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Of the old Sea some reverential fear,
Is with me at thy farewell, joyous Bark!
With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
Like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed;
Some lying fast at anchor in the road,
Some veering up and down, one knew not why.
A goodly Vessel did I then espy 5
Come like a giant from a haven broad;
And lustily along the bay she strode,
Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.
This Ship was nought to me, nor I to her,
Yet I pursued her with a Lover's look; 10
This Ship to all the rest did I prefer:
When will she turn, and whither? She will brook
No tarrying; where She comes the winds must
stir: On went She, and due north her journey took.
1806. (?) Xxxiii.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; 5
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I 'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; 10
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
A Volant Tribe of Bards on earth are found, Who, while the flattering Zephyrs round them
P%, On "coignes of vantage" hang their nests of
clay; How quickly from that aery hold unbound, Dust for oblivion! To the solid ground 5
Of nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye;
Convinced that there, there only, she can lay
Secure foundations. As the year runs round,
Apart she toils within the chosen ring;
While the stars shine, or while day's purple
eye . 10
Is gently closing with the flowers of spring;
Where even the motion of an Angel's wing
Would interrupt the intense tranquillity
Of silent hills, and more than silent sky.
"Weak is the will of Man, his judgment blind;
Remembrance persecutes, and Hope betrays;
Heavy is woe;—and joy, for human-kind,
A mournful thing, so transient is the blaze!"
Thus might he paint our lot of mortal days 5
Who wants the glorious faculty assigned
To elevate the more-than-reasoning Mind,
And colour life's dark cloud with orient rays.
Imagination is that sacred power,
Imagination lofty and refined: 10
'Tis hers to pluck the amaranthine flower
Of Faith, and round the sufferer's temples bind
Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower,
And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.
TO THE MEMORY OF EAISLEY CALVERT.
Calvert! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where'er I liked; and finally array
My temples with the Muse's diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth;
If there be aught of pure, or good, or great, 10
In my past verse; or shall be, in the lays
Of higher mood, which now I meditate ;—
It gladdens me, 0 worthy, short-lived, Youth!
To think how much of this will be thy praise.
Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; 5
With it Camoens soothed an exile's grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser,called from Faery-land 1 o
To strugglethroughdarkways; andwhenadamp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few!
II. How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks The wayward brain, to saunter through a wood! An old place, full of many a lovely brood, Tall trees, green arbours, and ground-flowers
in flocks; And wild rose tip-toe upon hawthorn stocks, 5 Like a bold Girl, who plays her agile pranks At Wakes and Fairs with wandering Mountebanks,— When she stands cresting the Clown's head,
and mocks The crowd beneath her. Verily I think, Such place to me is sometimes like a dream 10 Or map of the whole world: thought s,link by link, Bnterthrough ears and eyesight, with such gleam Of all things, that at last in fear I shrink, And leap at once from the delicious stream.
TO B. E. HAYDON.
High is our calling, Friend!—Creative Art
(Whether the instrument of words she use,
Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,)
Demands the service of a mind and heart,
Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part, 5
Heroically fashioned to infuse
Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse,
While the whole world seems adverse to desert.
And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may,
Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,
Still to be strenuous for the bright reward, 11
And in the soul admit of no decay,
Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness—
Great is the glory, for the strife is hard!
Feom the dark chambers of dejection freed,
Spurning the unprofitable yoke of care,
Eise, Gillies,rise: the gales of youth shall bear
Thy genius forward like a winged steed.
Though bold Bellerophon (so Jove decreed 5
In wrath) fell headlong from the fields of air,
Yet a rich guerdon waits on minds that dare,
If aught be in them of immortal seed,
And reason govern that audacious flight
Which heaven-ward they direct.—Then droop
not thou, 10
Erroneously renewing a sad vow
In the low dell 'mid Roslin's faded grove:
A cheerful life is what the Muses love,
A soaring spirit is their prime delight.
Fair Prime of life! were it enough to gild
With ready sunbeams every straggling shower;
And, if an unexpected cloud should lower,
Swiftly thereon a rainbow arch to build
For Fancy's errands,—then, from fields half-
G-athering green weeds to mix with poppy
flower, Thee might thy Minions crown, and chant thy
power, Unpitied by the wise, all censure stilled. Ah! show that worthier honours are thy due; Fair Prime of life! arouse the deeper heart; 10 Confirm the Spirit glorying to pursue Some path of steep ascent and lofty aim; And, if there be a joy that slights the claim Of grateful memory, bid that joy depart.