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Or blight that fond memorial;—the trees grew,
And now entwine their arms ; but ne'er again 10
Embraced those Brothers upon earth's wide
Nor aught of mutual joy or sorrow knew
Until their spirits mingled in the sea
That to itself takes all, Eternity.
On the Wayside between Preston and Liverpoo1.
Untouched through all severity of cold;
Inviolate, whate'er the cottage hearth
Might need for comfort, or for festal mirth;
That Pile of Turf is half a century old:
Yes, Traveller! fifty winters have been told 5
Since suddenly the dart of death went forth
'Gainst him who raised it,—his last work on
Thence has it, with the Son, so strong a hold
Upon his Father's memory, that his hands,
Through reverence, touch it only to repair 10
Its waste.—Though crumbling with each breath
of air, In annual renovation thus it stands— Rude Mausoleum! but wrens nestle there, And red-breasts warble when sweet sounds are
TO THE AUTHOR'S PORTRAIT.
Painted at Rydal Mount, by W. Pickersgill, Esq., for St. John's College, Cambridge.
Go, faithful Portrait! and where long hath knelt
Margaret, the saintly Foundress, take thy
place; And, if Time spare the colours for the grace Which to the work surpassing skill hath dealt, Thou, on thy rock reclined, though kingdoms
And states be torn up by the roots, wilt seem To breathe in rural peace, to hear the stream, And think and feel as once the Poet felt. Whate'er thy fate, those features have not
Unrecognised through many a household tear More prompt, more glad, to fall than drops of
dew By morning shed around a flower half-blown; Tears of delight, that testified how true To life thou art, and, in thy truth, how dear!
1832. (?) xxv.
Why art thou silent! Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant— 5
Bound to thy service with unceasing care,
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak—though this soft warm heart, once free
to hold A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine, Be left more desolate, more dreary cold 11
Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow 'Mid. its own bush of leafless eglantine— Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may
TO B. R. HAYDON, ON SEEING HIS PICTURE OF
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE ON THE ISLAND OF ST.
Haydon! let worthier judges praise the skill .
Here by thy pencil shown in truth of lines
And charm of colours; I applaud those signs
Of thought, that give the true poetic thrill;
That unencumbered whole of blank and still, 5
Sky without cloud—ocean without a wave;
And the one Man that laboured to enslave
The World, sole-standing high on the bare
Back turned, arms folded, the unapparent face
Tinged, we may fancy, in this dreary place 10
With light reflected from the invisible sun
Set, like his fortunes; but not set for aye
Like them. The unguilty Power pursues his
way, And before him doth dawn perpetual run.
June 11, 1831.
A Poet !—He hath put his heart to school,
Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff
Which Art hath lodged within his hand—must
By precept only, and shed tears by rule.
Thy Art be Nature; the live current quaff, 5
And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,
In fear that else, when Critics grave and cool
Have killed him, Scorn should write his epitaph.
How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free 10
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold;
And so the grandeur of the Forest-tree
Comes not by casting in a formal mould,
But from its own divine vitality.
The most alluring clouds that mount the sky
Owe to a troubled element their forms,
Their hues to sunset. If with raptured eye
We watch their splendour, shall we covet storms,
And wish the Lord of day his slow decline 5
Would hasten, that such pomp may float on
Behold, already they forget to shine,
Dissolve—and leave to him who gazed a sigh.
Not loth to thank each moment for its boon
Of pure delight, come whensoe'er it may, 10
Peace let us seek,—to stedfast things attune
Calm expectations, leaving to the gay
And volatile their love of transient bowers,
The house that cannot pass away be ours.
ON A PORTRAIT OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON UPON THE FIELD OF WATERLOO, BY HAYDON.
By Art's bold privilege Warrior and War-horse
stand On ground yet strewn with their last battle's
wreck; Let the Steed glory while his Master's hand Lies fixed for ages on his conscious neck; But by the Chieftain's look, though at his side 5 Hangs that day's treasured sword, how firm a
Is given to triumph and all human pride!
Yon trophied Mound shrinks to a shadowy
In his calm presence! Him the mighty deed
Elates not, brought far nearer the grave's rest, 10
As shows that time-worn face, for he such seed
Has sown as yields, we trust, the fruit of fame
In Heaven; hence no one blushes for thy name,
Conqueror, 'mid some sad thoughts, divinely
Aug. 31, 1840.
COMPOSED ON A MAY MORNING, 1838.
Life with yon Lambs, like day, is just begun,
Yet Nature seems to them a heavenly guide.
Does joy approach? they meet the coming tide;
And sullenness avoid, as now they shun
Pale twilight's lingering glooms,—and in the
Couch near their dams, with quiet satisfied;
Or gambol—each with his shadow at his side,
Varying its shape wherever he may run.
As they from turf yet hoar with sleepy dew
All turn, and court the shining and the green,
Where herbs look up, and opening flowers are
Why to God's goodness cannot We be true,
And so, His gifts and promises between,
Peed to the last on pleasures ever new?
Lo! where she stands fixed in a saint-like
trance, One upward hand, as if she needed rest