페이지 이미지

Now I direct my eyes into the West,

Which at this moment is in sun-beams drest:

Why westward turn? T was but to say adieu !

‘Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you! August, 1816.

to chatairs Cowdex clanke.

Oft have you seen a swan superbly frowning,
And with proud breast his own white shadow crowning;
He slants his neck beneath the waters bright
So silently, it seems a beam of light
Come from the galaxy: anon he sports, -
With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts,
Or ruffles all the surface of the lake
In striving from its crystal face to take
Some diamond water-drops, and them to treasure
In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure.
But not a moment can he there ensure them,
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them;
For down they rush as though they would be free,
And drop like hours into eternity.
Just like that bird am I in loss of time,
Whene'er I venture on the stream of rhyme;
With shatter'd boat, oar snapt, and canvass rent,
1 slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent;
Still scooping up the water with my fingers,
In which a trembling diamond never lingers.

By this, friend Charles, you may full plainly see Why I have never pennd a line to thee: Because my thoughts were never free, and clear, And little fit to please a classic ear; Because my wine was of too poor a savour For one whose palate gladdens in the flavour Of sparkling l'elicon :-small good it were To take him to a desert rude and bare, Who had on Baiae's shore reclined at ease, While Tasso's page was floating in a breeze That gave soft music from Armida's bowers, Mingled with fragrance from her rarest flowers: Small good to one who had by Mulla's stream Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream; who had beheld Belphoebe in a brook, And lovely Una in a leafy nook, And Archimago leaning o'er his book: Who had of all that 's sweet tasted, and seen, From silv’ry ripple, up to beauty's queen; From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania, to the blue dwelling of divine Urania: One, who, of late had ta'en sweet forest walks with him who elegantly chats and talks— The wrong'd Libertas—who has told you stories Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories; Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city, And tearful ladies, made for love and pity: With many else which I have never known. Thus have I thought; and days on days have flown Slowly, or rapidly—unwilling still For you to try my dull, unlearned quill. Nor should I now, but that I've known you long; That you first taught me all the sweets of song: The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine: What swell'd with pathos, and what right divine:

, Spenserian vowels that elope with ease, And toat along like birds o'er summer seas:

Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tendermes: Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair sleddons Who read for me the sonnet swelling loudly Up to its climax, and then dying proudly: Who found for me the grandeur of the ode, Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load: Who let me taste that more than cordial dram, The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram? Showd me that epic was of all the king, itound, vast, and spanning all, like Saturn's ring' You too upheld the veil from Clio’s beauty, And pointed out the patriot's stern duty; The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell; The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell Upon a tyrant's head. Ah! had I never seen, Or known your kindness, what might I have bea’ What my enjoyments in my youthful years, Bereft of all that now my life endears? And can I eer these benefits forget: And can I eer repay the friendly debt? No, doubly no;—yet should these rhymings please, I shall roll on the grass with two-fold ease; For I have long time been my fancy feeding With hopes that you would one day think the rain; Of my rough verses not an hour mispent; Should it e'er be so, what a rich content! Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spires In lucent Thames reflected:—warm desires To see the sun o'er-peep the eastern dimness, And morning-shadows streaking into slimness Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water; To mark the time as they grow broad and shorter: To feel the air that plays about the hills, And sips its freshness from the little rills; To see high, golden corn wave in the light When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night, And peers among the cloudlets, jet and white, As though she were reclining in a bed Of bean-blossoms, in heaven freshly shed. No sooner had I stepp'd into these pleasures Than 1 began to think of rhymes and measures; The air that floated by me seem'd to say • Writes thou wilt never have a better day." And so I did. When many lines I d written, Though with their grace I was not oversmitten, Yet, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd beuer Trust to my feelings, and write you a letter. Such an attempt required an inspiration Of a peculiar sort, a consummation — Which, had I felt, these scribblings might have be" Verses from which the soul would never wean; But many days have past since last my heart Was warm'd luxuriously by divine Mozart; By Arne delighted, or by Handel maddend; Or by the song of Erin pierced and sadden'd: What time you were before the music sitting, And the rich notes to each sensation fitting. Since I have walk'd with you through shady lanés That freshly terminate in open plains, And revell'd in a chat that ceased not, When, at night-fall, among your books we got; No, nor when supper came, nor after that... Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;

Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places,
To woo sweet kisses from averted faces,—
Play with their fingers, touch their shoulders white
Into a pretty shrinking with a bite
As hard as lips can make it: till agreed,
A lovely tale of human life we'll read.
And one will teach a tame dove how it best
May fan the cool air gently oer my rest:
Another, bending o'er her nimble tread,
Will set a green robe floating round her head,
And still will dance with ever-varied ease,
Smiling upon the flowers and the trees:
Another will entice me on, and on
Through almond blossoms and rich cinnamon;
Till in the bosom of a leafy world
We rest in silence, like two gems upcurl’d
In the recesses of a pearly shell.

