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Large space, mid dreadful clouds, of purest sky,
TO A SNOWDROP. Lone flower, hemmed in with snows, and white as they, But hardier far, once more I see thee bend Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend. Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day, Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay The rising sun, and on the plains descend; Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May Shall soon behold this border thickly set With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing On the soft west wind, and his frolic peers; Nor will I then thy modest grace forget, Chaste snowdrop, venturous harbinger of spring, And pensive monitor of fleeting years !
COMPOSED A FEW DAYS AFTER THE
FOREGOING. WHEN haughty expectations prostrate lie, And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing, Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring Mature release, in fair society Survive, and fortune's utmost anger try; Like these frail snowdrops that together cling, And nod their helmets smitten by the wing Of many a furious whirl-blast sweeping by. Observe the faithful flowers! is small to great May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to stand
The Emathian phalanx, nobly obstinate ;
“THE STARS ARE MANSIONS.” The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand; The sun is peopled ; and with spirits blest, Say, can the gentle moon be unpossessed ? Huge ocean shows, within his yellow strand, A habitation marvellously planned, For life to occupy in love and rest ; All that we seeis dome, or vault, or nest, Or fort, erected at her sage command. Is this a vernal thought ? Even so, the spring Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart, Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring ; And while the youthful year's prolific art-Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower--was fashioning Abodes, where self-disturbance hath no part.
THE PLEASURE OF POETIC PAINS. There is a pleasure in poetic pains Which only poets know ;- 'twas rightly said, Whom could the muses else allure to tread Their smoothest paths, to wear their lightest chains ? When happiest fancy has inspired the strains, How oft the malice of one luckless word Pursues the enthusiast to the social board, Haunts him belated on the silent plains ! Yet he repines not, if his thought stand clear At last of hindrance and obscurity, Fresh as the star that crowns the brow of morn; Bright, speckless as a softly-moulded tear
The moment it has left the virgin's eye,
THE VEILED MOON. The shepherd, looking eastward, softly said, “Bright is thy veil, O moon, as thou art bright !" Forthwith, that little cloud, in ether spread, And penetrated all with tender light, She cast away, and showed her fulgent head Uncovered ; dazzling the beholder's sight As if to vindicate her beauty's right, Her beauty thoughtlessly disparagèd. Meanwhile that veil, removed or thrown aside, Went floating from her, darkening as it went; And a huge mass, to bury or to hide, Approached the glory of this firmament; Who meekly yields, and is obscured :-content With one calm triumph of a modest pride.
TO THE MOON. With how sad steps, O moon, thou climb'st the sky: How silently, and with how wan a face! Where art thou? Thou whom I have seen on high Running among the clouds a wood-nymph's race! Unhappy nuns, whose common breath's a sigh Which they would stifle, move at such a pace! The northern wind, to call thee to the chase, Must blow to-night his bugle-horn. Had I The power of Merlin, goddess ! this should be: And the keen stars, fast as the clouds were riven, Should sally forth, an emulous company, Sparkling and hurrying through the clear blue heaven; But, Cynthia ! should to thee the palm be given, Queen both for beauty and for majesty.
THE DISTANT TAPER.
Mark the concentred hazels that enclose
Of noontide suns: and even the beams that play
CAPTIVITY. As the cold aspect of a sunless way Strikes through the traveller's frame with deadlier chill, Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill, Glistening with unparticipated ray, Or shining slope where he must never stray: So joys remembered without wish or will, Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay. Just Heaven, contract the compass of my mind To fit proportion with my altered state! Quench those felicities whose light I find Reflected in my bosom all too late ! Oh, be my spirit like my thraldom, strait; And, like mine eyes that stream with sorrow, blind
· TO A BROOK.