Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

LONDON, 1802 Milton ! thou shouldst be living at this

hour : England hath need of thee; she is a fen of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and

pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and

bower, Have forfeited their ancient English

dower Oi inward happiness. We are selfish

men ; Oh! raise us up, return to us again; And give us manners, virtue, freedom,

power. Thy socl was like a Star, and dwelt

apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was

like the sea : Pure as the naked heavens, majestic,

free, So didst thou travel on life's common

way, In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

1802. 1807.

Of the world's praise, from dark an:

tiquity Hath flowed, “ with pomp of waters, un•

withstood," Roused though it be full often to a mood Which spurns the check of salutary

bands, That this most famous stream in bogs

and sands Should perish; and to evil and to good Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung Armory of the invincible Knights of

old: We must be free or die, who speak the

tongue That Shakspeare spake; the faith and

morals hold Which Milton held.-In everything we

are sprung Of Earth's first blood, hare titles mani.

fold. 1802 or 1803. April 16, 1803.

GREAT MEN HAVE BEEN

AMONG US GREAT men have been among us; hands

that penned And tongues that uttered wisdom--bet

ter none : The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington, Young Vane, and others who called

Milton friend. These moralists could act and compre

hend: They knew how genuine glory was put

on ; Taught us how rightfully a nation shone In splendor : what strength was, that

would not bend But in magnanimous meekness. France,

'tis strange, Hath brought forth no such souls as we

had then. Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change! No single volume paramount. no code, No master spirit, no determined road; But equally a want of books and men !

1802. 1807.

WHEN I HAVE BORNE IN

MEMORY WHEN I have borne in memory what has

tamed Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts

depart When men change swords for ledgers,

and desert The student's bower for gold, some fears

unnamed I had, my Country !-am I to be

blamed ? Now, when I think of thee, and what

thou art, Verily, in the bottom of my heart, Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed. For dearly must we prize thee; we who

find In thee a bulwark for the cause of men: And I by my affection was beguiled : What wonder if a Poet now and then, Among the many movements of liis

mind, Felt for thee as a lover or a child !

1802 or 1803. Sept. 17, 1803.

TO HARTLEY COLERIDGE

SIX YEARS OLD O THOU! whose fancies from afar are

brought; Who of thy words dost mal a mock

apparel, And fittest to unutterable thought The breeze-like motion and the self

born carol:

IT IS NOT TO BE THOUGHT OF It is not to be thought of that the

Flood of British freedom, which, to the open sea

Pleased at his greeting thee again ;

Yet nothing daunted, Nor grieved if thou be set at nought: And oft alone in nooks remote We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,

When such are wanted.

Thou faery voyager! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem
To brood on air than on an earthly

stream; Suspended in a stream as clear as sky, Where earth and heaven do make one

imagery ; O blessed vision! happy child ! Thou art so exquisitely wild, I think of thee with many fears For what may be thy lot in future years. I thought of times when Pain might

be thy guest, Lord of thy house and hospitality ; And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest But when she sate within the touch of

thee. O too industrious folly ! O vain and causeless melancholy ! Nature will either end thee quite; Or, lengthening out thy season of delight, Preserve for thee, by individual right, A young lamb's heart among the full

grown tlocks. What hast thou to do with sorrow, Or the injuries of to-morrow ? Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn

brings forth, Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks, Or to be trajled along the soiling earth ; A gem that glitters while it lives, And no forewarning gives ; But, at the touch of wrong, without a

strife Slips in a moment out of life.

1802. 1807.

Be violets in their secret mews
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose ;
Proud be the rose, with rains and dews

Her head impearling;
Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame;
Thou art indeed by many a claim

The Poet's darling.
If to a rock from rains he fly,
Or, some bright day of April sky,
Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie

Near the green holly,
And wearily at length should fare;
He needs but look about, and there
Thou art !-a friend at hand, to scare

His melancholy. A hundred times, by rock or bower, Ere thus I have lain couched an hour, Have I derived from thy sweet power

Some apprehension ; Some steady love ; some brief delight; Some memory that had taken flight ; Some chime of fancy wrong or right;

Or stray invention.
If stately passions in me burn,
And one chance look to Thee should turn,
I drink out of an humbler urn

A lowlier pleasure;
The homely sympathy that heeds
The common life our nature breeds;
A wisdom fitted to the needs

Of hearts at leisure.
Fresh-smitten by the morning ray,
When thou art up, alert and gay:
Then, cheerful Flower ! my spirits play

With kindred gladness :
And when, at dusk, by dews opprest
Thou sink'st, the image of thy rest
Hath often eased my pensive breast

Of careful sadness.
And all day long I number yet,
All seasons through, another debt,
Which I, wherever thou art met,

To thee am owing;
An instinct call it, a blind sense;
A happy, genial influence,
Coming one knows not how, nor whence

Nor whither going.

TO THE DAISY
In youth from rock to rock I went,
From hill to hill in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,

Most pleased when most uneasy ;
But now my own delights I make,
My thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature's love partake,

Of Thee, sweet Daisy !
Thee Winter in the garland wears
That thinly decks his few gray hairs ;
Spring parts the clouds with softest airs,

That she may sun thee; Whole Summer-fields are thine by right; And Autumn, melancholy Wight! Doth in thy crimson head delight

When rains are on thee. In shoals and bands, a morrice train, Thou greet'st the traveller in the lane ;

Child of the Year! that round dost run Thy pleasant course, --when day's begun As ready to salute the sun

As lark or leveret, Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain ; Nor be dear to future men Than in old time; thou not in vain

Art Nature's favorite.1 1802. 1807.

Bright Flower! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,

Sweet silent creature!
That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share

Of thy meek nature ! 1802. 1807.

TO THE SAME FLOWER

TO THE DAISY

With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Daisy ! again I talk to thee,

For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming Common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace,

Which Love makes for thee?

Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit, and play with similes,
Loose types of things through all de-

grees,

Thoughts of thy raising :
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,
As is the humor of the game,

While I am gazing.
A nun demure of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of Love's court,
In thy simplicity the sport

of all temptations;
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest ;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,

Thy appellations.
A little cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next-and instantly

The freak is over,
The shape will vanish-and behold
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some faery bold

In fight to cover!
I see thee glittering from afar-
And then thou art a pretty star;
Not quite so fair as many are

In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest ;-
May peace come never to his nest,

Who shall reprove thee!

See, in Chaucer and the elder Poets, the hon Jrs formerly paid to this flower.

(Wordsworth.)

BRIGHT Flower! whose home is every.

where, Bold in maternal Nature's care, And all the long year through, the heir

Of joy or sorrow;
Methinks that there abides in thee
Some concord with humanity,
Given to no other flower I see

The forest thorough!
Is it that Man is soon deprest?
A thoughtless Thing! who, once un-

blest, Does little on his memory rest,

Or on his reason, And Thou would'st teach him how to

find A shelter under every wind, A hope for times that are unkind

And every season ?
Thou wander'st the wide world about,
Unchecked by pride or scrupulous doubt,
With friends to greet thee, or without,

Yet pleased and willing;
Meek, yielding to the occasion's call,
And all things suffering from all,
Thy function apostolical

In peace fulfilling. 1802. 1807.

THE GREEN LINNET

BENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that

shed Their snow-white blossoms on my head, With brightest sunshine round me

spread

Of spring's unclouded weather, In this sequestered nook how sweet To sit upon my orchard-seat ! And birds and flowers once more to

greet,

My last year's friends together. One have I marked, the happiest guest In all this covert of the blest : Hail to Thee, far above the rest

In joy of voice and pinion!

Thou, Linnet! in thy green array,
Presiding Spirit here to-day,
Dost lead the revels of the May;

And this is thy dominion.
While birds, and butterflies, and flow.

ers, Make all one band of paramours, Thou, ranging up and down the bowers.

Art sole in thy employment : A Life, a Presence like the Air, Scattering thy gladness without care, Too blest with any one to pair;

Thyself thy own enjoyment.
Amid yon tuft of hazel trees,
That twinkle to the gusty breeze,
Behold him perched in ecstasies,

Yet seeming still to hover;
There! where the flutter of his wings
Upon his back and body flings
Shadows and sunny glimmerings,

That cover him all over.

Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale, Joined in one solemn and capacious

grove ; Huge trunks; and each particular trunk

a growth Of intertwisted fibres serpentine Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved ; Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and

looks That threaten the profane ;-a pillared

shade, Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown

hue, By sheddings from the pining umbrage

tinged Perennially--beneath whose sable roof Of boughs, as if for festal purpose,

decked With unrejoicing berries--ghostly

Shapes May meet at noontide ; Fear and trem

bling Hope, Silence and Foresight; Death the Skele.

ton And Time the Shadow ;-there to cele.

brate, As in a natural temple scattered o'er With altars undisturbed of mossy stone, United worship; or in mute repose To lie, and listen to the mountain flood Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost

1803. 1815.

