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XXIII.

COMPOSED ON THE EVE OF THE MARRIAGE OF A
FRIEND IN THE VALE OF GRASMERE, 1812.

What need of clamorous bells, or ribands gay,
These humble nuptials to proclaim or grace?
Angels of love, look down upon the place;
Shed on the chosen vale a sun-bright day!
Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display 5
Even for such promise:—serious is her face,
Modest her mien; and she, whose thoughts

keep pace With gentleness, in that becoming way Will thank you. Faultless does the Maid

appear; No disproportion in her soul, no strife: 10

But, when the closer view of wedded life
Hath shown that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the Wife
To her indulgent Lord become more dear.

FROM THE ITALIAN OF MICHAEL ANGELO.
I.

Yes! hope may with my strong desire keep

pace, And I be undeluded, unbetrayed; For if of our affections none finds grace In sight of Heaven, then, wherefore hath God

made The world which we inhabit? Better plea 5

Love cannot have than that in loving thee
Glory to that eternal Peace is paid,
Who such divinity to thee imparts
As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts.
His hope is treacherous only whose love dies 10

With beauty, which is varying every hour; But in chaste hearts, uninfluenced by the power Of outward change, there blooms a deathless

flower, That breathes on earth the air of paradise.

1805. xxv.

FROM THE SAME.
II.

No mortal object did these eyes behold
When first they met the placid light of thine,
And my Soul felt her destiny divine,
And hope of endless peace in me grew bold:
Heaven-born, the Soul a heaven-ward course
must hold; 5

Beyond the visible world she soars to seek
(For what delights the sense is false and weak)
Ideal Form, the universal mould.
The wise man, I affirm, can find no rest
In that which perishes: nor will he lend io
His heart to aught which doth on time depend,
"lis sense, unbridled will, and not true love,
That kills the soul: love betters what is best,
Even here below, but more in heaven above.

1805.

XXVI.

FROM THE SAME. TO THE SUPREME BEING.
III.

The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed
If Thou the spirit give by which I pray:
My unassisted heart is barren clay,
That of its native self can nothing feed:
Of good and pious works Thou art the seed, $
That quickens only where Thou say'st it may i

Unless Thou shew to us thine own true way No man can find it: Father! Thou must lead. Do Thou, then, breathe those thoughts into my

mind By which such virtue may in me he bred 10 That in thy holy footsteps I may tread; The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind, That I may have the power to sing of Thee, And sound thy praises everlastiDglv.

1805.

XXVII.

Surpbised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with

whom
But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind— 5
But how could I forget thee? Through what

power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss!—That thought's

return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, 10 Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more; That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

1815. (?)

xxvin. 1. Methotjght I saw the footsteps of a throne Which mists and vapours from mine eyes did

shroud— Nor view of who might sit thereon allowed;

But all the steps and ground about were strown
With sights the ruefullest that flesh and bone 5
Ever put on; a miserable crowd,
Sick, hale, old, young, who cried before that

cloud, "Thou art our king, 0 Death! to thee we

groan." Those steps I clomb; the mists before me gave Smooth way; and I beheld the face of one 1 o Sleeping alone within a mossy cave, With her face up to heaven; that seemed to

have Pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone; A lovely Beauty in a summer grave!

1806. (?)

XXIX.

NOVEMBER, 1836.

II.

Even so for me a Vision sanctified

The sway of Death; long ere mine eyes had

seen Thy countenance—the still rapture of thy

mien— When thou, dear Sister! wert become Death's

Bride: No trace of pain or languor could abide 5

That change:—age on thy brow was smoothed—.

thy cold Wan cheek at once was privileged to unfold A loveliness to living youth denied. Oh! if within me hope should e'er decline, The lamp of faith, lost Friend! too faintly

burn; 10

Then may that heaven-revealing smile of thine, The bright assurance, visibly return:

And let my spirit in that power divine Kejoice, as, through that power, it ceased to mourn.

XXX.

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,

The holy time is quiet as a Nun

Breathless with adoration; the broad sun

Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea: 5

Listen! the mighty Being is awake,

And doth with his eternal motion make

A sound like thunder—everlastingly.

Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me

here, If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, 1 o Thy nature is not therefore less divine: Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year; And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine, God being with thee when we know it not.

1802.

Where lies the Land to which yon Ship must

go? Fresh as a lark mounting at break of day, Festively she puts forth in trim array; Is she for tropic suns, or polar snow r1 What boots the inquiry ?—Neither friend nor

foe 5

She cares for; let her travel where she may,
She finds familiar names, a beaten way
Ever before her, and a wind to blow.
Yet still I ask, what haven is her mark?
And, almost as it was when ships were rare, 10
(From time to time, like Pilgrims, here and there
Crossing the waters) doubt, and something dark,

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