Изображения страниц

With the sweet dance your heart must keep to

What! would you take all beauty and delight
Back to the Paradise from which you sprung,
And leave to grosser mortals ? -
And say, sweet lamb, would you not learn the

And subtle mystery by which spirits meet ?
Who knows whether the loving game is played,
When, once of mortal (vesture] disarrayed,
The naked soul goes wandering here and there
Through the wide deserts of Elysian air?
The violet dies not till it'


At the creation of the Earth
Pleasure, that divinest birth,
From the soil of Heaven did rise,
Wrapped in sweet wild melodies -
Like an exhalation wreathing
To the sound of air low-breathing
Through Æolian pines, which make
A shade and shelter to the lake
Whence it rises soft and slow;
Her life-breathing (limbs] did flow
In the harmony divine
Of an ever-lengthening line
Which enwrapped her perfect form

With a beauty clear and warm.
The Birth of Pleasure. Forman || no title, Garnett. Published
by Garnett, 1862, and dated, 1819.

[ocr errors]


AND many there were hurt by that strong boy;

His name, they said, was Pleasure.
And near him stood, glorious beyond measure,
Four Ladies who possess all empery

In earth and air and sea ;
Nothing that lives from their award is free.

Their names will I declare to thee, -
Love, Hope, Desire, and Fear ;

And they the regents are
Of the four elements that frame the heart,
And each diversely exercised her art
By force or circumstance or sleight

To prove her dreadful might

Upon that poor domain.
Desire presented her [false] glass, and then

The spirit dwelling there
Was spellbound to embrace what seemed so fair

Within that magic mirror;

And, dazed by that bright error, It would have scorned the [shafts] of the avenger, And death, and penitence, and danger,

Had not then silent Fear

Touched with her palsying spear, —
So that, as if a frozen torrent,

The blood was curdled in its current;
It dared not speak, even in look or motion,
But chained within itself its proud devotion.
Love, Hope, Desire, and Fear. Published by Garnett, 1862, and
dated, 1821.

Between Desire and Fear thou wert

A wretched thing, poor Heart ! Sad was his life who bore thee in his breast,

Wild bird for that weak nest.
Till Love even from fierce Desire it bought,
And from the very wound of tender thought
Drew solace, and the pity of sweet eyes
Gave strength to bear those gentle agonies,
Surmount the loss, the terror, and the sorrow.

Then Hope approached, she who can borrow
For poor to-day from rich to-morrow;
And Fear withdrew, as night when day


the orient ray; And after long and vain endurance The poor

heart woke to her assurance.

At one birth these four were born
With the world's forgotten morn,
And from Pleasure still they hold
All it circles, as of old.
When, as summer lures the swallow,
Pleasure lures the heart to follow
O weak heart of little wit
The fair hand that wounded it,
Seeking, like a panting hare,
Refuge in the lynx's lair,
Love, Desire, Hope, and Fear,

Ever will be near.


IF gibbets, axes, confiscations, chains,
And racks of subtle torture, if the pains
Of shame, of fiery Hell's tempestuous wave,
Seen through the caverns of the shadowy grave,
Hurling the damned into the murky air
While the meek blest sit smiling; if Despair
And Hate, the rapid bloodhounds with which Terror
Hunts through the world the homeless steps of

Are the true secrets of the commonweal
To make men wise and just;
And not the sophisms of revenge and fear,
Bloodier than is revenge
Then send the priests to every hearth and home
To preach the burning wrath which is to come,
In words like flakes of sulphur, such as thaw
The frozen tears
If Satire's scourge could wake the slumbering

hounds Of Conscience, or erase the deeper wounds, The leprous scars of callous infamy ; If it could make the present not to be, Or charm the dark past never to have been, Or turn regret to hope; who that has seen What Southey is and was, would not exclaim, Lash on! be the keen verse dipped in flame; Follow his flight with winged words, and urge

A Satire on Satire. Published by Dowden, Correspondence of Robert Southey and Caroline Bowles, 1880, and dated, 1820.

[ocr errors]


The strokes of the inexorable scourge
Until the heart be naked, till his soul
See the contagion's spots
And from the mirror of Truth's sunlike shield,
From which his Parthian arrow
Flash on his sight the spectres of the past,
Until his mind's eye paint thereon -
Let scorn like

yawn below,
And rain on him like flakes of fiery snow.
This cannot be, it ought not, evil still —
Suffering makes suffering, ill must follow ill.
Rough words beget sad thoughts, and, beside,
Men take a sullen and a stupid pride
In being all they hate in others' shame,
By a perverse antipathy of fame.
'Tis not worth while to prove, as I could, how
From the sweet fountains of our Nature flow
These bitter waters; I will only say,
If any friend would take Southey some day,
And tell him, in a country walk alone,
Softening harsh words with friendship’s gentle tone,
How incorrect his public conduct is,
And what men think of it, 'twere not amiss.
Far better than to make innocent ink -


WILD, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one Who staggers forth into the air and sun From the dark chamber of a mortal fever, Bewildered, and incapable, and ever Ginevra. Published by Mrs. Shelley, 1824, and dated, Pisa, 1821.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »