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LAWRENCE, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining ? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air ?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave, Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint. Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint
Purification in the old law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind :
Her face was veiled; yet to my fancied sight
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But, O! as to embrace me she inclined,
I waked; she fled; and day brought back my night.
SPEECH AND SONG OF THE LADY IN
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
And aery tongues, that syllable men's names
On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound,
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.-
O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings,
And thou, unblemished form of Chastity !
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err, there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove:
I cannot halloo to my brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I'll venture ; for my new-enlivened spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.
SWEET Echo, sweetest nymph, that livest unseen
Within thy aery shell,
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are ?
O, if thou have
Hid them in some flowery cave,
Tell me but where,
Sweet queen of parley, daughter of the sphere !
So may st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies.
Thou lingering star, with lessening ray,
That lovest to greet the early morn,
Again thou usherest in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn.
O Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy place of blissful rest ?
Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hearest thou the groans that rend his breast ?
That sacred hour can I forget,
Can I forget the hallowed grove
Where by the winding Ayr we met,
To live one day of parting love ?
Eternity will not efface
Those records dear of transports past
Thy image at our last embrace !
Ah! little thought we 'twas our last ! Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,
O'erhung with wild woods, thickening, green; The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,
Twined amorous round the raptured scene. The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,
The birds sang love on every spray, Till too, too soon, the glowing west
Proclaimed the speed of winged day. Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care ; Time but the impression deeper makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear. My Mary! dear departed shade!
'Where is thy place of blissful rest ? Seest thou thy lover lowly laid ? Hearest thou the groans that rend his breast ?
Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire!
Whose modest form, so delicately fine,
Was nursed in whirling storms,
And cradled in the winds.
Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter's sway,
And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,
Thee on this bank he threw
To mark his victory.
In this low vale, the promise of the year,
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale,
Unnoticed and alone,
Thy tender elegance.
So virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms
Of chill adversity ; in some lone walk
Of life she rears her head,
Obscure and unobserved ;
While every bleaching breeze that on her blows
Chastens her spotless purity of breast,
And hardens her to bear
Serene the ills of life.
ARCHES on arches ! as it were that Rome,
Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
Would build up all her triumph in one dome,
Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine
As 'twere its natural torches, for divine
Should be the light which streams here, to illume
This long-explored, but still exhaustless mine
Of contemplation; and the azure gloom
Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume
Hues which have words, and speak to ye of heaven,
Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument,
And shadows forth its glory. There is given
Unto the things of earth, which Time hath bent,