Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

And the far-off stream is dumb,

And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;

Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.

II.

Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore.
Revealings deep and clear are thine
Of wealthy smiles : but who may know
Whether smile or frown be fleeter ?
Whether smile or frown be sweeter,

Who may know?
Frowns perfect-sweet along the brow
Light-glooming over eyes divine,
Like little clouds sun-fringed, are thine,

Ever varying Madeline.
Thy smile and frown are not aloof

From one another,

Each to each is dearest brother ;
Hues of the silken sheeny woof
Momently shot into each other.

All the mystery is thine ;
Smiling, frowning, evermore,
Thou art perfect in love-lore,

Ever varying Madeline.

When merry milkmaids click the latch,

And rarely smells the new-mown hay, And the cock hath sung beneath the

thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay ;

Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits,

SECOND SONG.

TO THE SAME.

III.

I.
Thy tuwhits are lull'd, I wot,

Thy tuwhoos of yesternight,
Which upon the dark afloat,

So took echo with delight,
So took echo with delight,

That her voice untuneful grown,
Wears all day a fainter tone.

II.

A subtle, sudden flame,
By veering passion fann'd,

About thee breaks and dances :
When I would kiss thy hand,
The flush of anger'd shame

O’erflows thy calmer glances, And o'er black brows drops down A sudden-curved frown: But when I turn away, Thou, willing me to stay, Wooest not, nor vainly wranglest ;

But, looking fixedly the while,
All my bounding heart entanglest

In a golden-netted smile ;
Then in madness and in bliss,
If my lips should dare to kiss
Thy taper fingers amorously,
Again thou blushest angerly ;
And o'er black brows drops down
A sudden-curved frown.

I would mock thy chaunt anew ;

But I cannot mimick it ;
Not a whit of thy tuwhoo,

Thee to woo to thy tuwhit,
Thee to woo to thy tuwhit,

With a lengthen'd loud halloo,
Tuwhoo, tuwhit, tuwhit, tuwhoo-0-0.

RECOLLECTIONS OF THE

ARABIAN NIGHTS.

SONGTHE OWL.

When the breeze of a joyful dawn blew

free In the silken sail of infancy, The tide of time flow'd back with me,

The forward-flowing tide of time ; And many a sheeny summer-morn, Adown the Tigris I was borne,

[ocr errors][merged small]

By Bagdat's shrines of fretted gold,

A goodly place, a goodly time,
High-walled gardens green and old ; For it was in the golden prime
True Mussulman was I and sworn,

Of good Haroun Alraschid.
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Above thro' many a bowery turn

A walk with vary-colour'd shells Anight my shallop, rustling thro' Wander'd engrain'd. On either side The low and bloomed foliage, drove All round about the fragrant marge The fragrant, glistening deeps, and clove From fluted vase, and brazen urn The citron-shadows in the blue :

In order, eastern flowers large, By garden porches on the brim,

Some dropping low their crimson bells The costly doors flung open wide, Half-closed, and others studded wide Gold glittering thro' lamplight dim,

With disks and tiars, fed the time And broider'd sofas on each side :

With odour in the golden prime
In sooth it was a goodly time,

Of good Haroun Alraschid.
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Far off, and where the lemon grove

In closest coverture upsprung, Often, where clear-stemm'd platans guard The living airs of middle night The outlet, did I turn away

Died round the bulbul as he sung; The boat-head down a broad canal Not he : but something which possess'd From the main river sluiced, where all The darkness of the world, delight, The sloping of the moon-lit sward Life, anguish, death, immortal love, Was damask-work, and deep inlay

Ceasing not, mingled, unrepress'd, Of braided blooms unmown, which crept Apart from place, withholding time, Adown to where the water slept.

But flattering the golden prime
A goodly place, a goodly time,

Of good Haroun Alraschid.
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Black the garden-bowers and grots

Slumber'd: the solemn palms were ranged A motion from the river won

Above, unwoo'd of summer wind : Ridged the smooth level, bearing on A sudden splendour from behind My shallop thro' the star-strown calm, Flush'd all the leaves with rich gold-green, Until another night in night

And, flowing rapidly between I enter'd, from the clearer light,

Their interspaces, counterchanged Imbower'd vaults of pillar'd palm,

The level lake with diamond-plots
Imprisoning sweets, which, as they clomb Of dark and bright. A lovely time,
Heavenward, were stay'd beneath the For it was in the golden prime
dome

Of good Haroun Alraschid.
Of hollow boughs.-A goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime

Dark-blue the deep sphere overhead,
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Distinct with vivid stars inlaid,

Grew darker from that under-flame : Still onward ; and the clear canal So, leaping lightly from the boat, Is rounded to as clear a lake.

