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Lilies for a bridal bed,
roses for a matron's head,
violets for a maiden dead,
pansies let my flowers be:
on the living grave I bear,
scatter them without a tear,
let no friend, however dear,
waste one hope, one fear for me,
P. B. SHELLEY
THE MOUNTAIN BOY
THAT liberty so glad and gay,
as where the mountain boy,
reckless of regions far away,
a prisoner lives in joy?
The dreary sounds of crowded earth,
the cries of camp or town,
never untuned his lonely mirth,
nor drew his visions down.
The snow-clad peaks of rosy light,
that meet his morning view,
the thwarting cliffs that bound his sight,
they bound his fancy too.
Two ways alone his roving eye
for aye may onward go,
or in the azure deep on high
or darksome mere below,
SNATCH'D away in beauty's bloom!
on thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
but on thy turf shall roses rear
their leaves, the earliest of the year,
and the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:
and oft by yon blue gushing stream
shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
and feed deep thought with many a dream,
and lingering pause and lightly tread;
fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead!
Away! we know that tears are vain,
that Death nor heeds nor hears distress:
will this unteach us to complain?
or make one mourner weep the less ?
And thou, who tell’st me to forget,
thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.
ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY
THE peace of Heaven attend thy shade,
when life was new, companions gay,
we hailed the morning of our day.
Ah, with what joy did I behold
the flower of beauty fair unfold!
and feared no storm to blast thy bloom,
or bring thee to an early tomb !
Untimely gone! for ever fled
the roses of the cheek so red;
the affection warm, the temper mild,
the sweetness that in sorrow smiled.
Alas! the cheek where beauty glowed,
the heart where goodness overflowed,
a clod amid the valley lies,
and dust to dust' the mourner cries.
187 O from thy kindred early torn,
and to thy grave untimely borne !
vanished for ever from my view,
thou sister of my soul, adieu !
Fair, with my first ideas twined,
thine image oft will meet my mind;
and, while remembrance brings thee near,
affection sad will drop a tear.
How oft does sorrow bend the head,
before we dwell among the dead!
scarce in the years of manly prime,
I've often wept the wrecks of time.
What tragic tears bedew the eye!
what deaths we suffer ere we die !
our broken friendships we deplore,
and loves of youth that are no more!
188 No after-friendship e'er can raise
the endearments of our early days;
and ne'er the heart such fondness prove,
as when it first began to love.
Affection dies, a vernal flower;
and love, the blossom of an hour;
the spring of fancy cares control,
and mar the beauty of the soul.
Versed in the commerce of deceit,
how soon the heart forgets to beat !
the blood runs cold at Interest's call;
they look with equal eyes on all.
Then lovely Nature is expelled,
and Friendship is romantic held;
then Prudence comes with hundred eyes:
the veil is rent: the vision flies.
189 The dear illusions will not last;
the era of enchantment's past;
the wild romance of life is done;
the real history is begun.
The sallies of the soul are o'er,
the feast of fancy is no more;
and ill the banquet is supplied
by form, by gravity, by pride.
Ye gods! whatever ye withhold,
let my affections ne'er grow old;
ne'er may the human glow depart,
nor Nature yield to frigid Art!
Still may the generous bosom burn,
though doomed to bleed o'er beauty's urn;
and still the friendly face appear,
though moistened with a tender tear!
'HE sun-beams streak the azure skies,
and line with light the mountain's brow;
with hounds and horns the hunters rise,
and chase the roebuck through the snow,
From rock to rock, with giant-bound,
high on their iron poles they pass;
mute, lest the air, convulsed by sound,
rend from above a frozen mass.
The goats wind slow their wonted way,
up craggy steeps and ridges rude;
marked by the wild wolf for his prey,
from desert cave or hanging wood.
And while the torrent thunders loud,
and as the echoing cliffs reply,
the huts peep o'er the morning-cloud,
perched, like an eagle's nest, on high.
E are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
how restlessly they speed and gleam and
streaking the darkness radiantly !-yet soon
night closes round, and they are lost for ever :
or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
give various response to each varying blast,
to whose frail frame no second motion brings
one mood or modulation like the last.
We rest-a dream has power to poison sleep;
we rise-one wandering thought pollutes the day; we feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep ;
embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:
it is the same! For, be it joy or sorrow,
the path of its departure still is free;
man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
nought may endure but Mutability.
N childhood, when with eager eyes
the season-measured year I viewed,
all, garbed in fairy guise,
pledged constancy of good.
Spring sang of heaven; the summer-flowers
let me gaze on, and did not fade;
even suns o'er autumn's bowers
heard my strong wish, and stayed.
They came and went—the short-lived four,
yet as their varying dance they wove,
to my young heart each bore
its own sure claim of love.
Far different now;—the whirling year
vainly my dizzy eyes pursue;
and its fair tints appear
all blent in one dusk hue.
from the old Negro's darksome womb !
which when it saw the lovely child, the melancholy mass put on kind looks and smiled. Thou tide of glory, which no rest doth know,
but ever ebb and ever flow!
thou golden shower of a true Jove!
who does in thee descend, and Heaven to Earth
Hail active Nature's watchful life and health!
her joy, her ornament and wealth!
hail to thy husband heat and thee! thou the world's beauteous Bride, the lusty Bride
Say from what golden quivers of the sky
do all thy winged arrows fly?