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In the long vista of the years to roll,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom's shade. From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed — Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!
Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
Great liberty! how great in plain attire! With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire : But let me see thee stoop from Heaven on wings That fill the skies with silver glitterings!
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud; Brightening the half-veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, Sweet Hope! celestial influence round me shed, Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head.
IMITATION OF SPENSER.
W morning from her orient chamber came And her first footsteps touch'd a verdant hill :
Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame,
Which round its marge reflected woven bowers, And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.
There the kingfisher saw his plumage bright, Vying with fish of brilliant dye below; Whose silken fins' and golden scales' light Cast upward, through the waves, a ruby glow: There saw the swan his neck of arched snow, And oar'd himself along with majesty: Sparkled his jetty eyes; his feet did show Beneath the waves like Afric's ebony, And on his back a fay reclined voluptuously.
Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle That in that fairest lake had placed been, I could e'en Dido of her grief beguile; Or rob from aged Lear his bitter teen : For sure so fair a place was never seen Of all that ever charm'd romantic eye: It seem'd an emerald in the silver sheen Of the bright waters; or as when on high, Through clouds of fleecy white, laughs the cœru
And all around it dipp'd luxuriously
WOMAN! when I behold thee flippant, vain,
Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies; Without that modest softening that enhances The downcast eye, repentant of the pain
That its mild light creates to heal again;
to be a Calidore
Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair; Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast;
Are things on which the dazzled senses rest Till the fond, fixed eyes, forget they stare. From such fine pictures, Heavens! I cannot dare To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd
They be of what is worthy, though not drest, In lovely modesty, and virtues rare. Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark;
These lures I straight forget, - e'en ere I dine, Or thrice my palate moisten: but when I mark Such charms with mild intelligences shine, My ear is open like a greedy shark,
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.
Ah! who can e'er forget so fair a being?
Who can forget her half-retiring sweets? God! she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,
Will never give him pinions, who intreats Such innocence to ruin, who vilely cheats A dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing One's thoughts from such a beauty; when I hear A lay that once I saw her hand awake, Her form seems floating palpable, and near:
Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear, And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
Y heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk : 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burnt
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan ; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain To thy high requiem become a sod.