With silver anchor left afloat, From the green rivage many a fall In marvel whence that glory came Of diamond rillets musical,

Upon me, as in sleep I sank Thro' little crystal arches low

In cool soft turf upon the bank, Down from the central fountain's flow Entranced with that place and time, Fall'n silver-chiming, seemed to shake So worthy of the golden prime The sparkling flints beneath the prow. Of good Haroun Alraschid.

ADDRESSED TO

[ocr errors]

II.

Thence thro' the garden I was drawn- Down-droop’d, in many a floating fold,
A realm of pleasance, many a mound, Engarlanded and diaper'd
And many a shadow-chequer'd lawn With inwrought flowers, a cloth of gold.
Full of the city's stilly sound,

Thereon, his deep eye laughter-stirr’d
And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round With merriment of kingly pride,
The stately cedar, tamarisks,

Sole star of all that place and time, Thick rosaries of scented thorn,

I saw him—in his golden prime, Tall orient shrubs, and obelisks

THE GOOD HAROUN ALRASCHID.
Graven with emblems of the time,
In honour of the golden prime

ODE TO MEMORY.
Of good Haroun Alraschid.
With dazed vision unawares
From the long alley's latticed shade
Emerged, I came upon the great
Pavilion of the Caliphat.

THou who stealest fire, Right to the carven cedarn doors,

From the fountains of the past, Flung inward over spangled floors,

To glorify the present; oh, haste, Broad-based flights of marble stairs

Visit my low desire ! Ran up with golden balustrade,

Strengthen me, enlighten me ! After the fashion of the time,

I faint in this obscurity, And humour of the golden prime

Thou dewy dawn of memory. Of good Haroun Alraschid. The fourscore windows all alight

Come not as thou camest of late, As with the quintessence of flame,

Flinging the gloom of yesternight A million tapers flaring bright

On the white day; but robed in sosten'd From twisted silvers look'd to shame

light The hollow-vaulted dark, and stream'd

Of orient state. Upon the mooned domes aloof

Whilome thou camest with the morning In inmost Bagdat, till there seem'd

mist, Hundreds of crescents on the roof

Even as a maid, whose stately brow Of night new-risen, that marvellous time To celebrate the golden prime

The dew-impearled winds of dawn have

kiss'd, Of good Haroun Alraschid.

When, she, as thou, Then stole I up, and trancedly

Stays on her floating locks the lovely freight Gazed on the Persian girl alone,

Of overflowing blooms, and earliest shoots serene with argent-lidded eyes

Of orient green, giving safe pledge of fruits,

Which in wintertide shall star
Amorous, and lashes like to rays
Of darkness, and a brow of pearl

The black earth with brilliance rare.
Tressed with redolent ebony,
In many a dark delicious curl,
Flowing beneath her rose-hued zone ;

Whilome thou camest with the morning The sweetest lady of the time,

mist, Well worthy of the golden prime

And with the evening cloud,
Of good Haroun Alraschid. Showering thy gleaned wealth into my

open breast Six columns, three on either side, (Those peerless flowers which in the Pure silver, underpropt a rich

rudest wind Throne of the massive ore, from which

Never grow sere,

III.

When rooted in the garden of the mind, Pour round mine ears the livelong bleat Because they are the earliest of the year). Of the thick-fleeced sheep from wattled Nor was the night thy shroud.

folds, In sweet dreams softer than unbroken rest Upon the ridged wolds, Thou leddest by the hand thine infant When the first matin-song hath waken'd Hope.

loud The eddying of her garments caught from Over the dark dewy earth forlorn, thee

What time the amber morn The light of thy great presence ; and the Forth gushes from beneath a low-hung cope

cloud. Of the half-attain'd futurity,

v. Tho' deep not fathomless, Was cloven with the million stars which Large dowries doth the raptured eye tremble

To the young spirit present O'er the deep mind of dauntless infancy. When first she is wed ; Small thought was there of life's distress;

And like a bride of old For sure she deem'd no mist of earth In triumph led, could dull

With music and sweet showers Those spirit - thrilling eyes so keen and

Of festal flowers, beautiful :

Unto the dwelling she must sway. Sure she was nigher to heaven's spheres, Well hast thou done, great artist Memory, Listening the lordly music flowing from In setting round thy first experiment The illimitable years.

With royal frame-work of wrought O strengthen me, enlighten me !

gold ; I faint in this obscurity,

Needs must thou dearly love thy first Thou dewy dawn of memory.

essay,
And foremost in thy various gallery

Place it, where sweetest sunlight falls Come forth, I charge thee, arise,

Upon the storied walls; Thou of the many tongues, the myriad

For the discovery eyes !

And newness of thine art so pleased thee, Thou comest not with shows of flaunting That all which thou hast drawn of fairest vines

Or boldest since, but lightly weighs Unto mine inner eye,

With thee unto the love thou bearest Divinest Memory !

The first-born of thy genius. Artist-like, Thou wert not nursed by the waterfall Ever retiring thou dost gaze Which ever sounds and shines

On the prime labour of thine early days : A pillar of white light upon the wall No matter what the sketch might be ; Of purple cliffs, aloof descried :

Whether the high field on the bushless Come from the woods that belt the gray

Pike, hill-side,

Or even a sand-built ridge The seven elms, the poplars four

Of heaped hills that mound the sea, That stand beside my father's door, Overblown with murmurs harsh, And chiefly from the brook that loves Or even a lowly cottage whence we see To purl o'er matted cress and ribbed sand, Stretch'd wide and wild the waste enorOr dimple in the dark of rushy coves,

mous marsh, Drawing into his narrow earthen urn, Where from the frequent bridge, In every elbow and turn,

Like emblems of infinity, The filter'd tribute of the rough woodland, The trenched waters run from sky to sky; O! hither lead thy feet !

Or a garden bower'd close

IV.

With plaited alleys of the trailing rose,

And the breath Long alleys falling down to twilight grots, Of the fading edges of box beneath, Or opening upon level plots

And the year's last rose. Of crowned lilies, standing near

Heavily hangs the broad sunflower Purple-spiked lavender :

Over its grave i’ the earth so chilly; Whither in after life retired

Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
From brawling storms,

Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.
From weary wind,
With youthful fancy re-inspired,

A CHARACTER.
We may hold converse with all forms
Of the many-sided mind,

With a half-glance upon the sky
And those whom passion hath not blinded, | At night he said, The wanderings
Subtle-thoughted, myriad-minded. Of this most intricate Universe

Teach me the nothingness of things. My friend, with you to live alone, Yet could not all creation pierce Were how much better than to own

Beyond the bottom of his eye. A crown, a sceptre, and a throne !

He spake of beauty : that the dull O strengthen me, enlighten me !

Saw no divinity in grass, I faint in this obscurity,

Life in dead stones, or spirit in air ;
Thou dewy dawn of memory.

Then looking as 'twere in a glass,
He smooth'd his chin and sleek'd his hair,

And said the earth was beautiful.
SONG.

He spake of virtue : not the gods
More purely, when they wish to charm

Pallas and Juno sitting by :
A SPIRIT haunts the year's last hours

And with a sweeping of the arm,
Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers :

And a lack-lustre dead-blue eye,
To himself he talks ;

Devolved his rounded periods.
For at eventide, listening earnestly,
At his work you may hear him sob and Most delicately hour by hour
sigh

He canvass'd human mysteries,
In the walks ;

And trod on silk, as if the winds
Earthward hé boweth the heavy Blew his own praises in his eyes,
stalks

And stood aloof from other minds
Of the mouldering flowers :

In impotence of fancied power.
Heavily hangs the broad sunflower

With lips depress'd as he were meek,
Over its gravei’ the earth so chilly; Himself unto himself he sold :
Heavily hangs the hollyhock,

Upon himself himself did feed :
Heavily hangs the tiger-lily.

Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
And other than his form of creed,

With chisell'd features clear and sleek.
The air is damp, and hush'd, and close,
As a sick man's room when he taketh

THE POET.
repose
An hour before death ;

The poet in a golden clime was born, My very heart faints and my whole soul With golden stars above ; grieves

Dower'd with the hate of hate, the scorn At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves,

The love of love.

I.

II.

of scorn,

« PreviousContinue »