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The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain, Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game They burst their manacles and wear the name

Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain ! O Liberty! with profitless endeavour Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour ;

But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power.

Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee,
(Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee)

Alike from Priestcraft's harpy minions,
And factious Blasphemy's obscener slaves,

Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions, The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the

waves! And there I felt thee !-on that sea-cliff's verge,

Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze above, Had made one murmur with the distant surge ! Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, And shot my being through earth, sea and air, Possessing all things with intensest love,

O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.

February, 1797.

DEJECTION: AN ODE.

Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,
With the old Moon in her arms;
And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
We shall have a deadly storm.

BALLAD OF SIR PATRICK SPENS.

I.

WELL! If the Bard was weather-wise, who

made
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick

Spence,
This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade
Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes,
Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and rakes

Upon the strings of this Eolian lute,

Which better far were mute,
For lo ! the New-moon winter-bright!
And overspread with phantom light,
(With swimming phantom light o'erspread

But rimmed and circled by a silver thread)
I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling

The coming on of rain and squally blast.
And oh! that even now the gust were swelling,

And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast ! Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they

awed,
And sent my soul abroad,

[graphic]

Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give,
Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and

live!

II.

A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,

A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,

In word, or sigh, or tear-
O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,
To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo'd,

All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
Have I been gazing on the western sky,

And its peculiar tint of yellow green :
And still I gaze—and with how blank an eye!
And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
That give away their motion to the stars ;
Those stars, that glide behind them or between,
Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen :
Yon crescent Moon as fixed as if it grew
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue;
I see them all so excellently fair,
I see, not feel how beautiful they are !

III.

My genial spirits fail ;

And what can these avail
To lift the smothering weight from off my breast ?

It were a vain endeavour,
Though I should

gaze
On that green light that lingers in the west :
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The passion and the life, whose fountains are

within.

for ever

IT.

O Lady! we receive but what we give,
And in our life alone does nature live:
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!

And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
Than that inanimate cold world allowed
To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd,

Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth,
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud

Enveloping the Earth-
And from the soul itself must there be sent

A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,
Of all sweet sounds the life and element !

V

O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
What this strong music in the soul may be!
What, and wherein it doth exist,
This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
This beautiful and beauty-making power.

Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given,
Save to the pure, and in their purest hour,
Life, and Life's effluence, cloud at once and shower,
Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power,
Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower,

A new Earth and new Heaven,
Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud-
Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud-

We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,

All melodies the echoes of that voice,
All colours a suffusion from that light.

VI.

There was a time when, though my path was rough,

This joy within me dallied with distress,
And all misfortunes were but as the stuff

Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness :
For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,
And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine.
But now afflictions bow me down to earth:
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth,

But oh! each visitation
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,

My shaping spirit of Imagination.
For not to think of what I needs must feel,

But to be still and patient, all I can ;
And haply by abstruse research to steal

From my own nature all the natural man-
This

sole

resource, my only plan : Till that which suits a part infects the whole, And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.

was my

VII.

Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind,

Reality's dark dream!
I turn from you, and listen to the wind,

Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream
Of agony by torture lengthened out
That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that ravest without,

Bare craig, or mountain-tairn,' or blasted tree, Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,

Tairn is a small lake, generally if not always applied to the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the feeders of those in the valleys. This address to the Storm-wind will not appear extravagant to those who have heard it at night, and in a mountainous country.

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