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Old elms came breaking from the vine, But these, tho' fed with caresul dirt, The vine stream'd out to follow,
Are neither green nor sappy ; And, sweating rosin, plump'd the pine Half-conscious of the garden-squirt, From many a cloudy hollow.
The spindlings look unhappy.
Better to me the meanest weed And wasn't it a sight to see,
That blows upon its mountain, When, ere his song was ended, The vilest herb that runs to seed Like some great landslip, tree by tree, Beside its native fountain.
The country-side descended ; And shepherds from the mountain-eaves And I must work thro' months of toil, Look'd down, half-pleased, half-fright- And years of cultivation, end,
Upon my proper patch of soil As dash'd about the drunken leaves
To grow my own plantation. The random sunshine lighten’d ! I'll take the showers as they fall,
I will not vex my bosom : Oh, nature first was fresh to men,
Enough if at the end of all And wanton without measure ;
A little garden blossom. So youthful and so flexile then,
You moved her at your pleasure. Twang out, my fiddle ! shake the
ST. AGNES' EVE. twigs ! And make her dance attendance ; DEEP on the convent-roof the snows Blow, flute, and stir the stiff-set sprigs, Are sparkling to the moon : And scirrhous roots and tendons. My breath to heaven like vapour goes :
May my soul follow soon! 'Tis vain! in such a brassy age
The shadows of the convent-towers I could not move a thistle ;
Slant down the snowy sward, The very sparrows in the hedge
Still creeping with the creeping hours Scarce answer to my whistle ;
That lead me to my Lord :
With strumming and with scraping, As are the frosty skies,
That in my bosom lies.
As these white robes are soild and dark, Like sleepy counsel pleading ;
To yonder shining ground ;
To yonder argent round;
So shows my soul before the Lamb, And Works on Gardening thro' there, My spirit before Thee; And Methods of transplanting trees So in mine earthly house I am, To look as if they grew there.
To that I hope to be.
Break up the heavens, O Lord ! and sar, The wither'd Misses ! how they prose Thro' all yon starlight keen, O'er books of travellid seamen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glittering star, And show you slips of all that grows In raiment white and clean.
From England to Van Diemen.
The flashes come and go;
And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres Roll back, and far within
I find a magic bark ; For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits, I leap on board : no helmsman steers : To make me pure of sin.
I float till all is dark. The sabbaths of Eternity,
A gentle sound, an awful light ! One sabbath deep and wide
Three angels bear the holy Grail : A light upon the shining sea
With folded feet, in stoles of white, The Bridegroom with his bride !
On sleeping wings they sail.
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides, My good blade carves the casques of men,
And star-like mingles with the stars. My tough lance thrusteth sure, My strength is as the strength of ten,
When on my goodly charger borne Because my heart is pure.
Thro' dreaming towns I go,
The cock crows ere the Christmas The shattering trumpet shrilleth high, The hard brands shiver on the steel,
morn, The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly, The tempest crackles on the leads,
The streets are dumb with snow. The horse and rider reel : They reel, they roll in clanging lists,
And, ringing, springs from brand and And when the tide of combat stands, Perfume and flowers fall in showers,
But o'er the dark a glory spreads, That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
And gilds the driving hail.
I leave the plain, I climb the height ; How sweet are looks that ladies bend No branchy thicket shelter yields ; On whom their favours fall !
But blessed forms in whistling storms For them I battle till the end,
Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields. To save from shame and thrall : But all my heart is drawn above,
A maiden knight-to me is given My knees are bow'd in crypt and Such hope, I know not fear ; shrine :
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven I never felt the kiss of love,
That often meet me here. Nor maiden's hand in mine.
I muse on joy that will not cease, More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Me mightier transports move and thrill; Pure liiies of eternal peace, So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer
Whose odours haunt my dreams ; A virgin heart in work and will. And, stricken by an angel's hand,
This mortal armour that I wear, When down the stormy crescent goes, This weight and size, this heart and A light before me swims,
eyes, Between dark stems the forest glows, Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air.
I hear a noise of hymns :
I hear a voice but none are there ; And thro' the mountain-walls
Swells up, and shakes and falls. Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth, Then move the trees, the copses nod, The silver vessels sparkle clean,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear : The shrill bell rings, the censer swings, O just and faithful knight of God !
And solemn chaunts respund between. Ride on ! the prize is near.'
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange ;
By bridge and ford, by park and pale, WILL WATERPROOF'S All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide,
LYRICAL MONOLOGUE. Until I find the holy Grail.
MADE AT THE COCK.
O PLUMP head-waiter at The Cock,
How goes the time ? 'Tis five o'clock. * And have you lost your heart ?' she said ; Go fetch a pint of port : * And are you married yet, Edward But let it not be such as that Gray?'
You set before chance-comers,
But such whose father-grape grew fat Sweet Emma Moreland spoke to me : On Lusitanian summers.
Bitterly weeping I turn'd away : *Sweet Emma Moreland, love no more No vain libation to the Muse, Can touch the heart of Edward Gray.
But may she still be kind, · Ellen Adair she loved me well,
And whisper lovely words, and use
Her influence on the mind, Against her father's and mother's will :
To make me write my random rhymes, To-day I sat for an hour and wept,
Ere they be half-forgotten ; By Ellen's grave, on the windy hill.
Nor add and alter, many times, * Shy she was, and I thought her cold; Till all be ripe and rotten.
Thought her proud, and filed over the sea; Fill'd I was with folly and spite, I pledge her, and she comes and dips When Ellen Adair was dying for me.
Her laurel in the wine,
And lays it thrice upon my lips, 'Cruel, cruel the words I said !
These favour'd lips of mine ; Cruelly came they back to-day : Until the charm have power to make “You're too slight and fickle,” I said, New lifeblood warm the bosom, “Totrouble the heart of Edward Gray." | And barren commonplaces break
In full and kindly blossom. * There I put my face in the grass
Whisperid, “ Listen to my despair : I pledge her silent at the board ; I repent me of all I did:
Her gradual fingers steal Speak a little, Ellen Adair !”
And touch upon the master-chord
Of all I felt and feel. * Then I took a pencil, and wrote
Old wishes, ghosts of broken plans, On the mossy stone, as I lay, " Here lies the body of Ellen Adair ;
And phantom hopes assemble ;
And that child's heart within the man's And here the heart of Edward Gray!”
Begins to move and tremble. • Love may come, and love may go, And fly, like a bird, from tree to tree ;
Thro' many an hour of summer suns, But I will love no more, no more,
By many pleasant ways, Till Ellen Adair come back to me.
Against its fountain upward runs
The current of my days : • Bitterly wept I over the stone : I kiss the lips I once have kiss'd ; Bitterly weeping I turn'd away :
The gas-light wavers dimmer ; There lies the body of Ellen Adair ! And softly, thro' a vinous mist,
And there the heart of Edward Gray!' My college friendships glimmer.
WILL WATERPROOFS LYRICAL MONOLOGUE.
A private life was all his joy,
Till in a court he saw
That knuckled at the taw :
good, Flew over roof and casement : His brothers of the weather stood
Stock-still for sheer amazement. But he, by farmstead, thorpe and spire,
And follow'd with acclaims, A sign to many a staring shire
Came crowing over Thames. Right down by smoky Paul's they bore,
Till, where the street grows straiter, One fix'd for ever at the door,
And one became head-waiter.
And others' follies teach us not,
Nor much their wisdom teaches ; And most, of sterling worth, is what
Our own experience preaches. Ah, let the rusty theme alone !
We know not what we know, But for my pleasant hour, 'tis gone ;
'Tis gone, and let it go. 'Tis gone : a thousand such have slipt
Away from my embraces, And fall'n into the dusty crypt
Of darken'd forms and faces.
Go, therefore, thou ! thy betters went
Long since, and came no more ;
From many a tavern-door,
From misty men of letters;
Thine elders and thy betters. Hours, when the Poet's words and loo's
Had yet their native glow :
Had made him talk for show ;
He flash'd his random speeches,
His literary leeches.
But whither would my fancy go?
How out of place she makes The violet of a legend blow
Among the chops and steaks ! Tis but a steward of the can,
One shade more plump than common ; As just and mere a serving-man
As any born of woman.
Into the common day?
Which I shall have to pay?
Nor wholly comfortable,
And thrumming on the table :
I take myself to task ;
I leave an empty flask :
To prove myself a poet :
Is gray before I know it.
So mix for ever with the past,
Like all good things on earth ! For should I prize thee, couldst thou
last, At half thy real worth? I hold it good, good things should pass:
With time I will not quarrel : It is but yonder empty glass
That makes me maudlin-moral.
So fares it since the years began,
Till they be gather'd up; The truth, that flies the flowing can,
Will haunt the vacant cup :
Head-waiter of the chop-house here,
To which I most resort,
For this good pint of port.
Marrow of mirth and laughter ; And wheresoe'er thou move, good luck
Shall fling her old shoe aster.