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But ah! what ills must that poor heart endure, Who hopes from thee, and thee alone a cure.
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF ENGLAND.
Ah, from my eyes the tears unbidden start,
Albion! as now thy cliffs (that white appear
Far o'er the wave, and their proud summits rear
To meet the beams of morn) my beating heart
With eager hope and filial transport hails!
Scenes of my youth, reviving gales ye bring,
As when erewhile the tuneful morn of spring
Joyous awoke amid your blooming vales,
And fill'd with fragrance every painted plain :
Fled are those hours and all the joys they gave:
Yet still I sigh, and count each rising wave
That bears me nearer to your haunts again;
If haply, mid those woods and vales so fair,
Stranger to peace, I yet may meet her there.
Fallen pile! I ask not what has been thy fate,
But when the weak winds wafted from the main, Through each lone arch, like spirits that complain, Come mourning to my ear, I meditate
On this world's passing pageant, and on those
Who once like thee majestic and sublime Have stood; till bow'd beneath the hand of time, Or hard mishap, at their sad evening's close, Their bold and beauteous port has sunk forlorn! Yet, wearing still a charm, that age and cares Could ne'er subdue, decking the silver hairs Of sorrow, as with short-liv'd gleam the morn
Illumines, whilst it weeps, the refted tower [shower. That lifts its forehead grey, and smiles amidst the
O Harmony! thou tenderest nurse of pain,
If that thy note's sweet magic e'er can heal
Griefs, which the patient spirit oft may feel,
Oh, let me listen to thy songs again;
Till memory her fairest tints shall bring,
Hope wake with brighter eye, and listening seem
With smiles to think on some delightful dream,
That wav'd o'er the charm'd sense with gladsome
For when thou leadest all thy soothing strains [wing.
More smooth along, the silent passions meet
In one suspended transport, sad and sweet;
And nought but sorrow's softest touch remains,
That, when the transitory charm is o'er,
Just wakes a tear, and then is felt no more.
TO THE RIVER CHERWELL.
Cherwell, how pleas'd along thy willow'd edge
Erewhile I stray'd, or when the morn began
To tinge the distant turret's gloomy fan,
Or evening glimmer'd o'er the sighing sedge!
And now repos'd on thy lorn banks, once more
I bid the pipe farewell, and that sad lay
Whose music on thy melancholy way
I woo'd, amid thy waving willows hoar;
Seeking awhile to rest, till the bright sun
Of joy returns, as when heaven's beauteous bow
Beams on the night-storm's passing wings below:
Whate'er betide, yet something have I won
Of solace, that may bear me on serene,
Till eve's last hush shall close the silent scene.
THE BROKEN HEART.
Jeron. So, all is hush'd at last. Hist! there she lies, Who should have been my own: Sylvestra! No; She sleeps; and from her parted lips there comes A fragrance such as April mornings draw From the awakening flowers. There lies her arm, Stretch'd out like marble on the quilted lid, And motionless. What if she lives not?How beautiful she is! How far beyond Those bright creations, which the fabling Greeks Plac'd on their white Olympus. That great queen, Before whose eye Jove's starry armies shrank To darkness, and the wide and billowy seas Grew tranquil, was a spotted leper to her : And never in such pure divinity
Sylv. Alas! Jeronymo.
Jeron. Aye, that's the name: you had forgot.
Sylv. Oh no.
Can I forget the many hours we've spent,
When care had scarce begun to trouble us?
How we were wont, on autumn nights, to stray,
Counting the clouds that pass'd across the moon-
Jeron. Go on.
Sylv. And figuring many a shape grotesque;
Camels and caravans, and mighty beasts,
Hot prancing steeds, and warriors plum'd and
All in the blue sky floating.
Jeron. What is this?
Sylv. I thought you lik'd to hear of it.
Jeron. I do.
Sylv. Then wherefore look so sadly?
Jeron. Fair Sylvestra,
Can I do aught to comfort you?
I would not chill, with this decaying touch,
That bosom where the blue veins wander 'round,
As if enamoured and loth to leave their homes
Of beauty: nor should this thy white cheek fade
From fear at me, a poor heart-broken wretch:
Look at me. Why, the winds sing through my bones,
And children jeer me, and the boughs that wave
And whisper loosely in the summer air
Shake their green leaves in mockery, as to say
"These are the longer livers."
Jeron. I've numbered eighteen summers. Much
In that short compass; but my days have been
Not happy. Death was busy with our house
Early, and nipped the comforts of my home,
And sickness paled my cheek, and fancies (like
Bright but delusive stars) came wandering by me.
There's one you know of: that-no matter-that
Drew me from out my way, (a perilous guide)
And left me sinking. I had gay hopes too,
What needs the mention,-they are vanish'd.
I thought,- (speak softly, for my husband sleeps,)
I thought, when you did stay abroad so long,
And never sent nor ask'd of me or mine,
You'd quite forgotten Italy.
Jeron. Speak again,
Was't so indeed?
Sylv. Indeed, indeed.
Jeron. Then be it.
Yet, what had I done Fortune, that she could
Abandon me so entirely? Never mind't:
Have a good heart, Sylvestra: they who hate
Can kill us, but no more, that's comfort. Oh!
The journey is but short, and we can reckon
On slumbering sweetly with the freshest earth
Sprinkled about us. There no storms can shake
Our secure tenement; nor need we fear,
Though cruelty be busy with our fortunes,
Or scandal with our names.
Jeron. Sweet! in the land to come we'll feed on
Droop not, my beautiful child. Oh! we will love
Then without fear; no mothers there; no gold,
Nor hate, nor paltry perfidy, none, none;
We have been doubly cheated. Who'll believe
A mother could do this? but let it pass:
Anger suits not the grave. Oh! my own love,
Too late I see thy gentle constancy:
I wrote, and wrote, but never heard; at last,
Quitting that place of pleasure, home I came
And found you married: Then-
Jeron. Then I
Threaten'd, and vow'd, cajol'd, and then-I mar Jeron. Oh! [ried,
Sylv. What's the matter?
Jeron. Soft! The night wind sounds A funeral dirge, for me, sweet. Let me lie Upon thy breast; I will not chill't, my love. It is a shrine where Innocence might die: Nay, let me lie there once; for once, Sylvestra. Sylv. Pity me!
Jeron. So I do.
Sylv. Then talk not thus ;
Though but a jest it makes me tremble.
Look in my eye, and mark how true the tale
I've told you: On its glassy surface lies
Death, my Sylvestra. It is Nature's last
And beautiful effort to bequeath a fire
To that bright ball on which the spirit sate
Through life; and look'd out, in its various moods,
Of gentleness and joy, and love and hope,
And gain'd this frail flesh credit in the world.
It is the channel of the soul: its glance
Draws and reveals that subtle power, that doth
Redeem us from our gross mortality.
Sylv. Why, now you're cheerful.
Jeron. Yes; 'tis thus I'd die.
Sylv. Now I must smile.
Jeron. Do so, and I'll smile too.
I do; albeit-Ah! now my parting words
Lie heavy on my tongue; my lips obey not, [can,
And-speech-comes difficult from me. While I
Farewell. Sylvestra! where's your hand?
Sylv. Ah! cold.
Jeron. "Tis so: but scorn it not, my own poor girl. They've used us hardly: bless 'em though. Thou wilt Forgive them. One's a mother, and may feel, When that she knows me dead. Some air-more air: Where are you? I am blind-my hands are numb'd: This is a wintry night.-So,-cover me.
The night was gloomy. Through the skies of June
Rolled the eternal moon,
'Midst dark and heavy clouds, that bore
A shadowy likeness to those fabled things
That sprung of old from man's imaginings.
Each seem'd a fierce reality: some wore
The forms of sphinx and hippogriff, or seemed
Nourished among the wonders of the deep,
And wilder than the poet ever dream'd:
And there were cars steeds with their proud necks
Tower, and temple, and broken continent:
And all, as upon a sea,
In the blue ether floated silently.
I lay upon my bed, and sank to sleep:
And then I fancied that I rode upon
The waters, and had power to call
Up people who had lived in ages gone,
And scenes and stories half forgot, and all
That on my young imagination
Had come like fairy visions, and departed.
And ever by me a broad current passed
Slowly, from which at times up started
Dim scenes and ill-defined shapes. At last
I bade the billows render up their dead,
And all their wild inhabitants; and I
Summoned the spirits who perished,
Or took their stations in the starry sky,
When Jove himself bowed his Saturnian head
Before the One Divinity.
First, I saw a landscape fair
Towering in the clear blue air,
Like Ida's woody summits and sweet fields,
Where all that Nature yields
Flourishes. Three proud shapes were seen,
Standing upon the green
Like Olympian queens descended.
One was unadorned, and one
Wore her golden tresses bound
With simple flowers; the third was crowned,
And from amidst her raven hair,
Like stars, imperial jewels shone.
Not one of those figures divine
But might have sate in Juno's chair,
And smil'd in great equality
On Jove, though the blue skies were shaken;
Or, with superior aspect, taken
From Hebe's hand Nectarean wine.
And that Dardanian boy was there
Whom pale none loved: his hair
Was black, and curled his temples 'round;
His limbs were free and forehead fair,
And as he stood on rising ground,
And back his dark locks proudly tossed,
A shepherd youth he looked, but trod
On the green-sward like a god;
Most like Apollo when he played
('Fore Midas,) in the Phrygian shade,
With Pan, and to the Sylvan lost.
And now from out the watery floor
A city rose, and well she wore
Her beauty, and stupendous walls,
And towers that touched the stars, and halls
Pillar'd with whitest marble, whence
Palace on lofty palace sprung;
And over all rich gardens hung,
Where, amongst silver waterfalls,
Cedars and spice-trees and green bowers,
And sweet winds playing with all the flowers
Of Persia and of Araby,
Walked princely shapes: some with an air
Like warriors, some like ladies fair
Listening, and, amidst all, the king
In supreme magnificence.
This was famous Babylon.
That glorious vision passed on,
And then I heard the laurel-branches sigh,
That still grow where the bright-ey'd muses walk'd:
And Pelion shook his piny locks, and talked
Mournfully to the fields of Thessaly.
And there I saw, piercing the deep blue sky,
And radiant with his diadem of snow,
Crowned Olympus: and the hills below
Looked like inferior spirits tending round
His pure supremacy; and a sound
Went rolling onwards through the sunny calm,
As if immortal voices then had spoken,
And, with rich noises, broken
The silence which that holy place had bred.
I knelt-and as I knelt, haply in token
Of thanks, there fell a honeyed shower of balm;
And the imperial mountain bowed his hoary head.
And then came one who on the Nubian sands
Perish'd for love; and with him the wanton queen
Egyptian, in her state was seen;
And how she smil'd, and kissed his willing hands,
And said she would not love, and swore to die,
And laughed upon the Roman Antony.
Oh, matchless Cleopatra! never since
Has one, and never more
Shall one like thee tread on the Egypt shore,
Or lavish such royal magnificence:
Never shall one laugh, love, or die like thee,
Or own so sweet a witchery:
And, brave Mark Antony, that thou could'st give
Half the wide world to live
With that enchantress, did become thee well;
For Love is wiser than Ambition.-
Queen and thou, lofty triumvir, fare ye well.
And then I heard the sullen waters roar,
And saw them cast their surf upon the strand,
And then rebounding toward some far-seen land,
They washed and washed its melancholy shore:
And the terrific spirits, bred
In the sea-caverns, moved by those fierce jars,
Rose up like giants from their watery bed,
And shook their silver hair against the stars.
Then, bursts like thunder-joyous outcries wild—
Sounds as from trumpets, and from drums,
And music, like the lulling noise that comes
From nurses when they hush their charge to sleep,
Came in confusion from the deep.
Methought one told me that a child
Was that night unto the great Neptune born;
And then old Triton blew his curled horn,
And the Leviathan lashed the foaming seas,
And the wanton Nereides
Came up like phantoms from their coral halls,
And laughed and sung like tipsy Bacchanals,
Till all the fury of the Ocean broke
Upon my ear.--
-I trembled and awoke.
Now, give me but a cot that's good, In some great town's neighbourhood: A garden, where the winds may play Fresh from the blue hills far away, And wanton with such trees as bear
Their loads of green through all the year, Laurel, and dusky juniper:
So may some friends, whose social talk
I love, there take their evening walk,
And spend a frequent holiday.
And may I own a quiet room,
Where the morning sun may come,
Stored with books of poesy,
Tale, science, old morality,
Fable, and divine history,
Ranged in separate cases round,
Each with living marble crown'd;
Here should Apollo stand, and there
Isis, with her sweeping hair,
Here Phidian Jove, or the face of thought
Of Pallas, or Laocoon,
Or Adrian's boy Antinous,
Or the wing'd Mercurius,
Or some that conquest lately brought
From the land Italian.
And one I'd have, whose heaving breast
Should rock me nightly to my rest,
By holy chains bound fast to me,
Faster by Love's sweet sorcery.
I would not have my beauty as
Juno or Paphian Venus was,
Or Dian with her crested moon,
(Else, haply, she might change as soon,)
Or Portia, that high Roman dame,
Or she who set the world on flame,
Spartan Helen, who did leave
Her husband-king to grieve,
And fled with Priam's shepherd-boy,
And caus'd the mighty tale of Troy.
She should be a woman who
(Graceful without much endeavour)
Could praise or excuse all I do,
And love me ever.
I'd have her thoughts fair, and her skin
White as the white soul within;
And her fringed eyes of darkest blue,
Which the great soul looketh through,
Like heaven's own gates cerulean :
And these I'd gaze and gaze upon,
As did of old Pygmalion.
She whom I loved has fled;
And now with the lost dead
I rank her; and the heart that loved her so, (But could not bear her pride,)
In its own cell hath died,
And turn'd to dust,-but this she shall not know.
'Twould please her did she think
That my poor frame did shrink,
And waste and wither; and that love's own light Did blast its temple, where
'Twas worshipped many a year;
Veil'd (like some holy thing) from human sight.
Oh! had you seen her when
She languished, and the men
From the dark glancing of her fringed eye
Turned, but returned again
To mark the winding vein
Steal tow'rd her marbled bosom silently.
What matters this?-thou Lyre,
Nothing shall e'er inspire
Thy master to rehearse those songs again:
She whom he loved is gone,
And he, now left alone,
Sings, when he sings of love, in vain, in vain.
TO A CHILD.
Fairest of earth's creatures!
All thy innocent features
Moulded in beauty do become thee well.
Oh! may thy future years
Be free from pains, and fears,
False love, and others envy, and the guile
That lurks beneath a friendlike smile,
And all the various ills that dwell
In this so strange compounded world; and may
Thy look be like the skies of May,
Supremely soft and clear,
With, now and then, a tear
For joy, or others sorrows, not thy own;
And may thy sweet voice
Flow in perpetual music, and its tone
Be joyful, and bid all who hear rejoice.
And may thy bright eye, like a star,
Shine sweet, and cheer the hearts that love thee,
And take in all the beauty of the flowers,
Deep woods and running brooks, and the rich sights
Which thou may'st note above thee
At noontide, or on interlunar nights,
Or when blue Iris, after showers,
Bends her cerulean bow, and seems to rest
On some distant mountain's breast,
Surpassing all the shapes that lie
Haunting the sunset of an autumn sky.
Oh, for that winged steed, Bellerophon! That Pallas gave thee in her infinite grace