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O Spirit blest
Whether the Eternal's throne around,
Amidst the blaze of Seraphim,
Thou pourest forth the grateful hymn;
Or soaring thro' the blest domain
Enrapturest Angels with thy strain,-
Grant me, like thee, the lyre to sound,
Like thee with fire divine to glow ;-
But ah! when rage the waves of woe,
Grant me with firmer breast to meet their hate,
And soar beyond the storm with upright eye elate !
Ye woods! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep,
To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring deep
For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave
Watching, with wistful eye, the saddening tints of eve.
Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove,
In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove,
Like star-beam on the slow sequestered tide
Lone-glittering, thro’ the high tree branching wide.
And here, in Inspiration's eager hour,
When most the big soul feels the mastering power,
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er,
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, With wild unequal steps he passed along, Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow Would pause abrupt-and gaze upon the waves below. Poor Chatterton ! he sorrows for thy fate Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too late. Poor Chatterton ! farewell ! of darkest hues This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb; But dare no longer on the sad theme muse, Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom : For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing, Have blackened the fair promise of my spring ; And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart The last pale Hope that shivered at my heart ! Hence, gloomy thoughts! no more my soul shall dwell On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh The shame and anguish of the evil day, Wisely forgetful ! O'er the ocean swell Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray ; And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay The wizard Passions weave a holy spell ! O Chatterton! that thou wert yet alive ! Sure thou would'st spread the canvas to the gale, And love with us the tinkling team to drive O'er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale ;
And we, at sober' eve, would round thee throng,
Would hang, enraptured, on thy stately song,
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poesy
All destly masked, as hoar Antiquity.
Alas, vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood
Or Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood !
Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream,
Where Susquehana pours his untamed stream ;
And on some hill, whose forest-frowning side
Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer tide,
Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee,
Sweet Harper of time-shrouded Minstrelsy!
And there, soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind,
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind.
SONNET.* Not always should the tear's ambrosial dew Roll its soft anguish down thy furrowed cheek! Not always heaven-breathed tones of suppliance meek Beseem thee, Mercy! Yon dark Scowler view, Who with proud words of dear-loved Freedom cameMore blasting than the mildew from the South ! And kissed his country with Iscariot mouth (Ah! foul apostate from his Father's fame!) Then fixed her on the cross of deep distress, And at safe distance marks the thirsty lance Pierce her big side! But O ! if some strange trance The eyelids of thy stern-browed Sister press, Seize, Mercy ! thou more terrible the brand, And hurl her thunderbolts with fiercer hand !
SONNET. Not Stanhope ! with the Patriot's doubtful name I mock thy worth-Friend of the Human Race! Since, scorning Faction's low and partial aim, Aloof thou wendest in thy stately pace, Thyself redeeming from that leprous stain, Nobility: and aye unterrify'd Pourest thine Abdiel warnings on the train That sit complotting with rebellious pride 'Gainst her,+ who from the Almighty's bosom leapt With whirlwind arm, fierce Minister of Love ! Wherefore, ere Virtue o'er thy tomb hath wept, Angels shall lead thee to the Throne above : And thou from forth its clouds shalt hear the voice. Champion of Freedom and her God ! rejoice !
Mild Splendour of the various-vested Night !
Mother of wildly-working visions ! hail !
I watch thy gliding, while with watery light
Thy weak eye glimmers through a fleecy veil;
And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud
Behind the gathered blackness lost on high ;
And when thoù dartest from the wind-rent cloud
Thy placid lightning o'er the awakened sky.
Ah such is Hope! as changeful and as fair!
Now dimly peering on the wistful sight;
Now hid behind the dragon-winged Despair :
But soon emerging in her radiant might
She o'er the sorrow-clouded breast of Care
Sails, like a meteor kindling in its flight.
THE ROBBERS. SCHILLER! that hour I would have wished to die, If through the shuddering midnight I had sent From the dark dungeon of the tower time-rent That fearful voice, a famished Father's cryLest in some after moment aught more mean Might stamp me mortal! A triumphant shout Black Horror screamed, and all her goblin rout Diminished shrunk from the more withering scene! Ah! Bard tremendous in sublimity! Could I behold thee in thy loftier mood Wandering at eve with finely frenzied eye Beneath some vast old tempest-swinging wood | Awhile with mute awe gazing I would brood : Then weep aloud in a wild ecstasy!
RELIGIOUS MUSINGS; A DISULTORY POEM, WRITTEN ON THE CHRISTMAS EVì or 1704. This is the time, when most divine to hear, The voice of adoration rouses me, As with a Cherub's trump: and high upborné, Yea, mingling with the choir, I seem to view The vision of the heavenly multitude, Who hymned the song of peace o'er Bethlehem's fields ! Yet thou more bright than all the angel blaze, That harbingered thy birth, Thou, Man of Woes ! Despised Galilean! For the great
Invisible (by symbols only seen)
With a peculiar and surpassing light
Shines from the visage of the oppressed good man,
When heedless of himself the scourged Saint
Mourns for the oppressor. Fair the vernal mead,
Fair the high grove, the sea, the sun, the stars
True impress each of their creating Sire!
Yet nor high grove, nor many-coloured mead,
Nor the green Ocean with his thousand isles,
Nor the starred azure, nor the sovran Sun,
E'er with such majesty of portraiture
Imaged the supreme beauty uncreate,
As thou, meek Saviour ! at the fearful hour
When thy insulted anguish winged the prayer
Harped by Archangels, when they sing of mercy!
Which when the Almighty heard from forth his throne
Diviner light filled Heaven with ecstasy!
Heaven's hymnings paused : and Hell her yawning mouth
Closed a brief moment.
Lovely was the death
Of Him whose life was Love !
ly with power
He on the thought-benighted Sceptic beamed
Manifest Godhead, melting into day
What floating mists of dark idolatry
Broke and misshaped the omnipresent Sire:
And first by Fear uncharmed the drowsed Soul,
Till of its nobler nature it 'gan feel
Dim recollections; and thence soared to Hope,
Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good
The Eternal dooms for his immortal sons.
From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love
Attracted and absorbed : and centred there
God only to behold, and know, and feel,
Till by exclusive consciousness of God
All self-annihilated it shall make
God its identity: God all in all!
We and our Father one !
And blest are they,
Who in this fleshly World, the elect of Heaven,
Their strong eye darting through the deeds of men,
Adore with steadfast unpresuming gaze
Him Nature's essence, mind, and energy!
And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend
Treading beneath their feet all visible things
As steps, that 'upward to their Father's throne
Lead gradual-else nor glorified nor loved.
They not contempt embosom nor revenge :
For they dare know of what may seem deform
The Supreme Fair sole operant: in whose sight
All things are pure, his strong controlling Love
Alike from all educing perfect good.
Theirs too celestial courage, inly armed-
Dwarfing Earth's giant brood, what time they muse
On their great Father, great beyond compare !
And marching onwards view high o'er their heac's
His waving banners of Omnipotence.
Who the Creator love, created might
Dread not: within their tents no terrors walk.
For they are holy things before the Lord
Aye unprofaned, though Earth should league with Hell ;
God's altar grasping with an eager hand
Fear, the wild-visaged, pale, eye-starting wretch,
Sure-refuged hears his hot pursuing fiends
Yell at vain distance. Soon refreshed from Heaven
He calms the throb and tempest of his heart.
His countenance settles ; a soft solemn bliss
Swims in his eye-his swimming eye upraised :
And Faith's whole armour glitters on his limbs !
And thus transfigured with a dreadless awe,
.A solemn hush of soul, meek he beholds
All things of terrible seeming: yea,
Views e'en the inmitigable ministers
That shower down vengeance on these latter clays.
'For kindling with intenser Deity
From the celestial Mercy-seat they come,
And at the renovating wells of Love
Have filled their vials with salutary wrath,
To sickly Nature more medicinal
Than what soft balm the weeping good man pours
Into the lone despoiled traveller's wounds!
Thus from the Elect, regenerate through faith,
Pass the dark Passions and what thirsty Cares
Drink up the Spirit, and the dim regards
Self-centre. Lo they vanish! or acquire
New names, new features—by supernal grace
Enrobed with Light, and naturalised in Heaven.
As when a shepherd on a vernal morn
Through some thick fog creeps timorous with slow foot,
Darkling he fixes on the immediate road
His downward eye : all else of fairest kind
Hid or deformed. But lo ! the bursting Sun !
Touched by the enchantment of that sudden beam
Straight the black vapour melteth, and in globes
Of dewy glitter gems each plant and tree;
On every leaf, on every blade it hangs !
Dance glad the new-born intermingling rays,
And wide around the landscape streams with glory!
There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind, Omnific. His most holy name is Love. Truth of subliming import ! with the which Who feeds and saturates his constant soul,