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The sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
THE PEACEFUL MUSE.
Soft is the music that would charm for ever;
While not a leaf seems faded,—while the fields.
With ripening harvest prodigally fair,
In brightest sunshine bask,—this nipping air.
Sent from some distant clime where winter wields
His icv scimitar, a foretaste yields
Of bitter change—and bids the flowers beware;
And whispers to the silent birds, "Prepare
Against the threatening foe your trustiest shields." For me, who under kindlier laws belong
To nature's tuneful quire, this rustling dry
Through leaves yet green, and yon crystalline sky,
Announce a season potent to renew,
Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of song,
And nobler cares than listless summer knew.
How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright
The effluence from yon distant mountain's head,
Which, strewn with snow as smooth as heaven can shed,
Shines like another sun—on mortal sight
Uprisen, as if to check approaching night,
And all her twinkling stars. Who now would tread,
If so he might, yon mountain's glittering head—
Terrestrial—but a surface, by the flight
Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing,
Unswept, unstained! Nor shall the aerial powers
Dissolve that beauty—destined to endure,
White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure,
Through all vicissitudes—till genial spring
Have filled the laughing vales with welcome flowers.
COMPOSED DURING A STORM.
One who was suffering tumult in his soul
Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer,
Went forth—his course surrendering to the care
Of the fierce wind, while midday lightnings prowl
Insidiously, untimely thunders growl;
While trees, dim seen, in frenzied numbers tear
The lingering remnant of their yellow hair,
And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl
As if the sun were not. He raised his eye
Soul-smitten—for, that instant, did appear
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;
Vet 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
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! if small to great
May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to staud
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 see—is 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 onlv 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; Hright, specldess 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 disparaged.
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 1 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 1 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.