My dazzled sight he oft deceives,
A Brother of the dancing leaves ;
Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves

Pours forth his song in gushes ;
As if by that exulting strain
He mocked and treated with disdain
The voiceless Form he chose to feign,
While fluttering in the bushes.

1803. 1807.

caves.

AT THE GRAVE OF BURNS

YEW-TREES

1803

Compare the note on A Night-Piece.

SEVEN YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH

For illustration, see my Sister's Journal, (I'ordsworth). I SHIVER, Spirit fierce and bold, At thought of what I now behold: As vapors breathed from dungeons

cold,

Strike pleasure dead,
So sadness comes from out the mould

Where Burns is laid.

THERE is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton

Vale, Which to this day stands single, in the

midst of its own darkness, as it stood of

yore; Not loth to furnish weapons for the

bands Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched To Scotland's heaths; or those that

crossed the sea And drew their sounding bows at Azin

cour, Perhaps at earlier Creoy, or Poictiers. of vast circumference and gloom pro

found This solitary Tree! a living thing Produced too slowly ever to decay ; Of form and aspect too magnificent To be destroyed. But worthier still of

And have I then thy bones so near,
And thou forbidden to appear ?
As if it were thyself that's here

I shrink with pain;
And both my wishes and my fear

Alike are vain.
Off weight-nor press on weight -

away Dark thoughts !-they came, but not to

stay ;

note

With chastened feelings would I pay

The tribute due To him, and aught that hides his clay

From mortal view.

Fresh as the flower, whose modest worth
He sang, his genius “glinted” forth,
Rose like a star that touching earth,

For so it seems,
Doth glorify its humble birth

With matchless beams,

There, too, a Son, his joy and pride, (Not three weeks past the Stripling

died,) Lies gathered to his Father's side,

Soul-moving sight !.
Yet one to which is not denied

Some sad delight :
For he is safe, a quiet bed
Hath early found among the dead,
Harbored where none can be misled,

Wronged, or distrest;
And surely here it may be said

That such are blest.
And oh for Thee, by pitying grace
Checked oft-times in a devious race,
May He who halloweth the place

Where Man is laid
Receive thy Spirit in the embrace

For which it prayed !
Sighing I turned away ; but ere
Night fell I heard, or seemed to hear,
Music that sorrow comes not near,

A ritual hymn,
Chanted in love that casts out fear
By Seraphim.

1803. 1845.

TO A HIGHLAND GIRL

The piercing eye, the thoughtful brow, The struggling heart, where be they

now?-
Full soon the Aspirant of the plough,

The prompt, the brave,
Slept, with the obscurest, in the low

And silent grave.
I mourned with thousands, but as one
More deeply grieved, for He was gone
Whose light I hailed when first it shone,

And showed my youth
How Verse may build a princely throne

On humble truth.
Alas! where'er the current tends,
Regret pursues and with it blends,
luge Criffel's hoary top ascends

By Skiddaw seen,--.
Neighbors we were, and loving friends

We might have been ; True friends though diversely inclined ; But heart with heart and mind with

mind, Where the main fibres are entwined,

Through Nature's skill,
May even by contraries be joined

More closely still.
The tear will start, and let it flow;
Thou“ poor Inhabitant below,"
At this dread moment-even 80-

Might we together
Have sate and talked where gowans

blow,

Or on wild heather.

AT INVERSNEYDE, UPON LOCH LOMOND

This delightful creature and her demeanor are particularly described in my Sister's Journal. (Wordsworth.) SWEET Highland Girl, a very shower Of beauty is thy earthly dower! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their utmost bounty on thy head : And these gray rocks; that household

lawn; Those trees, a veil just half withdrawn This fall of water that doth make A murmur near the silent lake; This little bay ; a quiet road That holds in shelter thy A bodeIn truth together do ye seem Like something fashioned in a dream ; Such Forms as from their covert peep When earthly cares are laid asleep! But, О fair Creature! in the light Of common day, so heavenly bright, I bless Thee, Vision as thou art I bless thee with a human heart; God shield thee to thy latest years! Thee neither know I, nor thy peers ; And yet my eyes are filled with tears.

Wliai treasures would have then been

placed Within my reach ; of knowledge graced By fancy what a rich repast !

But why go on?-Oh! spare to sweep, thou mournful

blast,

His grave grass-grown.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »