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And then the hot days, all at once,
They came, we knew not how:
You looked about for shade, when scarce
A leaf was on a bough.
It happened then ('twas in the bower
A furlong up the wood :
Perhaps you know the place, and yet
I scarce know how you should,-)
No path leads thither, 'tis not nigh
To any pasture-plot;
But clustered near the chattering brook,
Lone hollies marked the spot.
Those hollies of themselves a shape
As of an arbour took,
A close, round arbour, and it stands
Not three strides from a brook.
Within this arbour, which was still
With scarlet berries hung,
Were these three friends, one Sunday morn
Just as the first bell rung.
'Tis sweet to hear a brook, 'tis sweet
To hear the Sabbath-bell,
'Tis sweet to hear them both at once,
Deep in a woody dell.
His limbs along the moss, his head
Upon a mossy heap,
With shut-up senses, Edward lay:
That brook e'en on a working day
Might chatter one to sleep.
And he had passed a restless night,
And was not well in health;
The women sat down by his side,
And talked as 'twere by stealth. “ The sun peeps through the close thick leaves,
See, dearest Ellen! see! 'Tis in the leaves, a little sun,
No bigger than your ee;
"A tiny sun, and it has got
A perfect glory too ;:
Ten thousand threads and hairs of light,
Make up a glory, gay and bright;
Round that small orb, so. blue."
And then they argued of those rays,
What colour they might be; Says this, "they're mostly green ;.” says that,
“They're amber-like to me."
So they sat chatting, while bad thoughts
Were troubling Edward's rest;
But soon they heard his hard quick pants,
And the thumping in his breast.
A mother too!” these self-same words
Did Edward mutter plain;
His face was drawn back on itself,
With horror and huge pain.
Both groaned at once, for both knew well
What thoughts were in his mind;
When he waked up, and stared like one
That hath been just struck blind.
He sat upright; and ere the dream
Had had time to depart,
“O God, forgive me! (he exclaimed)
I have torn out her heart.”
Then Ellen shrieked, and forthwith burst
Into ungentle laughter;
And Mary shivered, where she sat,
And never she smiled after. 1805-6. Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow! and Tomorrow! and To-morrow !
FIRST ADVENT OF LOVE.*
O FAIR is Love's first hope to gentle mind !
As Eve's first star thro? fleecy cloudlet peeping;
And sweeter than the gentle south-west wind,
O'er willowy meads and shadowed waters creeping,
And Ceres' golden fields ;-the sultry hind
Meets it with brow uplift, and stays his reaping.
TIME, REAL AND IMAGINARY.
On the wide level of a mountain's head,
(I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place)
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread,
Two lovely children run an endless race,
A sister and a brother !
That far outstripp'd the other ;
Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
And looks and listens for the boy behind :
For he, alas! is blind !
O'er rough and smooth with even step he pass'd,
And knows not whether he be first or last.
ITS MOTHER BEING TETHERED NEAR IT.
Poor little Foal of an oppressed Race !
I love the languid Patience of thy face :
And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread,
And clap thy ragged Coat, and pat thy head.
But what thy dulled Spirits hath dismayed,
That never thou dost sport along the glade?
And (most unlike the nature of things young)
That earthward still thy moveless head is hung ?
Do thy prophetic Fears anticipate,
Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?
The starving meal, and all the thousand aches
“Which patient Merit of the Unworthy takes?”
Or is thy sad heart thrilled with filial pain
To see thy wretched Mother's shortened Chain ?
And, truly very piteous is her Lot-
Chained to a Log within a narrow spot,
Where the close-eaten Grass is scarcely seen,
While sweet around her waves the tempting Green.
Poor Ass! thy master should have learnt to show
Pity-best taught by fellowship of Woe!
For much I fear me that He lives like thee,
Half famished in a land of Luxury !
How askingly its footsteps hither bend,
It seems to say,
“And have I then one Friend?
Innocent Foal! thou poor despised Forlorn !
I hail thee Brother-spite of the fool's scorn!
And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell
Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell,
Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his bride,
And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless side !
How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play,
And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay!
Yea! and more musically sweet to me
Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
The aching of pale Fashion's vacant breast !
