« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Within the Baron's heart and brain
THE CONCLUSION TO PART THE SECOND
A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy, And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her
head, Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye, And with somewhat of malice, and more
of dread, At Christabel she look'd askance !One moment-and the sight was fled ! But Christabel in dizzy trance Stumbling on the unsteady ground Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound ; And Geraldine again turned round, And like a thing, that sought relief, Full of wonder and full of grief, She rolled her large bright eyes divine Wildly on Sir Leoline. The maid, alas ! her thoughts are gone, She nothing sees—no sight but one! The maid, devoid of guile and sin, I know not how, in fearful wise, So deeply had she drunken in That look, those shrunken serpent eyes, That all her features were resigned To this sole image in her mind : And passively did imitate That look of dull and treacherous hate! And thus she stood, in dizzy trance, Still picturing that look askance With forced unconscious sympathy Full before her father's view As far as such a look could be In eyes so innocent and blue ! And when the trance was o'er, the maid Paused awhile, and inly prayed : Then falling at the Baron's feet, “ By my mother's soul do I entreat That thou this woman send away!” She said : and more she could not say : For what she knew she could not tell, O'er mastered by the mighty spell. Why is thy cheek so wan and wild, Sir Leoline? Thy only chill Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy pride, So fair, so innocent, so mild ; The same, for whom thy lady died ! O by the pangs of her dear mother, Think thou no evil of thy child ! For her, and thee, and for no other, She prayed the moment ere she died : Praved that the babe for whom she died Might prove her dear lord's joy and
pride! That prayer her deadly pangs beguiled,
Sir Leoline! And wouldst thou wrong thy only
Her child and thine ?
A little child, a limber elf,
9 1801. 1816.
Yield homage only to eternal laws!
reclined, Save when your own imperious branches
swinging, Have made a solemn music of the
wind ! Where, like a man beloved of God, Through glooms, which never woodman
How oft, pursuing fancies holy, My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds
Inspired beyond the guess of folly, By each rude shape and wild unconquer
able sound! O ye loud Waves! and 0 ye Forests
high! And 0 ye Clouds that far above me
soared! Thou rising sun! thou blue rejoicing
III · And what," I said, " though Blas.
phemy's loud scream With that sweet music of deliverance
strove ! Though all the fierce and drunken
passions wore A dance more wild than e'er
maniac's dream ! Ye storms, that round the dawning
east assembled, The Sun was rising, though ye hid his
light! And when to soothe my soul, that
hoped and trembled, The dissonance ceased, and all seemed
calm and bright; When France her front deep-scarr’d Concealed with clustering wreaths of
glory ; When insupport: bly advancing, Her arm made mockery of the war
rior's ramp ; While timid looks of fury glancing. Domestic treason, crushed beneath her
fatal stamp, Writhed like a wounded dragon in his
gore ; Then I reproached my fears that
would not flee; "And soon," I said, “shall Wisdom
teach her lore In the low huts of them that toil and
groan ; And, conquering by her happiness
alone, Shall France compel the nations to be
free, Till Love and Joy look round, and call
the earth their own."
When France in wrath her giant-limbs
upreared, And with that oath which smote air,
earth and sea, Stamped her strong foot and said she
would be free, Bear witness for me, how I hoped and
feared ! With what a joy my lofty gratulation
Unawed I sang, amid å slavish band : And when to whelm the disenchanted
nation, Like fiends embattled by a wizard's
wand, The Monarchs marched in evil day,
And Britain join'd the dire array ; Though dear lier shores and circling
ocean, Though many friendships, many youth
ful loves Had swoln the patriot emotion And flung a magic light o'er all her hills
and groves; Yet still my voice, unaltered, sang
Forgive me, Freedom ! O forgive those
dreams! I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud
From bleak Helvetia's icy caverns
sentI hear thy groans upon her blood-stained
streams! Heroes, that for your peaceful country
perished, And ye, that fleeing, spot your moun
tain snows With bleeding wounds; forgive me,
that I cherished One thought that ever blessed your cruel
foes ! To scatter rage and traitorous guilt Where Peace her jealous home had
A patriot-race to disinherit Of all that made their stormy wilds so
And with inexpiable spirit To taint the bloodless freedom of the
mountaineer() France, that mockest Heaven, adul
terous, blind, And patriot only in pernicious toils ! Are these thy-boasts, Champion of human
kind? To mix with Kings in the low lust of
sway, Yell in the hunt, and share the murder
ous prey ; Toinsult the shrine of Liberty with spoils From freemen torn; to tempt and to
Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions, The guide of boneless winds, and play
mate of the waves ! And then I felt thee !-on that sea-cliff's
verge, Whose pines, scarce travelled by the
breeze above, Had made one murmur with the distant
surge ! Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples
bare, And shot iny being through earth, sea
and air, Possessing all things with intensest
love, O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.
February, 1798. April 16, 1798.
FROST AT MIDNIGHT
THE Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's
cry Came loud-and hark, again ! loud as
before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, Have left me to that solitude, which
suits Abstruser musings : save that at my
side My cradled infant slumbers peacefuly. 'Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it dis
turbs And vexes meditation with its strange And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and
wood, This populous village! Sea, and bill, and
wood, With all the numberless goings-on of
life, Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue
flame Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers
not ; Only that film, which fluttered on the
grate, Still flutters there, the sole unquiet
thing: Methinks, its motion in this hush of
pature Gives it dim sympathies with me who
live, Making it a companionable form, Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling
Spirit By its own moods interprets, everywhere Echo or mirror seeking of itself, And makes a toy of Thought.
Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human
power. Alike from all, howe'er they praise
thee, (Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays
thee) Alike from Priestcraft's harpy
minions, And factious Blasphemy's obscener
But O! how oft, How oft, at school, with most believing
mind, Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, To watch that fluttering stranger! and With unclosed lids, already had I
dreamt Of my sweet birth-place, and the old
church-tower, Whose bells the poor man's only music
rang From morn to evening, all the hot Fair
day, So sweetly, that they stirred and
haunted me With a wild pleasure, falling on mine Most like articulate sounds of things to
come ! So gazed I, till the soothing things, I
dreamt, Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged
my dreams! And so I boded all the following morn, Awed by the stern preceptor's face, Fixed with mock study on my swim
ming book : Save if the door half opened, and I
snatched A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped
up: For still I hoped to see the stranger's
face, Townsman, or aunt, or sister more be
loved, My play-mate when we both were
clothed alike! Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the
crags Of ancient mountain, and beneath the
clouds, Which image in their bulk both lakes
and sliores And mountain crags : so shalt thou see
and hear The lovely shapes and sounds intelligi.
ble Of that eternal language, which thy
God Utters, who from eternity doth teach Himself in all, and all things in himself. Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask. Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to
thee, Whether the summer clothe the general
earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and
sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare
branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh
thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw ; whether the
eave-drops fall Heard only in the trances of the blast, Or if the secret ministry of frost Shall hang them up in silent icicles, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
February, 1798. 1798.
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this
deep calm, Fill up the interspersed vacancies And momentary pauses of the thought! My babe so beautiful! it thrills my
heart With tender gladness, thus to look at
thee, And think that thou shalt learn far
other lore, And in far other scenes ! For I was
reared In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters
dim, And saw nought lovely but the sky and
stars. But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a
All thoughts, all passions, all delights
And feed his sacred flame.
Beside the ruined tower.
My own dear Genevieve !
Amid the lingering light.
The songs that make her grieve.
I played a soft and doleful air,
That ruin wild and hoary.
But gaze upon her face.
The Lady of the Land.
Interpreted my own.
Too fondly on her face ! But when I told the cruel scorn That crazed that bold and lovely Knight, And that he crossed the mountain.
Nor rested day nor night; That sometimes from the savage den, And sometimes from the darksome shaile And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,There came and looked him in the face An angel beautiful and bright; And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight! And that unknowing what he did, He leaped amid a murderous band, And saved from outrage worse than
The Lady of the Land ! And how she wept, and clasped his
knees ; And how she tended him in vain And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain ;-And that she nursed him in a cave; And how his madness went away, When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay ;His dying words--but when I reached That tenderest strain of all the ditty, My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturbed her soul with pity!
All impulses of soul and sense
The rich and balmy eve;
Subdued and cherished long! She wept with pity and delight, She blushed with love, and virgine
shame; And like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name. Her bosom heaved-she stepped aside, As conscious of my look she stepped — Then suddenly, with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept.
And gazed upon my face.
The swelling of her heart.
1798--1799. December 21, 1799.
THE BALLAD OF THE DARK
BENEATH yon birch with silver bark,
And all is mossy there!
And drops and swells again.
The Griffin for his crest.
Oh wherefore can he stay ?