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Ever let the Fancy roam !
Pleasure never is at home :
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth ;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's cage-door,
She 'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy ! let her loose ;
Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the spring
Fades as does its blossoming ;
Autumn's red-lipped fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting : What do then ?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear fagot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night ;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the cakéd snow is shuffled
From the plough-boy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad
With a mind self-overawed

Fancy, high-commissioned ; — send her !
She has vassals to attend her ;
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather ;
All the buds and bells of May
From dewy sward or thorny spray!
All the heapéd autumn's wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth ;
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it ; — thou shalt hear
Distant harvest-carols clear ;
Rustle of the reaped corn ;
Sweet birds antheming the morn ;
And in the same moment hark !
’T is the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold ;
White-plumed lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf and every flower
Pearléd with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celléd sleep ;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin ;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest ;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the beehive casts its swarm ;
Acorns ripe down-pattering
While the autumn breezes sing.

O sweet Fancy ! let her loose ;
Everything is spoilt by use :
Where's the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gazed at ? Where's the maid


Whose lip mature is ever new ?

Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibés Where's the eye, however blue,

The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain Doth not weary? Where's the face From all the tenants of the warbling shade One would meet in every place ?

Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake Where's the voice, however soft,

Fresh pleasure, unreproved. Nor thence partakes One would hear so very oft ?

Fresh pleasure only; for the attentive mind, At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth

By this harmonious action on her powers, Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.

Becomes herself harmonious : wont so oft Let then wingéd Fancy find

On outward things to meditate the charm Thee a mistress to thy mind;

Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres' daughter,

To find a kindred order, to exert
Ere the God of Torment taught her Within herself this elegance of love,
How to frown and how to chide;

This fair-inspired delight : her tempered powers With a waist and with a side

Refine at length, and every passion wears
White as Hebe's, when her zone

A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
Slipt its golden clasp, and down
Fell her kirtle to her feet,
While she held the goblet sweet,
And Jove grew languid. — Break the mesh

Of the Fancy's silken leash ;
Quickly break her prison-string,

I DREAMED that as I wandered by the way And such joys as these she 'll bring :

Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, Let the wingéd Fancy roam !

And gentle odors led my steps astray, Pleasure never is at home.

Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring JOHN KEATS.

Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay

Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling

Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, IMAGINATION.

But kissed it and then fled, as Thou mightest in

dream. PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION." O BLEST of heaven, whom not the languid There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,

Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth, songs Of luxury, the siren ! not the bribes

The constellated flower that never sets ; Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils

Faint ox-lips ; tender bluebells, at whose birth Of pageant honor, can seduce to leave

The sod scarce heaved ; and that tall flower that

wets Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store Of nature fair imagination culls

Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears, To charm the enlivened soul ! What though not When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears. all

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, Of mortal offspring can attain the heights Of envied life; though only few possess

Green cow-bindand the moonlight-colored May, Patrician treasures or imperial state ;

And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine

Was the bright dew yet drained not by the day; Yet nature's care, to all her children just,

And wild roses, and ivy serpentine With richer treasures and an ampler state,

With its dark buds and leaves, wandering Endows at large whatever happy man

astray; Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,

And flowers azure, black, and streaked with gold, The rural honors his. Whate'er adorns

Fairer than any wakened eyes behold. The princely dome, the column and the arch, The breathing marble and the sculptured gold And nearer to the river's trembling edge Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim, There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prankt His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the Spring

with white, Distils her dews, and from the silken gem And starry river-buds among the sedge, Its lucid leaves unfolds ; for him the hand And floating water-lilies, broad and bright, Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch

Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn. With moonlight beams of their own watery Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings ; light; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

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Bonny bird,” quoth she,

Paused awhile to hear. Sing me your best song before I go.”

“What good child is this," the angel said, “Here's the very finest song I know,

“ That with happy heart beside her bed Little Bell,” said he.

Prays so lovingly ?”

Low and soft, 0, very low and soft, And the blackbird piped ; you never heard Crooned the blackbird in the orchard croft, Half so gay a song from any bird,

“Bell, dear Bell ! " crooned he. Full of quips and wiles, Now so round and rich, now soft and slow, “Whom God's creatures love," the angel fair All for love of that sweet face below,

Murinured, “God doth bless with angels' care ; Dimpled o'er with smiles.