And can I ever bid these joys farewell?
Yes, I must pass them for a nobler life,
Where I may find the agonies, the strife
Of human hearts: for lo! I see afar,
O'er-sailing the blue cragginess, a car
And steeds with streamy manes—the charioteer
Looks out upon the winds with glorious fear:
And now the numerous tramplings quiver lightly
Along a huge cloud's ridge; and now with sprightly
Wheel downward come they into fresher skies,
Tipt round with silver from the sun's bright eyes.
Still downward with capacious whirl they glide;
And now I see them on a green-hill side
In breezy res-t among the nodding stalks.
The charioteer with wond’rous gesture talks
To the trees and mountains; and there soon appear
Shapes of delight, of mystery, and fear,
Passing along before a dusky space
Made by some mighty oaks: as they would chase
Some ever-fleeting music, on they sweep.

Lo! how they murmur, laugh, and smile, and weep:

Some with upholden hand and mouth severe;
Some with their faces muffled to the ear
Between their arms; some clear in youthful bloom,
Go glad and smilingly athwart the gloom;
Some looking back, and some with upward gaze;
Yes, thousands in a thousand different ways
Flit onward—now a lovely wreathe of girls
Dancing their sleek hair into tangled curls;
And now broad wings. Most awfully intent
The driver of those steeds is forward bent,
And seems to listen: 0 that I might know
All that he writes with such a hurrying glow !

The visions all are fled—the car is fled
Into the light of heaven, and in their stead
A sense of real things comes doubly strong,
And, like a muddy stream, would bear along
My soul to nothingness: but I will strive
Against all doubtings, and will keep alive
The thought of that same chariot, and the strange
Journey it went.

Is there so small a range In the present strength of manhood, that the high Imagination cannot freely fly As she was wont of old? prepare her steeds, Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds

Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all?
From the clear space of ether, to the small
Breath of new buds unfolding? From the meaning
Of Jove's large eye-brow, to the tender greening
Of April meadows? Here her altar shone,
Een in this isle; and who could paragon
The fervid choir that lifted up a noise
Of harmony, to where it aye will poise
Its mighty self of convoluting sound,
Huge as a planet, and like that roll round, *
Eternally around a dizzy void?
Ay, in those days the Muses were nigh cloyd
With honours; nor had any other care
Than to sing out and soothe their wavy hair.

Could all this be forgotten? Yes, a scism
Nurtured by foppery and barbarism,
Made great Apollo blush for this his land.
Men were thought wise who could not understand
His glories: with a puling infant's force
They sway’d about upon a rocking-horse,
And thought it Pegasus. Ah, dismal-soul’d'
The winds of Heaven blew, the ocean roll'd
Its gathering waves—ye felt it not. The blue
Bared its eternal bosom, and the dew
Of summer night collected still to make
The norning precious: Beauty was awake!
Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead
To things ye knew not of.-were closely wed
To musty laws lined out with wretched rule
And compass vile: so that ye taught a school
Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit,
Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,
Their verses tallied. Easy was the task:
A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask
Of Poesy. Ill-fated, impious race!
That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face,
And did not know it, no, they went about,
Holding a poor, decrepid standard out,
Mark'd with most flimsy inottos, and in large
The name of one Boileau!

O ye whose charge It is to hover round our pleasant hills! Whose contregated majesty so fills My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace Your hallow'd names, in this unholy place, So near those common folk; did not their shames Affright you ! Did our old lamenting Thames Delight you! did ye never cluster round Delicious Avon, with a mournful sound, And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu To regions where no more the laurel grew? or did ye stay to give a welcoming To some lone spirits who could proudly sing Their youth away, and die? T was even so : But let me think away those times of woe: Now’t is a fairer season; ye have breathed Rich benedictions o'er us; ye have wreathed Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard In many places; some has been upstirr'd From out its crystal dwelling in a lake, by a swan's ebon bill; from a thick brake, Nested and quiet in a valley mild, Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild About the earth: happy are ye and glad.

On this scroll thou seest written in characters fair
A sun-beaming tale of a wreath, and a chain:

And, warrior, it nurtures the property rare
Of charming my mind from the trammels of pain.

