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More boisterous than a lover's bended

knee; Nought more ungentle than the placid

look Of one who leans upon a closed book ; Nought more untranquil than the grassy

slopes Between two hills. All hail delightful

hopes ! As she was wont, th' imagination Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone, And they shall be accounted poet kings Who simply tell the most heart-easing

things. O may these joys be ripe before I die. Will not some say that I presumptuously Have spoken ? that from hastening dis

grace "Twere better far to hide my foolish

face? That whining boyhood should with re

verence bow Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach?

How ! If I do hide myself, it sure shall be In the very fane, the light of Poesy : If I do fall, at least I will be laid Beneath the silence of a poplar shade ; And over me the grass shall be smooth

shaven; And there shall be a kind memorial

graven. But off Despondence! miserable bane ! They should not know thee, who atbirst

to gain A noble end, are thirsty every hour. What though I am not wealthy in the

dower Of spanning wisdom; though I do not

know The shiftings of the mighty winds that

blow Hither and thither all the changing

thoughts Of man: though no great minist’ring

reason sorts Out the dark mysteries of human souls To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls A vast idea before me, and I glean Therefrom my liberty ; thence too I've

seen The end and aim of Poesy. 'Tis clear As anything most true; as that the year Is made of the four seasons--manifest As a large cross, some old cathedral's

Be but the essence of deformity,
A coward, did my very eye-lids wink
At speaking out what I have dared to

Ah! rather let me like a madman run
Over some precipice ; let the hot sun
Melt my Dedalian wings, and drive me

down Convuls'd and headlong! Stay! an in

ward frown Of conscience bids me be more calm

awhile. An ocean dim, sprinkled with many an

isle, Spreads awfully before me. How much

toil ! How many days! what desperate ture

moil ! Ere I can have explored its widenesses. Ah, what a task! upon my bended knees, I could unsay those—no, impossible! Impossible!

For sweet relief I'll dwell On humbler thoughts, and let this

strange assay Begun in gentlevess die so away. E'en now all tumult from my bosom

fades : I turn full hearted to the friendly aids That smooth the path of honor; brother

hood, And friendliness the nurse of mutual

good. The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant

sonnet Into the brain ere one can think upon it; The silence when some rhymes are

coming out; And when they're come, the very

pleasant rout: The message certain to be done to"Tis perhaps as well that it should be to

borrow Some precious book from out its snug

retreat, To cluster round it when we next shall

meet. Searce can I scribble on ; for lovely airs Are fluttering round the room like doves

in pairs ; Many delights of that glad day recalling, When first my senses caught their tender

falling And with these airs come forms of

elegance Stooping their shoulders o'er a horse's

crest, Lifted to the white clouds. Therefore

should I




Careless, and grand-fingers soft and

round Parting luxuriant curls ;-and the swift

bound of Bacchus from his chariot, when his

eye Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly. Thus I remember all the pleasant flow Of words at opening a portfolio.

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Things such as these are ever harbingers To trains of peaceful images: the stirs Of a swan's neck unseen among the

rushes : A linnet starting all about the bushes : A butterfly, with golden wings broad

parted Nestling a rose, convuls'd as though it

smarted With over pleasure-many, many more, Might I indulge at large in all my store Of luxuries : yet I must not forget Sleep, quiet, with his poppy coronet : For what there may be worthy in these

rhymes I partly owe to him: and thus, the

chimes Of friendly voices had just given place To as sweet a silence, when I gan retrace The pleasant day, upon a couch at ease. It was a poet's house i who keeps the keys Of pleasure's temple. Round about were

hung The glorious features of the bards who

sung In other ages-cold and sacred busts Smiled at each other. Happy he who

trusts To clear Futurity his darling fame! Then there were fauns and satyrs taking

aim At swelling apples with a frisky leap And reaching fingers, 'mid a luscious

heap Of vine leaves. Then there rose to view

a fane Of liny marble, and thereto a train Of nymphs approaching fairly o'er the

sward : Une, loveliest, holding her white hand

toward The dazzling sun-rise : two sisters sweet Bending their graceful figures till they

meet Over the trippings of a little child : And some are hearing, eagerly, the wild

1 Leigh Hunt's. The following lines are a description of the room in which the poem was written, with its decorations.

By horrid suffrance-mightily forlorn. Petrarch, outstepping from the shady

green, Starts at the sight of Laura; nor can

wean Ilis eyes from her sweet face. Most

happy they ! For over them was seen a free display Of out-spread wings, and from between

them shone The face of Poesy: from off her throne She overlook'd things that I scarce could

tell. The very sense of where I was might

well Keep Sleep aloof: but more than that

there came Thought after thought to nourish up

the flame Within my breast; so that the morning

light Surprised me even from a sleepless night; And up I rose refresh'd, and glad, and

gay, Resolving to begin that very day These lines; and howsoever they be

done, I leave them as a father does his son.

y 1816. 1817.



AFTER dark vapors have oppressed our

plains For a long dreary season, comes a day Born of the gentle South, and clears

away From the sick heavens all unseemly stains.

[pains, The anxious month, relieved from its Takes as a long-lost right the feel of

May. The eyelids with the passing coolness

play, Like rose leaves with the drip of sum

mer rains. And calmest thoughts come round us

as, of leaves Budding,-fruit ripening in stillness, –

autumn suns Smiling at eve upon the quiet sheaves,Sweet Sappho's cheek, -a sleeping in

fant's breath,The gradual sand that through an hour

glass runs, – A woodland rivulet, a Poet's death.

January, 1817. February 23, 1817.

And each imagin'd pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die
Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.
Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep
That I have not the cloudy winds to

keep, Fresh for the opening of the morning's

eye. Such dim-conceived glories of the brain Bring round the heart an undescri.

bable feud ; So do these wonders a most dizzy pain, That mingles Grecian grandeur with

the rude Wasting of old Time—with a billowy

mainA sun-a shadow of a magnitude.

1817. March 9, 1817.


TO LEIGH HUNT, ESQ. [Dedication of the volume of 1817 ] GLORY and loveliness have passed away ; For if we wander out in early morn, No wreathéd incense do we see up

borne Into the east, to meet the smiling day : No crowd of nymphs soft voic d and

young, and gay, In woven baskets bringing ears of

corn, Roses, and pinks, and violets, to adorn The shrine of Flora in her early May. But there are left delights as high as

these, And I shall ever bless my destiny, That in a time, when under pleasant

trees Pan is no longer sought, I feel a free A leafy luxury, seeing I could please With these poor offerings, a man like thee.

1817. 1817.

COME hither all sweet maidens soberly, Down-looking aye, and with a chastened

light Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white, And meekly let your fair hands joined

be, As if so gentle that ye could not see, Untouched, a victim of your beauty

bright, Sinking away to his young spirit's night, Sinking bewildered 'mid the dreary sea : 'Tis young Leander toiling to his death; Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weary

lips For Hero's cheek, and smiles against

her smile. O horrid dream! see how his body dips Dead heavy ; arms and shoulders gleam

awhile: He's gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath!

?.... 1829. ✓ON THE SEA It keeps eternal whisperings around Desolate shores, and with its mighty

swell Gluts twice ten thousand caverns, till

the spell Of Hecate leaves them their old shad

owy sound.


Often 'tis in such gentle temper found, That scarcely will the very smallest

shell Be moved for days from whence it sonie.

time fell, When last the winds of heaven were un


My spirit is too weak-mortality
Weighs heavily on me like unwilling


Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vexed

and tired, Feast them upon the wideness of the

Sea ; Oh ye ! whose ears are dinned with

u proar rude, Or fed too much with cloying melody, Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and

brood Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs

quired! August, 1817. 1848.

Made for our searching : yes, in spite of

all, Some shape of beauty moves away the

pall From our dark spirits. Such the sun,

the moon, Trees old and young, sprouting a shady

boon For simple sheep; and such are daffodils With the green world they live in; and

clear rills That for themselves a cooling covert

make 'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest

brake, Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose

blooms : And such too is the grandeur of the

dooms We have imagined for the mighty dead ; All lovely tales that we have heard or

read: An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.



WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teering

brain, Before high piléd books, in charact'ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd

grain; When I behold, upon the night's starr'd

face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of

chance ; And when I feel, fair creature of an

hour ! That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power Of unreflecting love ! - then on the

shore of the wide world I stand alone, and

think Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

1817. 1848.

Nor do we merely feel these essences For one short hour; no, even as the trees That whisper round a temple become


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Dear as the temple's self, so does the

moon, The passion poesy, glories infinite, Haunt us till they become a cheering

light Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast, That, whether there be shine, or gloom

o'ercast, They alway must be with us, or we die. Therefore, 'tis with full happiness

that I Will trace the story of Endymion. The very music of the name has gone Into my being, and each pleasant scene Is growing fresh before me as the green Of our own valleys: so I will begin Now while I cannot hear the city's din ; Now while the early budders are just

new, And run in mazes of the youngest hue About old forests; while the willow trails Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails Bring home increase of milk. And, as

the year Grows lushi in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly My little boat, for many quiet hours, With streams that deepen freshly inte

A THING of beauty is a joy for ever ;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness ; but still will

keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and

quiet breathing. Therefore, on every morrow, are

wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth. Spite of despondence, of the inhuman

dearth Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened





Many and many a verse I hope to write, Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and

white, Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the

bees Hum about globes of clover and sweet

peas, I must be near the middle of my story. O may no wintry season, bare and hoary, See it half finished: but let Autumn

bold, With universal tinge of sober gold, Be all about me when I make an end. And now at once, adventuresome, I send My herald thought into a wilderness : There let its trumpet blow, and quickly

dress My uncertain path with green, that I

may speel Easily onward, thorough flowers and


Their golden honeycombs; our village

leas Their fairest-blossom'd beans and pop

pied corn; The chuckling linnet its five young un

born, To sing for thee; low creeping straw.

berries Their summer coolness; pent up butter

flies Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh

budding year All its completions-be quickly near, By every wind that nods the mountain

pine, O forester divine !

Thou, to whom every fawn and satyr

fies For willing service ; whether to surprise The squatted hare while in half sleeping

fit ;



O THOU, whose mighty palace roof

doth hang From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life,

death Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness ; Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels

darken; And through whole solemn hours dost

sit, and hearken The dreary melody of bedded reedsIn desolate places, where dank moisture

breeds The pipy hemlock to strange over

growth; Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx-do thou By thy love's milky brow! By all the trembling mazes that she ran, Hear us, great Pan! O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet,

turtles Passion their voices cooingly 'mong

myrtles, What time thou wanderest at eventide Through sunny meadows, that outskirt

the side of thine enmossed realms: O thou, to

whom Broad leaved fig trees even

now foredoom Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow girted


Or upward ragged precipices Ait
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's

maw; Or by mysterious enticement draw Bewildered shepherds to their path

again ; Or to tread breathless round the frothy

main, And gather up all fancifullest shells For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells, And, being hidden, laugh at their out

peeping; Or to delight thee with fantastic leap

ing, The while they pelt each other on the With silvery oak apples, and fir cones

brown By all the echoes that about thee ring, Hear us, O satyr king ! O Hearkener to the loud clapping

shears, While ever and anon to his shorn peers A ram goes bleating : Winder of the

horn, When snouted wild-hoars routing tender

coin Anger our huntsman: Breather round

our farms. To keep off mildews, and all weather

harms: Strange ministrant · of undescribed

sounds, That come a swooning over hollow

grounds, And wither drearily on barren muors :



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