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Heaven gives our years of fading strength
Indemnifying fleetness ;
And those of youth, a seeming length,
Proportion'd to their sweetness.
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year ;
There are four seasons in the mind of man :
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span :
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven : quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close ; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too os pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song ;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long ;
Sad storm whose tears are vain,
Bare woods whose branches stain,
Deep caves and dreary main,-
Wail for the world's wrong!
P. B. Shelley
O World ! O Life! O Time !
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before ;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more--Oh, never more !
Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight No more-Oh, never more !
P. B. Shelley
There's not a nook within this solemn Pass,
But were an apt confessional for One
Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That Life is but a tale of morning grass
Wither'd at eve.
From scenes of art which chase
That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
Feed it 'mid Nature's old felicities,
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glas
Untouch'd, unbreathed upon :—Thrice happy quest,
If from a golden perch of aspen spray
(October's workmanship to rival May),
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky :
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die !
The Child is father of the Man :
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
ODE ON INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY
CHILDHOOD There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparelld in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of yore ;
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose ;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare ;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair ;
The sunshine is a glorious birth ;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong.
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep :-
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong:
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay ;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday ;-
Thou child of joy
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee ;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel I feel it all.
Oh evil day ! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning
This sweet May-morning ;
And the children are culling
On every side
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines waru And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm :
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear !
But there's a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone :
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat : Whither is fled the visionary gleam ? Where is it now, the glory and the dream ? Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ; The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar :
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home :
Heaven lies about us in our infancy !
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy ;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended ; At length the Man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day. Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And, even with something of a mother's mind
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man,
Forget the glories he hath known
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years' darling of a pigmy size !
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes !
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnéd art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral ;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife ;
But it will not be long,
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride