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ON THE SIGHT OF SWANS IN KEN.
QUEEN-BIRD that sittest on thy shining nest,
And thy young cygnets without sorrow
And thou, thou other royal bird, that watchest
Lest the white mother wandering feet molest:
Shrined are your offspring in a chrystal cradle,
Brighter than Helen's ere she yet had burst
Her shelly prison. They shall be born at first
Strong, active, graceful, perfect, swan-like able
To tread the land or waters with security.
Unlike poor human births, conceived in sin,
In grief brought forth, both outwardly and in
Confessing weakness, error, and impurity.
Did heavenly creatures own succession's line,
The births of heaven like to your's would shine.
Was it some sweet device of Faery
That mocked my steps with many a lonely
And fancied wanderings with a fair-hair'd maid?
Have these things been? or what rare witchery,
Impregning with delights the charmed air,
Enlighted up the semblance of a smile
In those fine eyes ? methought they spake the
while Soft soothing things, which might enforce
despair To drop the murdering knife, and let go by His foul resolve. And does the lonely glade Still court the foot-steps of the fair-hair'd maid? Still in her locks the gales of summer sigh While I forlorn do wander reckless where, And ʼmid my wanderings meet no Anna there.
METHINKS how dainty sweet it were, reclin'd
Beneath the vast out-stretching branches high
Of some old wood, in careless sort to lie,
Nor of the busier scenes we left behind
Aught envying. And, O Anna! mild-eyed
Beloved ! I were well content to play
With thy free tresses all a summer's day,
Losing the time beneath the greenwood shade.
Or we might sit and tell some tender tale
Of faithful vows repaid by cruel scorn,
A tale of true love, or of friend forgot;
And I would teach thee, lady, how to rail
In gentle sort, on those who practise not
Or love or pity, though of woman born.
WHEN last I roved these winding wood-walks
green, Green winding walks, and shady pathways
sweet, Oft-times would Anna seek the silent scene, Shrouding her beauties in the lone retreat. No more I hear her footsteps in the shade : Her image only in these pleasant ways Meets me self-wandering, where in happier days I held free converse with the fair-hair'd maid. I passed the little cottage which she loved, The cottage wbich did once my all contain; It spake of days which ne'er must come again, Spake to my heart, and much my heart was moved. “ Now fair befall thee, gentle maid !” said I, And from the cottage turned me with a sigh.
A TIMID grace sits trembling in her eye,
As loth to meet the rudeness of men's sight,
Yet shedding a delicious lunar light,
That steeps in kind oblivious ecstasy
The care-crazed mind, like some still melody:
Speaking most plain the thoughts which do
Her gentle sprite: peace, and meek quietness,
And innocent loves, and maiden purity :
A look whereof might heal the cruel smart
Of changed friends, or fortune's wrongs unkind;
Might to sweet deeds of mercy move the heart
Of him who hates his brethren of mankind.
Turned are those lights from me, who fondly yet
Past joys, vain loves, and buried hopes regret.