MONODY ON THE DEATH OF CHATTERTON.*
O WHAT a wonder seems the fear of death,
Seeing how gladly we all sink to sleep,
Babes, Children, Youths, and Men,
Night following night for threescore years and ten!
But doubly strange, where life is but a breath
To sigh and pant with, up Want's rugged steep.
Away, Grim Phantom! Scorpion King, away!
Reserve thy terrors and thy stings display
For coward Wealth and Guilt in robes of State !
Lo! by the grave I stand of one, for whom
A prodigal Nature and a niggard Doom
(That all bestowing, this withholding all,)
Made each chance knell from distant spire or dome
Sound like a seeking Mother's anxious call,
Return, poor Child! Home, weary Truant, home!
Thee, Chatterton ! these unblest stones protect
From want, and the bleak freezings of neglect.
Too long before the vexing Storm-blast driven
Here hast thou found repose ! beneath this sod!
Thou ! O vain word ! thou dwell'st not with the clod !
Amid the shining Host of the Forgiven
Thou at the throne of Mercy and thy God
The triumph of redeeming Love dost hymn
(Believe it, O my soul!) to harps of Seraphim.
Yet oft, perforce, ('tis suffering Nature's call)
I weep, that heaven-born Genius so should fall;
And oft, in Fancy's saddest hour, my soul
Averted shudders at the poisoned bowl.
Now groans my sickening heart, as still I view
Thy corse of livid hue ;
Now indignation checks the feeble sigh,
Or flashes through the tear that glistens in mine eye !
Is this the land of song-ennobled line ?
Is this the land, where Genius ne'er in vain
Poured forth his lofty strain ?
Ah me ! yet Spenser, gentlest bard divine,
Beneath chill Disappointment's shade,
His weary limbs in lonely anguish laid ;
And o'er her darling dead
Pity hopeless hung her head,
While “mid the pelting of that merciless storm,"
Sunk to the cold earth Otway's famished form !
Sublime of thought, and confident of fame,
From vales where Avon winds the Minstrel * came.
Light-hearted youth ! aye, as he hastes along,
He meditates the future song,
How dauntless Ælla fray'd the Dacyan foe;
And while the numbers flowing strong
In eddies whirl, in surges throng,
Exulting in the spirits' genial throe
In tides of power his life-blood seems to flow.
Avon, a river near Bristol, the birth-place of Chatterton.
And now his cheeks with deeper ardours flame,
His eyes have glorious meanings, that declare
More than the light of outward day shines there,
A holier triumph and a sterner aim !
Wings grow within him, and he soars above
Or Bard's or Minstrel's lay of war or love.
Friend to the friendless, to the Sufferer health,
He hears the widow's prayer, the good man's praise ;
To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied wealth,
And young and old shall now see happy days.
On many a waste he bids trim Gardens rise,
Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner's eyes ;
And now in wrath he grasps the patriot steel,
And her own iron rod he makes Oppression feel.
Sweet Flower of Hope ! free Nature's genial child !
That didst so fair disclose thy early bloom,
Filling the wide air with a rich perfume !
For thee in vain all heavenly aspects smiled ;
From the hard world brief respite could they win-
The frost nipped sharp without, the canker preyed within !
Ah! where are fled the charms of vernal Grace,
And Joy's wild gleams that lightened o'er thy face?
Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye !
Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps 1 view,
On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew,
And oh ! the anguish of that shuddering sigh!
Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour,
When Care, of withered brow, Prepared the poison's death-cold power : Already to thy lips, was raised the bowl,
When near thee stood Affection meek
(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek)
Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll
On scenes that well might melt thy soul ;
Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view,
Thy native cot, where still, at close of day,
Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy lay;
Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear,
And mark thy Mother's thrilling tear ;
See, see her breast's convulsive throe,
Her silent agony of woe! Ah! dash the poisoned chalice from thy hand I And thou had'st dashed it, at her soft command, But that Despair and Indignation rose, And told again the story of thy woes; Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart; The dread dependence on the low-born mind; Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart, Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined ! Recoiling quick, thou bad'st the friend of pain Roll the black tide of Death through every freezing vein