseless grave.

THE NEW MOON WITH THE OLD. ONCE I could hail (howe'er serene the sky) The moon re-entering her monthly round, No faculty yet given me to espy The dusky shape within her arms imbound, That thin memento of effulgence lost Which some have named her predecessor's ghost. Young, like the crescent that above me shone, Nought I perceived within it dull or dim; All that appeared was suitable to one Whose fancy had a thousand fields to skim ; To expectations spreading with wild growth, · And hope that kept with me her plighted troth. I saw (ambition quickening at the view) A silver boat launched on a boundless flood; A pearly crest, like Dian's when it threw Its brightest splendour round a leafy wood; But not a hint from underground, no sign Fit for the glimmering brow of Proserpine. Or was it Dian's self that seemed to move Before me? nothing blemished the fair sight; On her I looked whom jocund fairies love, Cynthia, who puts the little stars to flight, And by that thinning magnifies the great For exaltation of her sovereign state.

And when I learned to mark the spectral shape,
As each new moon obeyed the call of time,
If gloom fell on me, swift was my escape,
Such happy privilege hath life's gay prime,
To see or not to see, as best may please
A buoyant spirit, and a heart at ease.
Now, dazzling stranger! when thou meet'st my glance,
Thy dark associate ever I discern;
Emblem of thoughts too eager to advance
While I salute my joys, thoughts sad or stern;
Shades of past bliss, or phantoms that to gain
Their fill of promised lustre wait in vain.
So changes mortal life with fleeting years,
A mournful change, should reason fail to bring
The timely insight that can temper fears,
And from vicissitude remove its sting;
While faith aspires to seats in that domain
Where joys are perfect, neither wax nor wane.


OH, for a dirge! But why complain?
Ask rather a triumphal strain
When Fermor's race is run;
A garland of immortal boughs
To bind around the Christian's brows,
Whose glorious work is done.
We pay a high and holy debt;
No tears of passionate regret
Shall stain this votive lay;
Ill-worthy, Beaumont! were the grief
That flings itself on wild relief
When saints have passed away.

« PreviousContinue »