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III.

H

AD I a man's fair form, then might my sighs
Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell
Thine ear, and find thy gentle heart; so well
Would passion arm me for the enterprise:
But ah! I am no knight whose foeman dies;
No cuirass glistens on my bosom's swell;
I am no happy shepherd of the dell

Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes.
Yet must I doat upon thee, call thee sweet,
Sweeter by far than Hybla's honey'd roses
When steep'd in dew rich to intoxication.
Ah! I will taste that dew, for me 'tis meet,

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And when the moon her pallid face discloses,
I'll gather some by spells, and incantation.

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IV.

SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings: climb with me the
steep,

Nature's observatory whence the dell, In flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell, May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep 'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's swift leap

Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.

But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,

Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refined,

Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

V.

Ho

OW many bards gild the lapses of time!
A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy, — I could brood
Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime :
And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,

These will in throngs before my mind intrude:
But no confusion, no disturbance rude
Do they occasion; 'tis a pleasing chime.

So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store; The songs of birds the whispering of the leaves The voice of waters the great bell that heaves With solemn sound, and thousand others

more,

That distance of recognizance bereaves,
Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.

VI.

TO G. A. W.

NY

YMPH of the downward smile and sidelong
glance!

In what diviner moments of the day
Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray
Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance?
Or when serenely wandering in a trance

Of sober thought? Or when starting away,
With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance?
Haply 'tis when thy ruby lips part sweetly,
And so remain, because thou listenest:
But thou to please wert nurtured so completely
That I can never tell what mood is best,

I shall as soon pronounce which Grace more neatly Trips it before Apollo than the rest.

WH

VII.

WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT LEFT PRISON.

20

HAT though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,

Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he, In his immortal spirit, been as free As the sky-searching lark, and as elate. Minion of grandeur! think you he did wait? Think you he nought but prison-walls did see, Till, so unwilling, thou unturn'dst the key? Ah, no! far happier, nobler was his fate! In Spenser's halls he stray'd, and bowers fair, Culling enchanted flowers; and he flew With daring Milton through the fields of air : To regions of his own his genius true Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew?

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