This canopy mark: "t is the work of a fay;
Beneath its rich shade did King Oberon languish,

When lovely Titania was far, far away,
And cruelly left him to sorrow and anguish.

There, oft would he bring from his soft-sighing lute Wild strains to which, spell-bound, the nightingales listen’d 1 The wondering spirits of Heaven were mute, And tears 'mong the dew-drops of morning oft glisten’d.

In this little dome, all those melodies strange,
Soft, plaintive, and melting, for ever will sigh;

Noreer will the notes from their tenderness change,
Nor e'er will the music of Oberon die.

So when I am in a voluptuous vein,
I pillow my head on the sweets of the rose,

And list to the tale of the wreath, and the chain,
Till its echoes depart; then I sink to repose.

Adieu! valiant Erics with joy thou art crown'd,
Full many the glories that brighten thy youth,

I too have my blisses, which richly abound
In magical powers to bless, and to soothe.

TO -. o HAost thou lived in days of old, O what wonders had been told Of thy lively countenance, And thy humid eyes, that dance In the midst of their own brightness, In the very fane of lightness; Over which thine eyebrows, leaning, Picture out each lovely meaning: In a dainty bend they lie, Like to streaks across the sky, Or the feathers from a crow, Fallen on a bed of snow. Of thy dark hair, that extends Into many graceful bends: As the leaves of hellebore Turn to whence they sprung before. And behind each ample curl Peeps the richness of a pearl. Downward too flows many a tress With a glossy waviness, Full, and round like globes that rise From the censer to the skies Through sunny air. Add too, the sweetness Of thy honied voice; the neatness Of thine ancle lightly turn'd : With those beauties scarce discern'd, Kept with such sweet privacy, That they seldom meet the eye Of the little Loves that fly Round about with eager pry. Saving when with freshening lave, Thou dipp'st them in the taintless wave;

Like twin water-lilies, born
In the coolness of the morn.
O, if thou hadst breathed then,
Now the Muses had been ten.
Couldst thou wish for lineage higher
Than twin-sister of Thalia?
At least for ever, evermore
Will I call the Graces four.
Hadst thou lived when chivalry
Lifted up her lance on high,
Tell me what thou wouldst have been 2
Ah! I see the silver sheen
Of thy broider'd-floating vest
Cov'ring half thine ivory breast:
Which, O Heavens! I should see,
But that cruel Destiny
Has placed a golden cuirass there,
Keeping secret what is fair.
Like sun-beams in a cloudlet nested,
Thy locks in knightly casque are rested:
O'er which bend four milky plumes,
Like the gentle lily's blooms
Springing from a costly vase.
See with what a stately pace
Comes thine alabaster steed;
Servant of heroic deed!
O'er his loins, his trappings glow
Like the northern lights on snow.
Mount his back! thy sword unsheath'
Sign of the enchanter's death;
Bane of every wicked spell;
Silencer of dragon's yell.
Alas! thou this wilt never do :
Thou art an enchantress too,
And will surely never spill
Blood of those whose eyes can kill.


When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in Ełoorn;
When no fair dreams before my & mind's eyes flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope! ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.

Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright rst,
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Peep with the moon-beams through the leafy roof,
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof.

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair, Strive for her son to seize my careless heart When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air, Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart : Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright, And fright him, as the morning frightens night!

Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair,
0 let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope! ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.

In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade 1
O let me see our land retain her soul!
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.
February, 1815.


Now Morning from her orient chamber came, And her first footsteps touch'd a verdant hill: Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame, Silvering the untainted gushes of its rill ; Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distil, And, after parting beds of simple flowers, By many streams a little lake did fill, which round its marge reflected woven bowers, And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.

There the kingfisher saw his plumage bright, Vyeing 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 een 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 coerulean sky.

And all around it dipp'd luxuriously Slopings of verdure through the glossy tide, which, as it were in gentle amity, Rippled delighted up the flowery side;

As if to glean the ruddy tears it tried, Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem? Haply it was the workings of its pride, • In strife to throw upon the shore a gem

Outvyeing all the buds in Flora's diadem. - - - -


-Wom AN' when I behold thee slippant, 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; Een then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances, Een then my soul with exultation dances For that to love, so long, I've dormant lain: But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender, Heavens' how desperately do I adore Thy winning graces;–to be thy defender I hotly burn—to be a Calidore— A very Red Cross Knight—a stout Leander— Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.

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, leavens! 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:
Ilad Î e'er seen her from an arbour take
A dewy slower, oft would that hand appear,
And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.


I . My 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: 'T is not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thy happiness, That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
« 이전계속 »