Child, thy bed shall be

Folded safe from harm. Love, deep and kind, And the while the bonny bird did pour

Shall watch around and leave good gifts behind, His full heart freely o'er and o'er

Little Bell, for thee!”
'Neath the morning skies,
In the little childish heart below
All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow,
And shine forth in happy overflow

A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS. From the blue, bright eyes.

| 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all Down the dell she tripped and through the glade, through the house Peeped the squirrel from the hazel shade, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ; And from out the tree

The stockings were hung by thechimney with care, Swung, and leaped, and frolicked, void of fear; In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there : While bold blackbird piped that all might hear,- The children were nestled all snug in their beds, “Little Bell," piped he.

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their

heads; Little Bell sat down amid the fern,

And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Squirrel, squirrel, to your task return; Had just settled our brains for a long winter's Bring me nuts,” quoth she.

nap, l'p away the frisky squirrel hies,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, Golden woodl-lights glancing in his eyes, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. And adown the tree

A way to the window I flew like a flash, Great ripe nuts, kissed brown by July sun, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. In the little lap dropped one by one.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Hark, how blackbird pipes to see the fun! Gave a lustre of midday to objects below; “Happy Bell,” pipes he.

When, what to my wondering eyes should ap

pear, Little Bell looked up and down the glade, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, “Squirrel, squirrel, if you 're not afraid, With a little old driver, so lively and quick Come and share with me!”

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. Down came squirrel eager for his fare,

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, Down came bonny blackbird, I declare ; And he whistled and shouted, and called them Little Bell gave each his honest share,

by name : Ah the merry three !

Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer ! now, Prancer And the while these frolic playmates twain

and Vixen ! Piped and frisked from bough to bough again, On, Comet ! on, Cupid ! on, Donder and 'Neath the morning skies,

Blitzen ! In the little childish heart below

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall ! All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow, Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!" And shine out in happy overflow

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, From her blue, bright eyes.

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the

sky, By her snow-white cot at close of day,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, Knelt sweet Bell, with folded palms, to pray ; With the sleigh full of toys, — and St. Nicholas Very calm and clear

too. Rose the praying voice to where, unseen, And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof In blue heaven, an angel shape serene

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.



As I drew in my head, and was turning around, | He went to the windows of those who slept. Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a And over each pane like a fairy crept, bound.

Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped, He was dressed all in fur from his head to his By the light of the moon were seen foot,

Most beautiful things. There were flowers and And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes trees, and soot;

There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees, A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, There were cities, thrones, temples, and towers, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. and these His eyes how they twinkled ! his dimples how All pictured in silver sheen !

merry ! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; But he did one thing that was hardly fair, Hlis droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, He peeped in the cupboard, and, finding there And the beard on his chin was as white as the That all had forgotten for him to prepare,

Now, just to set them a thinking, The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

I 'll bite this basket of fruit,” said he ; And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

“This costly pitcher I 'll burst in three, He had a broad face and a little round belly

And the glass of water they 've left for me That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of

Shall · Ichick /' to tell them I 'm drinking.” jelly. He was chubby and plump, — a right jolly old elf; And I laughed, when I saw him, in spite of my

THE CLOUD. self, A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

From the seas and the streams; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his 1 bear light shade for the leaves when laid work,

In their noonday dreams. And filled all the stockings ; then turned with a From my wings are shaken the dews that waken jerk,

The sweet birds every one, And laying his finger aside of his nose,

When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

As she dances about the sun. He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle ;

And whiten the green plains under ; But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, And then again I dissolve it in rain ; “Happy Christmas to all, and toalla good-night!" And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,

And their great pines groan aghast ;

And all the night 't is my pillow white,

While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night, Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers
And he said, “Now I shall be out of sight; Lightning, my pilot, sits ;
So through the valley and over the height In a cavern under is fettered the thunder ;
In silence I 'll take my way.

It struggles and howls at fits.
I will not go like that blustering train,

Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain, This pilot is guiding me,
Who make so much bustle and noise in vain, Lured by the love of the genii that move
But I 'll be as busy as they!'

In the depths of the purple sea ;

Over the rills and the crags and the hills, Then he went to the mountain, and powdered its

Over the lakes and the plains, crest, He climbed up the trees, and their boughs he Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,

The spirit he loves remains ; dressed

And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile, With diamonds and pearls, and over the breast

Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
Of the quivering lake he spread
A coat of mail, that it need not fear

The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes, The downward point of many a spear

And his burning plumes outspread, That he hung on its margin, far and near, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, Where a rock could rear its head.

When the morning star shines dead.


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