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SONNETS 343

Swift, toward the realms that know not earthly TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE V’

day, I55

He through the portal takes his silent way, Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men!
And on the palace-floor a lifeless corse she lay. Whether the whistling rustic tend his plough

- - Within thy hearing, or thy head be now r -
Thus all in vain exhorted and reproved, Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den; –
She perished; and, as for a wilful crime, *59 O miserable chieftain where and when 5
By the just gods, whom no weak pity moved, wilt, thou find patience? Yet die not do
Was doomed to wear out her appointed time, thou \o p-
Apart from happy ghosts, that gather flowers Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow: o: o,3-
Of blissful quiet 'mid unfading bowers. Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, o-

— Yet tears to human suffering are due; Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind

And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown 165 owers that will work for thee; air, earth, and
Are mourned by man, and not by man alone, skies; ro

As fondly he believes. – Upon the side There's not a breathing of the common wind
Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained) That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
A knot of spiry trees for ages grew Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
From out the tomb of him for whom she died; And love, and man's unconquerable mind.
And ever, when such stature they had gained 17 -
That Ilium's walls were subject to their view, SEPTEMBER, 1802, NEAR DOWER
The trees' tall summits withered at the sight;
A constant interchange of growth and blight! Inland, within a hollow vale, I stood;
And saw, while sea was calm and air was clear,
TO A SKY—LARK . The coast of France — the coast of France how
.’ - - near !
i. o o#". : sky! bound? Drawn almost into frightful neighbourhood.
ost thou despise the earth where cares aboun I shrunk; for verily the barrier flood 5

Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye Was like a lake, or river bright and fair
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground? A span of waters; yet what power is there
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will, 5 What mightiness for evil and for good!
Those quivering wings composed, that music still ! Even so doth God protect us if we be -

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood; Virtuous and wise. Winds blow, and waters
A privacy of glorious light is thine; roll,
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood Strength to the brave, and Power, and Deity; 11
Of harmony, with instinct more divine; 1o Yet in themselves are nothing! One decree
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam; Spake laws to them, and said that by the soul

True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home! Only, the nations shall be great and free.

SONNETS THOUGHT OF A BRITON ON THE SUB

ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE VENE- JUGATION OF SWITZERLAND

TIAN REPUBLIC Two voices are there; one is of the sea,

Once did She hold the gorgeous east in fee; One of the mountains; each a mighty voice:
And was the safeguard of the west: the worth In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,
Of Venice did not fall below her birth, - They were thy chosen music, Liberty!
Venice, the eldest child of Liberty. There came a tyrant, and with holy glee 5
She was a maiden city, bright and free; 5 Thou fought'st against him; but hast vainly
No guile seduced, no force could violate; striven:
And, when she took unto herself a Mate, Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea. Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
And what if she had seen those glories fade, Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft: 9
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay; ro Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid For, high-souled Maid, what sorrow would it be
When her long life hath reached its final day: That mountain floods should thunder as before,

Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade And ocean bellow from his rocky shore,
Of that which once was great is passed away. And neither awful voice be heard by thee.

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LONDON, 1802

Milton I thou should'st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower 5
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, II.
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, 5
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; ro
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still I

ON THE SEA-SHORE NEAR CALAIS

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea: 5
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder — everlastingly.
Dear Child 1 dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, 1o
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
And worship'st at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

ON THE SONNET

Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room; And hermits are contented with their cells;

And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells, 6
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison, unto which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound 10
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must
be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

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The world is too much with us: late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; S s
For this, for everything, we are out of tune; N
It moves us not. — Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; to |
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

- ST

SONNETS

TO SLEEP

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
sky:
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: So do not let me wear to-night away: I. I.

Without Thee what is all the morning's wealth? Come, blessed barrier between day and day, Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health !

TO B. R. HAYDON

High is our calling, Friend! – Creative Art
(Whether the instrument of words she use,
Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,)
Demands the service of a mind and heart,
Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part, 5
Heroically fashioned — to infuse
Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse,
While the whole world seems adverse to desert.
And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may,
Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,
Still to be strenuous for the bright reward, II.
And in the soul admit of no decay,
Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness —
Great is the glory, for the strife is hard I

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The old inventive Poets, had they seen,
Or rather felt, the entrancement that detains
Thy waters, Duddon 1 'mid these flowery plains —
The still repose, the liquid lapse serene, -
Transferred to bowers imperishably green, 5
Had beautified Elysium ! But these chains
Will soon be broken; – a rough course remains,
Rough as the past; where thou, of placid mien,
Innocuous as a firstling of the flock,
And countenanced like a soft cerulean sky, Io
Shalt change thy temper; and with many a shock
Given and received in mutual jeopardy,
Dance, like a Bacchanal, from rock to rock,
Tossing her frantic thyrsus wide and highl

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I thought of thee, my partner and my guide,
As being past away. — Vain sympathies!
For, backward, Duddon 1 as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall forever glide;
The Form remains, the Function never dies; 6
While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish; — be it sol
Enough, if something from our hands have power
To live, and act, and serve the future hour; 11
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
Through love, through hope, and faith's tran-
scendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know.

SCORN NOT THE SONNET

Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned, Mindless of its just honours; with this key Shakespeare unlocked his heart: the melody

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,

Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;—In fear that else, when Critics grave and cool

A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; 5
With it Camoëns soothed an exile's grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf

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Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes To pace the ground, if path be there or none, While a fair region round the traveller lies Which he forbears again to look upon; Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene, 5 The work of Fancy, or some happy tone Of meditation, slipping in between The beauty coming and the beauty gone. If Thought and Love desert us, from that day Let us break off all commerce with the Muse: Io With Thought and Love companions of our way, , Whate'er the senses take or may refuse, The Miod's internal heaven shall shed her dews Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

COMPOSED ON A MAY MORNING

Life with yon Lambs, like day, is just begun
Yet Nature seems to them a heavenly guide.
Does joy approach P they meet the coming tide,
And sullenness avoid, as now they shun
Pale twilight's lingering glooms, – and in the sun
Couch near their dams, with quiet satisfied; 6
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, ro
Where herbs look up, and opening flowers are seen;
Why to God's goodness cannot We be true,
And so, His gifts and promises between,
Feed to the last on pleasures ever new P

THE POET

A Poets He hath put his heart to school, Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff

Have killed him, Scorn should write his epitaph.

How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold P Because the lovely little flower is free ic

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.

SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771–1832) THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL FROM CANTO I

The feast was over in Branksome tower,
And the Ladye had gone to her secret bower;
Her bower that was guarded by word and by
spell,
Deadly to hear, and deadly to tell —
Jesu Maria, shield us well !
No living wight, save the Ladye alone,
Had dared to cross the threshold stone.

The tables were drawn, it was idlesse all;
Knight, and page, and household squire,
Loiter'd through the lofty hall, ic
Or crowded round the ample fire:
The staghounds, weary with the chase, .
Lay stretch’d upon the rushy floor,
And urged, in dreams, the forest race,
From Teviot-stone to Eskdale-moor.

Nine-and-twenty knights of fame
Hung their shields in Branksome-Hall;
Nine-and-twenty squires of name
Brought them their steeds to bower from stall;
Nine-and-twenty yeomen tall - 2d
Waited, duteous, on them all;
They were all knights of mettle true,
Kinsmen to the bold Buccleuch.

Ten of them were sheathed in steel,
With belted sword, and spur on heel:
They quitted not their harness bright, y
Neither by day, nor yet by night:
They lay down to rest,
With corslet laced,
Pillow'd on buckler cold and hard; 30

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