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Of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings
prowl Insidiously, untimely thunders growl; 5
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 10 Large space (mid dreadful clouds) of purest sky, An azure disc—shield of Tranquillity; Invisible, unlooked-for, minister Of providential goodness ever nigh!
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,
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
TO THE LADY MARY LOWTHEK.
With a selection from the Poems of Anne, Countess of Winchilsea; and extracts of similar character from other Writers; transcribed by a female friend.
Lady! I rifled a Parnassian Cave
(But seldom trod) of mildly-gleaming ore;
And culled, from sundry beds, a lucid store
Of genuine crystals, pure as those that pave
The azure brooks, where Dian joys to lave 5
Her spotless limbs; and ventured to explore
Dim shades—for reliques, upon Lethe's shore,
Cast up at random by the sullen wave.
To female hands the treasures were resigned;
And lo this Work!—a grotto bright and clear 10
From stain or taint; in which thy blameless
mind May feed on thoughts though pensive not
austere; Or, if thy deeper spirit be inclined To holy musing, it may enter here.
Lady! the songs of Spring were in the grove
And these perennial bowers and murmuring
pines Be gracious as the music and the bloom And all the mighty ravishment of spring.
There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Fresh as the star that crowns the brow of morn;
1827. (?) XX.
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 5 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; 10 And a huge mass, to bury or to hide,
Approached this glory of the firmament; Who meekly vields, and is obscured—content With one calm triumph of a modest pride,
When haughty expeotations prostrate lie,
The Emathian phalanx, nobly obstinate;
Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour!
To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest
seen The self-same Vision which we now behold, io At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power! brought
forth; These mighty barriers, and the gulf between; The flood, the stars,—a spectacle as old As the beginning of the heavens and earth!
With how sad steps, 0 Moon, thou climb'st
the sky, "How silently, and with how wan a face!" Where art thou? Thou so often seen on high Running among the clouds a Wood-nymph's
race! Unhappy Nuns, whose common breath's a sigh 5 Which they would stifle, move at such a pace! 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 all the stars, fast as the clouds were riven, 10 Should sally forth, to keep thee company, Hurrying and sparkling through the clear blue
heaven; But, Cynthia! should to thee the palm be
given, Queen both for beauty and for majesty.
Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress
1 "Sullenly," edd. 1815, 1820, 1838. "Suddenly," ed.1. 1827—1849 (except 1838).—Ed.