Изображения страниц

Upon the apex of that lofty cone
Alighted, there the stranger stood alone ;
Fair as a gorgeous fabric of the East
Suddenly raised by some enchanter's power,
Where nothing was ; and firm as some old tower
Of Britain's realm, whose leafy crest
Waves high, embellished by a gleaming shower!

Beneath the shadow of his purple wings
Rested a golden harp :-he touched the strings;
And, after prelude of unearthly sound
Poured through the echoing hills around,

He sang

[ocr errors]

No wintry desolations, Scorching blight, or noxious dew, Affect my native habitations ; Buried in glory, far beyond the scope Of man's inquiring gaze, but imaged to his hope (Alas, how faintly!) in the hue Profound of night's ethereal blue ; And in the aspect of each radiant orb;Some fixed, some wandering with no timid curb; But wandering star and fixed, to mortal eye, Blended in absolute serenity, And free from semblance of decline; Fresh as if evening brought their natal hour ; Her darkness splendour gave, her silence power, To testify of love and



And though to every draught of vital breath Renewed throughout the bounds of earth or ocean, The melancholy gates of death Respond with sympathetic motion; Though all that feeds on nether air, Howe'er magnificent or fair,

Grows but to perish, and intrust
Its ruins to their kindred dust ;
Yet, by the Almighty's ever-during care,'
Her procreant vigils Nature keeps
Amid the unfathomable deeps;
And saves the peopled fields of earth
From dread of emptiness or dearth.
Thus, in their stations, lifting toward the sky
The foliaged head in cloud-like majesty,
The shadow-casting race of trees survive:
Thus, in the train of spring, arrive
Sweet flowers ;-what living eye hath viewed
Their myriads ?-endlessly renewed,
Wherever strikes the sun's glad ray;
Wherever the subtle waters stray ;
Wherever sportive zephyrs bend
Their course or genial showers descend !
Mortals, rejoice! the very angels quit
Their mansions unsusceptible of change,
Amid your pleasant bowers to sit,
And through your sweet vicissitudes to range!'

Oh, nursed at happy distance from the cares
Of a too-anxious world, mild pastoral Muse!
That, to the sparkling crown Urania wears,
And to her sister Clio's laurel wreath,
Prefer'st a garland culled from purple heath,
Or blooming thicket moist with morning dews;
Was such bright spectacle vouchsafed to me?
And was it granted to the simple ear
Of thy contented votary
Such melody to hear !
Him rather suits it, side by side with thee,
Wrapped in a fit of pleasing indolence,
While thy tired lute hangs on the hawthorn tree,
To lie and listen, till o'er-drowsied sense
Sinks, hardly conscious of the influence,
To the soft murmur of the vagrant bee.
A slender sound ! yet hoary time
Doth to the soul exalt it with the chime
Of all his years ;-a company
Of ages coming, ages gone;
(Nations from before them sweeping,
Regions in destruction steeping),
But every awful note in unison
With that faint utterance, which tells
Of treasure sucked from buds and bells,
For the pure keeping of those waxen cells;
Where she, a statist prudent to confer
Upon the public weal; a warrior bold, -
Radiant all over with unburnished gold,
And armed with living spear for mortal fight;

A cunning forager
That spreads no waste; a social builder ; one
In whom all busy offices unite
With all fine functions that afford delight,
Safe through the winter storm in quiet dwells !
And is she brought within the power
Of vision ?-o'er this tempting flower
Hovering until the petals stay
Her flight, and take its voice away!-
Observe each wing--a tiny van!
The structure of her laden thigh,
How fragile !-yet of ancestry
Mysteriously remote and high,
High as the imperial front of man,
The roseate bloom on woman's cheek ;
The soaring eagle's curved beak;
The white plumes of the floating swan;
Old as the tiger's paw, the lion's mane

Ere shaken by that mood of stern disdain
At which the desert trembles.-Humming bee !
Thy sting was needless then, perchance unknown ;
The seeds of malice were not sown;
All creatures met in peace, from fierceness free,
And no pride blended with their dignity.
Tears had not broken from their source;
Nor Anguish strayed from her Tartarean den ;
The golden years maintained a course
Not undiversified, though smooth and even ;
We were not mocked with glimpse and shadow, then
Bright seraphs mixed familiarly with men ;
And earth and stars composed a universal heaven!


MAY, 1817.
An age hath been when earth was proud
Of lustre too intense
To be sustained ; and mortals bowed
The front in self-defence.
Who then, if Dian's crescent gleamed,
Or Cupid's sparkling arrow streamed
While on the wing the urchin played,
Could fearlessly approach the shade ?
Enough for one soft vernal day,
If bard of ebbing time,
And nurtured in a fickle clime,
May haunt this horned bay ;
Whose amorous water multiplies
The fitting halcyon's vivid dyes ;
And smooths her liquid breast-to show
These swan-like specks of mountain snow,
White as the pair that slid along the plains
Of heaven, when Venus held the reins !


In youth we love the darksome lawn
Brushed by the owlet's wing;
Then, twilight is preferred to dawn,
And autumn to the spring.
Sad fancies do we then affect,
In luxury of disrespect
To our own prodigal excess
Of too familiar happiness.
Lycoris (if such name befit
Thee, thee my life's celestial sign!)
When nature marks the year's decline,
Be ours to welcome it;
Pleased with the harvest hope that runs
Before the path of milder suns,
Pleased while the sylvan world displays
Its ripeness to the feeding gaze ;
Pleased when the sullen winds resound the knell
Of the resplendent miracle.

But something whispers to my heart
That, as we downward tend,
Lycoris ! life requires an art
To which our souls must bend;
A skill—to balance and supply;
And, ere the flowing fount be dry,
As soon it must, a sense to sip,
Or drink, with no fastidious lip.
Frank greeting, then, to that blithe guest
Diffusing smiles o'er land and sea
To aid the vernal Deity
Whose home is in the breast!
May pensive autumn ne'er present
A claim to her disparagement !
While blossoms and the budding spray
Inspire us in our own decay:

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »