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Pelion and Ossa flourish side by side,
Together in immortal books enrolled:
His ancient dower Olympus hath not sold
And that inspiring Hill, which " did divide
Into two ample horns his forehead wide," 5
Shines with poetic radiance as of old;
While not an English Mountain we behold
By the celestial Muses glorified.
Yet round our sea-girt shore they rise in
What was the great Parnassus' self to Thee, 10
Mount Skiddaw? In his natural sovereignty
Our British Hill is nobler far; he shrouds
His double front among Atlantic clouds,
And pours forth streams more sweet than
There is a little unpretending Eill
Of limpid water, humbler far than aught
That ever among Men or Naiads sought
Notice or name!—It quivers down the hill,
Furrowing its shallow way with dubious will; 5
Yet to my mind this scanty Stream is brought
Oftener than Ganges or the Nile; a thought
Of private recollection sweet and still!
Months perish with their moons; year treads
But, faithful Emma! thou with me canst say 10
That, while ten thousand pleasures disappear,
And flies their memory fast almost as they;
The immortal Spirit of one happy day
Lingers beside that Bill, in vision clear.
Her only pilot the soft breeze, the boat
Lingers, but Fancy is well satisfied;
With keen-eyed Hope, with Memory, at her
side, And the glad Muse at liberty to note All that to each is precious, as we float 5
Gently along; regardless who shall chide
If the heavens smile, and leave us free to glide,
Happy Associates breathing air remote
Prom trivial cares. But, Fancy and the Muse,
Why have I crowded this small bark with you 1 o
And others of your kind, ideal crew!
While here sits One whose brightness owes its
hues To flesh and blood; no Goddess from above, No fleeting Spirit, but my own true Love?
The fairest, brightest, hues of ether fade;
The sweetest notes must terminate and die;
O Friend! thy flute has breathed a harmony
Softly resounded through this rocky glade;
Such strains of rapture as' the Genius played 5
In his still haunt on Bagdad's summit high;
He who stood visible to Mirza's eye,
Never before to human sight betrayed.
Lo, in the vale, the mists of evening spread!
The visionary Arches are not there, 10
Nor the green Islands, nor the shining Seas;
Yet sacred is to me this Mountain's head,
Whence I have risen, uplifted on the breeze
Of harmony, above all earthly care.
1815. (?) 1 See the "Vision of Mirza" in the "Spectator."
UPON THE SIGHT OF A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE,
Painted by Sir G. H. Beaumont, Bart.
Praised be the Art whose subtle power could
stay Ton cloud, and fix it in that glorious shape; Nor would permit the thin smoke to escape, Nor those bright sunbeams to forsake the day; Which stopped that band of travellers on their
Ere they were lost within the shady wood; And showed the Bark upon the glassy flood For ever anchored in her sheltering bay. Soul-soothing Art! whom Morning, Noon-tide,
Even, Do serve with all their changeful pageantry; 10 Thou, with ambition modest yet sublime, Here, for the sight of mortal man, hast given To one brief moment caught from fleeting time The appropriate calm of blest eternity.
"why, Minstrel, these untuneful murmur
Dull, flagging notes that with each other jar?"
"Think, gentle Lady, of a Harp so far
From its own country, and forgive the strings."
A simple answer! but even so forth springs, 5
From the Castalian fountain of the heart,
The Poetry of Life, and all that Art
Divine of words quickening insensate things.
From the submissive necks of guiltless men
Stretched on the block the glittering axe re-
Sun, moon, and stars, all struggle in the toils
Of mortal sympathy; what wonder then
That the poor Harp distempered music yields
To its sad Lord, far from his native fields?
1827. (?) XI.
Aebial Rock—whose solitary brow
From this low threshold daily meets my sight;
When I step forth to hail the morning light;
Or quit the stars with a lingering farewell—how
Shall Fancy pay to thee a grateful vow? 5
How, with the Muse's aid, her love attest?
—By planting on thy naked head the crest
Of an imperial Castle, which the plough
Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme!
That doth presume no more than to supply 10
A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream
Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity.
Rise, then, ye votive Towers! and catch a gleam
Of golden sunset, ere it fade and die.
0 Gentle Sleep! do they belong to thee,
These twinklings of oblivion? Thou dost love
To sit in meekness, like the brooding Dove,
A captive never wishing to be free.
This tiresome night, 0 Sleep! thou art to me 5
A Fly, that up and down himself doth shove
Upon a fretful rivulet, now above,
Now on the water vexed with mockery.
1 have no pain that calls for patience, no;
Hence am I cross and peevish as a child: 10
Am pleased by fits to have thee for my foe,
Yet ever willing to be reconciled:
O gentle Creature! do not use me so,
But once and deeply let me be beguiled.
Fond words have oft teen spoken to thee,
Sleep! And thou hast had thy store of tenderest
The very sweetest Fancy culls or frames,
When thankfulness of heart is strong and deep!
Dear Bosom-child we call thee, that dost steep 5
In rich reward all suffering; Balm that tames
All anguish; Saint that evil thoughts and aims
Takest away, and into souls dost creep, •
Like to a breeze from heaven. Shall I alone,
I surely not a man ungently made, 10
Call thee worst Tyrant by which Flesh is crost?
Perverse, self-willed to own and to disown,
Mere slave of them who never for thee prayed,
Still last to come where thou art wanted most!
A Flock of sheep that leisurely pass by,
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure
I have thought of all by turns, and yet do lie 5
Sleepless! and soon the small birds' melodies
Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees;
And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.
Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth: