« ForrigeFortsett »
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 't is true,
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles Whole years of weary days, besieged him close, of purple shadow! Yes, they wander on Even to the gates and inlets of his life!
In gladness all ; but thou, methinks, most glad, But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
My gentle-hearted Charles ! for thou hast pined And with a natural gladness, he maintain'd And hungerd after Nature, many a year, The citadel unconquerd, and in joy
In the great city pent, winning thy way Was strong to follow the delightful Muse. With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain For not a hidden Path, that to the Shades
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads,
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun! Lurk'd undiscover'd by him ; not a rill
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb, There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds ! But he had traced it upward to its source, Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves! Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell, And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my Friend, Knew the gay wild-flowers on its banks, and cull&Struck with deep joy, may stand, as I have stood, Its med cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
gross than bodily; and of such hues He bade with lifted torch its starry walls As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes Sparkle as erst they sparkled to the flame Spirits perceive his presence. Of odorous lamps tended by Saint and Sage. O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts !
A delight O studious Poet, eloquent for truth!
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad Philosopher! contemning wealth and death, As I myself were there! Nor in this bower, Yet docile, childlike, full of life and love!
This little lime-tree hower, have I not mark'd Here, rather than on monumental stone, .
Much that has soothed me.' Pale beneath the blaze This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes, Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watch'd Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek. Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass, In the Juno of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid a visit Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
to the Author's Cottage; and on the moming of their ar- Through the late twilight: and though now the Bat rival, he met with an accident, which disabled him from Wheels silent by, and not a Swallow twitters, walking during the whole time of their stay. One Evening, Yet still the solitary Humble-Bee when they had left him for a few hours, he composed the Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know following lines in the Garden Bower.
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure :
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there, Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ This Lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes Most sweet to my remembrance, even when age
"T is well to be bereft of promised good, Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, mean. That we may lift the soul, and contemplate while,
With lively joy the joys we cannot share. Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
My gentle-hearted Charles ! when the last Rook On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Beat its straight path along the dusky air Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
Homowards, I blest il! deeming its black wing To that still roaring dell, of which I told :
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
Had cross’d the mighty Orb's dilated glory, And only speckled by the mid-day sun ;
While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was still, Where its slim trunk the Ash from rock to rock Flings arching like a bridge ;—that branchless Ash, For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
Flew creakingt o'er thy head, and had a charm Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, Fann'd by the waterfall! and there my friends Behold the dark-green file of long lank weeds,* That all at once (a most fantastic sight!) Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge Of the blue clay-stone.
TO A FRIEND Now, my Friends emerge WHO HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION OF WRITING Beneath the wide wide Heaven and view again The many-steepled tract magnificent or hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
DEAR Charles !' whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up That Genius plunged thee in that wizard fount
NO MORE POETRY.
The Asplenium Scolopendrium, called in some countries † Some months after I had written this line, it gave me pleathe Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue ; but With- sure to observe that Bartram had observed the same circumering gives the Adder's Tongue as the trivial name of the stance of the Savanna Crane. " When these Birds move Ophioglossum only.
their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, moderate and
Hight Castalie: and (sureties of thy faith)
Of tides obedient to external force, That Pity and Simplicity stood by,
And currents self-determined, as might seem, And promised for thee, that thou shouldst renounce Or by some inner Power; of moments awful, The world's low cares and lying vanities,
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad, Sted fast and rooted in the heavenly Muse, When Power stream'd from theė, and thy soul And wash'd and sanctified to Poesy.
received Yes-thou wert plunged, but with forgetful hand The light reflected, as a light bestow'dHeld, as by Thetis erst her warrior Son:
Of Fancies fair, and milder hours of youth, And with those recreant unbaptized heels
Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought Thou ’nt flying from thy bounden ministeries Industrious in its joy, in Vales and Glens So sore it seems and burthensome a task
Native or outland, Lakes and famous Hills! To weave unwithering flowers! But take thou heed: Or on the lonely High-road, when the Stars For thou art vulnerable, wild-eyed Boy,
Were rising; or by secret Mountain-streams, And I have arrows* mystically dipp'd,
The Guides and the Companions of thy way! Such as may stop thy speed. Is thy Burns dead.? And shall be die unwept, and sink to Earth
Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense * Without the meed of one melodious tear?"
