Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall
pass

into her face.

And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell.”

Thus Nature spake—The work was donem
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.

1790.

THE REVERIE OF POOR SUSAN. AT the corner of Wood Street, when daylight

appears, Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for

three years :

Poor Susan has passed by the spot, and has heard In the silence of morning the song of the Bird.

"T is a note of enchantment; what ails her? She

sees

A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;

Bright columns of vapor through Lothbury glide, And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale,
Down which she so often has tripped with her pail;
And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,
The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.

She looks, and her heart is in heaven; but they fade,
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade:
The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
And the colors have all passed away from her eyes!

[ocr errors]

SONNET.

COMPOSED DURING A STORM.

ONE

NE who was suffering tumult in his soul

Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer, Went forth—his course surrendering to the care of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings prowl Insidiously, untimely thunders growl ; While trees, dim-seen, in frenzied numbers, tear The lingering remnant of their yellow hair, And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl As if the sun were not. He raised his eye Soul-smitten ; for, that instant, did appear Large space (mid dreadful clouds) of purest sky, An azure disc—shield of tranquillity ; Invisible, unlooked-for, minister Of providential goodness ever nigh!

LAODAMIA. “WITH sacrifice before the rising morn

Vows have I made by fruitless hope in.

spired; And from the infernal Gods, 'mid shades forlorn Of night, my slaughtered Lord have I required: Celestial pity I again implore;Restore him to my sight-great Jove, restore !" So speaking, and by fervent love endowed With faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands; While, like the sun emerging from a cloud, Her countenance brightens—and her eye expands; Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows; And she expects the issue in repose. O terror! what hath she perceived ?-O joy! What doth she look on ?-whom doth she behold ? Her Hero slain upon the beach of Troy ? His vital presence ? his corporeal mould ? It is—if sense deceive her not-'tis He! And a God leads him, winged Mercury ! Mild Hermes spake-and touched her with his wand That calms all fear; “Such grace hath crowned

thy prayer, Laodamia! that at Jove's command Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air : He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space; Accept the gift, behold him face to face !" Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to

clasp; Again that consummation she essayed ;

But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp
As often as that eager grasp was made.
The Phantom parts--but parts to re-unite,
And re-assume his place before her sight.
· Protesilaus, lo! thy guide is gone!
Confirm, I pray, the vision with thy voice:
This is thy palace,-yonder is thy throne;
Speak, and the floor thou tread'st on will rejoice.
Not to appal me have the gods bestowed
This precious boon; and blest a sad abode.”
“Great Jove, Laodamia! doth not leave
His gifts imperfect :-Spectre though I be,
I am not sent to scare thee or deceive;
But in reward of thy fidelity.
And something also did my worth obtain ;
For fearless virtue bringeth boundless gain.

Thou knowest, the Delphic oracle foretold
That the first Greek who touched the Trojan strand
Should die; but me the threat could not withhold :
A generous cause a victim did demand ;
And forth I leapt upon the sandy plain ;
A self-devoted chief--by Hector slain.”
" Supreme of Heroes--bravest, noblest, best!
Thy matchless courage I bewail no more
Which then, when tens of thousands were deprest
By doubt, propelled thee to the fatal shore;
Thou found'st—and I forgive thee-here thou art-
A nobler counsellor than my poor heart.

But thou, though capable of sternest deed,
Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave;

And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed
Thou should'st elude the malice of the grave:
Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair
As when their breath enriched Thessalian air,

No Spectre greets me, ,-uno vain shadow this;
Come, blooming Hero, place thee by my side!
Give, on this well-known couch, one nuptial kiss
To me, this day, a second time thy bride !"
Jove frowned in Heaven: the conscious Parcæ threw
Upon those roseate lips a Stygian hue.

“This visage tells thee that my doom is past;
Nor should the change be mourned, even if the joys
Of sense were able to return as fast
And surely as they vanish. Earth destroys
Those raptures duly-Erebus disdains :
Calm pleasures there abide-majestic pains.
Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
Rebellious passion : for the Gods approve
The depth, and not the tumult, of the soul :
A fervent, not ungovernable, love.
Thy transports moderate ; and meekly mourn
When I depart, for brief is my sojurn—"

“Ah, wherefore ?-Did not Hercules by force
Wrest from the guardian Monster of the tomb
Alcestis, a reanimated corse,
Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom ?
Medea's spell dispersed the weight of years,
And Æson stood a youth ʼmid youthful peers.

[ocr errors]

The Gods to us are merciful—and they
Yet further may relent: for mightier far

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »