Page images

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.

1829. (?)


FILIAL PIETY. On the Wayside between Preston and Liverpool. 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

earth: 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 standsRude Mausoleum! but wrens nestle there, And red-breasts warble when sweet sounds are rare.

1828. (?)


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


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

melt 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

grown 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. (?)


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 II Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow ’Mid its own bush of leafless eglantineSpeak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!

1835. (3)




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


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

laugh 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.

1842. (?)

XXVIII. 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 s Would hasten, that such pomp may float on

high? 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.

1842. (?)



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

speck 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, ʼmid some sad thoughts, divinely blest!

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,
Feed to the last on pleasures ever new ?


XXXI. Lo! where she stands fixed in a saint-like

trance, One upward hand, as if she needed rest

« PreviousContinue »