Distending wide, and Man beloved as Man, Thy Burns, and Nature's own beloved Bard, Where France in all her towns lay vibrating Who to the “ Illustrioust of his native land
Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst * So properly did look for patronage."
Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud Ghost of Mæcenas ! hide thy blushing face !
Is visible, or shadow on the Main. They snatch'd him from the Sickle and the Plow-For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, To gauge Ale-Firkins.
Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
Amid a mighty nation jubilant,
When from the general heart of human-kind
Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity! There stands a lone and melancholy tree,
-Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down, Whose aged branches in the midnight blast
So summond homeward, thenceforth calm and sure, Make solemn music: pluck its darkest bough, From the dread watch-lower of man's absolute Self, Ere yet the unwholesome night-dew be exhaled,
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
Far on-herself a glory to behold,
Of Duty, chosen laws controlling choice,
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts, Knut in nice intertexture, so to twine
To their own music chanted !
O great Bard!
Of ever-enduring men. The truly Great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Shed influence! They, both in power and act, COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER US RECITATION Are permanent, and Time is not with them, OF A POEM ON THE GROWTH OF AN INDIVIDUAL Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
Nor less a sacred roll, than those of old,
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame FRIEND of the Wise! and Teacher of the Good ! Among the archives of mankind, thy work Into my heart have I received that lay
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth, More than historic, that prophetic lay,
Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay, Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright) Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes ! Of the foundations and the building up
Ah! as I listend with a heart forlorn, Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell
The pulses of my being beat anew : Wluat may be told, to the understanding mind And even as life returns upon the drown'd, Revealable ; and what within the mind,
Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of painsBy vital breathings secret as the soul
Keen Pangs of Love, awakening as a babe Of veral growth, oft quickens in the heart Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart; Thoughts all wo deep for words
And Fears self-will’d, that shunn'd the eye of Hope ;
And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear,
Theme hard as high! Sense of past Youth, and Manhood come in vain, Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears And Genius given, and knowledge won in vain ; (The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth), And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild,
And all which patient toil had reard, and all, tegular; and even when at & considerable distance or high Commune with thee had open'd out-but flowers Bbove u, we plainly bear the quill-feathers; their shafts and Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier, Webs upon one another creak as the joints or working of a In the same coffin, for the self-same grave ! Fessel in a tempestuous sea." * Vide Pind. Olymp. iv. L 156. Verbatim frora Boros's dedication of his Poems to the No
That way no more! and ill beseems it me, Iudaty and Geary of the Caledonian Hunt.
Who came a welcomer in herald's guise,
Singing of Glory, and Futurity,
* Most musical, most melancholy "A bird ! To wander back on such unhealthful road, A melancholy bird ? Oh! idle thought! Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill
In nature there is nothing melancholy. Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths But some night-wandering man, whose heart was Strew'd before thy advancing !
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Nor do thou, Or slow distemper, or neglected love Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour (And so, poor Wretch! filled all things with himself, Of my communion with thy nobler mind
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
Of his own sorrow), he and such as he,
When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs
By Sun or Moon-light, to the influxes
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
A venerable thing! and so his song
Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still,
Full of meek sympathy, must heave their sighs
My friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt
Nature's sweet voices, always full of love And thy deep voice had ceased-yet thou thyself
And joyance! "T is the merry Nightingale Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates That happy vision of beloved faces
With fast thick warble his delicious notes, Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
As he were fearful that an April night I sate, my being blended in one thought
Would be too short for him to utter forth (Thought was it? or Aspiration? or Resolve ?) His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul Absorb’d, yet hanging still upon the sound
of all its music! And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.
And I know a grove
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many Nightingales; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
They answer and provoke each other's song, No cloud, no relic of the sunken day
With skirmish and capricious passagings, Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. And one low piping sound more sweet than allCome, we will rest on this old mossy bridge! Stirring the air with such a harmony, You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, That should you close your eyes, you might almost But hear no murmuring: it flows silently, Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes, O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, A balmy night! and though the stars be dim, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
and full, A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, Lights up her love-torch.
"A beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary intervals † This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and little stars to that of mere description. It is spoken in the character of the of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it: and every melancholy man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the chargo darted off from the vessel's side, each with its own small con- of having alluded with levity to a linn in Milton: a charge than stellation, over the sea, and scoured out of sight like a Tartar which nono could be more painful to him, excopt perhaps that troop over a wilderness."'-The Friend, p. 220.
of having ridiculed his Bible.
A most gentlo Maid, By its own moods interprets, everywhere Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
Echo or mirror seeking of itself, Hard by the castle, and at latest eve
And makes a toy of Thought. (Even like a lady vow'd and dedicato To something more than Nature in the grove)
But O! how oft, Glides through the pathways; she knows all their How oft, at school, with most believing mind notes,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, That gentle Maid! and oft a moment's space, To watch that Muttering stranger! and as oft What time the Moon was lost behind a cloud, With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt Hath heard a pause of silence; till the Moon Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-lower, Emerging, hath awaken'd earth and sky
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang With one sensation, and these wakeful Birds From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day, Have all burst forth in choral minsirelsy,
So sweetly, that they stirr'd and haunted me As if some sudden gale had swept at once With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear A hundred airy harps! And she hath watch'd Most like articulate sounds of things to come! Many a Nightingale perch'd giddily
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
And so 1 brooded all the following morn,
Fix'd with mock study on my swimming book:
Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, How he would place his hand beside his ear, Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm, His little hand, the small forefinger up,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies And bid us listen! And I deem it wiso
And momentary pauses of the thought! To make him Nature's Play-mate. He knows well My babo so beautiful! it thrills my heart The evening-star; and once, when he awoke With tender gladness, thus to look at thee, In most distressful mood (some inward pain
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore, Had made up that strange thing, an infant's dream), And in far other scenes! For I was rear'd I hurried with him to our orchard-plot,
In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim, And he beheld the Moon, and, hush'd at once, And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars. Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze While his fair eyes, that swam with undropp'd tears By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Wells Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clonds, It is a father's tale : But if that Ilcaven
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee.
Whether the summer clothe the general earth The Fmost performs its secret ministry,
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether tho cave-drops Have left me to that solitude, which suits
fall Abstruser musings : save that at my side
Heard only in the trances of the blast, My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
Or if the secret ministry of frost *T is calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
TO A FRIEND.
TOGETIIER WITH AN UNFINISHED TOEM.
Elaborate and swelling: get the heart Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers
I ask not now, my friend! the aiding verse,
Embow'rs me from noon's sultry influence!
You left the plain and soar'd 'mid richer views'
But if the vext air rush a stormy stream,
THE HOUR WHEN WE SHALL MEET AGAIN.
COMPOSED DURING ILLNESS AND IN ABSENCE.
Dim hour! that sleep'st on pillowing clouds afar,
IV. ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.
THE THREE GRAVES.
A FRAGMENT OF A SEXTON'S TALE.
(The Author has published the following humble fragment, LINES TO JOSEPH COTTLE.
encouraged by the decisive recommendation of more than one
of our most celebrated living Pocts. The language was inMy honor'd friend! whose verse concise, yet clear, tended to be dramatic; that is, suited to the narrator; and the Tunes to smooth melody unconquer'd sense,
metre corresponds to the homeliness of the diction. It is there
fore presented as the fragment, not of a Poem, but of a comMay your fare fadeless live, as “ never-sere"
mon Ballad-tale. Whether this is sufficient to justify the adopThe ivy wreathes yon oak, whose broad defence tion of such a style, in any metrical composition not profess
edly ludicrous, the Author is himself in some doubt. At all * I utterly recant the sentiment contained in the lines
events, it is not presented as Poetry, and it is in no way con
nected with the Author's judgment concerning Poetie diction. or whose omniscient and all-spreading love
Its merits, if any, are exclusively Paychological. The story Aught to implore were impotence of mind, it being written in Scripture, " Ask, and it shall be given you," and my human reason being moreover convinced of the pro
• War, a Fragment. 1 John the Baptist, a Poem. priety of offering petitions as well as thanksgivings to the Deity. 1 Monody on John Henderson.