Page images
PDF
EPUB

To mitigate and cheer its loneliness.

Yet, round the body of that joyless Thing

Which sends so far its melancholy light, 10

Perhaps are seated in domestic ring

A gay society with faces bright,

Conversing, reading, laughing;—or they sing,

While hearts and voices in the song unite.

1815. (?)

XXV.

The stars are mansions built by Nature's

hand, And, haply, there the spirits of the blest Dwell, clothed in radiance, their immortal

vest; Huge Ocean shows, within his yellow strand, A habitation marvellously planned, 5

For life to occupy in love and rest;
All that we see—is dome, or vault, or nest,
Or fortress, reared at Nature's sage command.
Glad thought for every season! but the

Spring
Gave it while cares were weighing on my

heart, 10

'Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring;
And while the youthful year's prolific art—
Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower—was fashioning
Abodes where self-disturbance hath no part.

1820. (?)

XXVI.

Desponding Father! mark this altered bough,
So beautiful of late, with sunshine warmed,
Or moist with dews; what more unsightly now,
Its blossoms shrivelled, and its fruit, if formed,
Invisible? yet Spring her genial brow 5

Knits not o'er that discolouring and decay

As false to expectation. Nor fret thou

At like unlovely process in the May

Of human life: a Stripling's graces blow,

Fade and are shed, that from their timely fall i o

(Misdeem it not a cankerous change) may grow

Eich mellow bearings, that for thanks shall call:

In all men, sinful is it to be slow

To hope—in Parents, sinful above al1.

1835. (?)

XXVII.
CAPTIVITY.—MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.

"As the cold aspect of a sunless way

Strikes through the Traveller's frame with

deadlier chill,
Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill,
Glistening with unparticipated ray,
Or shining slope where he must never stray; 5
So joys, remembered without wish or will,
Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,—
On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay.
Just Heaven, contract the compass of my mind
To fit proportion with my altered state! 10

Quench those felicities whose light I find
Reflected in my bosom all too late!—
0 be my spirit, like my thraldom, strait;
And, like mine eyes that stream with sorrow,

blind!"

1819. (!)

XXVIII.

ST. CATHERINE OF LEDBURY.

When human, touch (as monkish books attest) Nor was applied nor could be, Ledbury bells Broke forth in concert flung adown the dells,

And upward, high as Malvern's cloudy crest;
Sweet tones, and caught by a noble Lady blest 5
To rapture! Mabel listened at the side
Of her loved mistress: soon the music died,
And Catherine said, Jtjete $ get up tttg test.
"Warned in a dream, the Wanderer long had

sought A home that by such miracle of sound 10

Must be revealed:—she heard it now, or felt
The deep, deep joy of a confiding thought;
And there, a saintly Anchoress, she dwelt
Till she exchanged for heaven that happy

ground.

1835. (?)

"gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name."

Though narrow be that old Man's cares, and

near, The poor old Man is greater than he seems: For he hath waking empire, wide as dreams; An ample sovereignty of eye and ear. Bich are his walks with supernatural cheer; 5 The region of his inner spirit teems With vital sounds and monitory gleams Of high astonishment and pleasing fear. He the seven birds hath seen, that never part, Seen the Seven Whistlers in their nightly

rounds, 10

And counted them: and oftentimes will start—
For overhead are sweeping Gabriel's Hounds
Doomed, with their impious Lord, the flying

Hart
To chase for ever, on aerial grounds!

1807. (?)

XXX.

Four fiery steeds impatient of the rein
Whirled us o'er sunless ground beneath a sky
As void of sunshine, when, from that wide plain,
Clear tops of far-off mountains we descry,
Like a Sierra of cerulean Spain, 5

All light and lustre. Did no heart reply?
Yes, there was One;—for One, asunder fly
The thousand links of that ethereal chain;
And green vales open out, with grove and field,
And the fair front of many a happy Home; 10
Such tempting spots as into vision come
While Soldiers, weary of the arms they wield,
And sick at heart of strifeful Christendom,
Gaze on the moon by parting clouds revealed.

1835. (?) xxxl.

Brook! whose society the Poet seeks,
Intent his wasted spirits to renew;
And whom the curious Painter doth pursue
Through rocky passes, among flowery creeks,
And tracks thee dancing down thy water-
breaks; 5
If wish were mine some type of thee to view,
Thee, and not thee thyself, I would not do
Like Grecian Artists, give thee human cheeks.
Channels for tears; no Naiad should'st thou

be — Have neither limbs, feet, feathers, joints, nor hairs: io

It seems the Eternal Soul is clothed in thee With purer robes than those of flesh and blood, And hath bestowed on thee a safer good; Unwearied joy, and life without its cares.

1315. (?)

Xxxii.

Composed On The Banks Of A Rocky Stream.

Dogmatic Teachers, of the snow-white fur!
Te wrangling Schoolmen, of the scarlet hood!
Who, with a keenness not to be withstood,
Press the point home, or falter and demur,
Checked in your course .by many a teasing

burr; 5

These natural council-seats your acrid blood
Might cool;—and, as the Genius of the flood
Stoops willingly to animate and spur
Each lighter function slumbering in the brain,
Yon eddying balls of foam, these arrowy

gleams 10

That o'er the pavement of the surging streams
Welter and flash, a synod might detain
With subtle speculations, haply vain,
But surely less so than your far-fetched themes!

1820. (?)

XXXIII.

THIS AND THE TWO FOLLOWING WERE SUGGESTED
BY MR. W. WESTALL'S VIEWS OF THE CAVES, ETC.
IN YORKSHIRE.

Pure element of waters! wheresoe'er
Thou dost forsake thy subterranean haunts,
Green herbs, bright flowers, and berry-bearing

plants,
Rise into life and in thy train appear:
And, through the sunny portion of the year, 5
Swift insects shine, thy hovering pursuivants:
And, if thy bounty fail, the forest pants;
And hart and hind and hunter with his spear
Languish and droop together. Nor unfelt
In man's perturbed soul thy sway benign; 10
And, haply, far within the marble belt
Of central earth, where tortured Spirits pine

« PreviousContinue »