« ForrigeFortsett »
Is thy face like thy mother's, my fair child !
Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart ?
When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,
And then we parted, not as now we part,
But with a hope.
Awaking with a start,
The waters heave around me; and on high
The winds lift up their voices : I depart,
Whither I know not; but the hour 's gone by, When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad mine eye.
Once more upon the waters ! yet once more ! And the waves bound beneath me as a steed That knows his rider. Welcome, to the roar! Swift be their guidance, wheresoe'er it lead! Though the strain’d mast should quiver as a reed, And the rent canvass fluttering strew the galo Still must I on ; for I am as a weed, Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam, to sail Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail.
In my youth's summer I did sing of One,
The wandering ontlaw of his own dark mind;
Again ( scize the theine then but begun,
And bear it with me, as the rushing wind
Bears the cloud onwards : in that Tale I find
The furrows of long thought, and dried-up tears,
Which, ebbing, leave a steril track behind,
O'er which all heavily the journeying years
Plod the last sands of life, - where not a flower appears.
Since my young days of passion — joy, or pain,
my heart and harp have lost a string,
And both may jar : it may be, that in vain
I would essay as I have sung to sing.
Yet, though a dreary strain, to this I cling,
So that it ween me from the
weary dream Of selfish grief or gladness - so it fling
Forgetfulness around me
To me, though to none else, a not ungrateful theme.
He, who grown aged in this world of war,
In deeds, not years, piercing the depths of life,
So that no wonder waits himn ; nor below
Can love, or sorrow, fame, ambition, strise,
Cut to his heart again with the keen knife
Of silent, sharp endurance : he can tell
Why thought seeks refuge in lone caves, yet ride
With airy images, and shapes which dwell
Still unimpair'd, though old, in the soul's haunted coli.
'Tis to create, and in creating live
A being more intense, that we endow
With form our fancy, gaining as we give
The life we image, even as I do now.
What am I ? Nothing : but not so art thou, .
Soul of my thought! with whom I traverse earth,
Invisible but gazing, as I glow
Mix'd with thy spirit, blended with thy birth,
And feeling still with thee in my crush'd feelings' dearth.
Yet must I think less wildly:- I have thought
Too long and darkly, till my brain became
In its own eddy berling and o'erwrought,
A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame :
And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame,
My springs of life were poison'd. 'Tis too late !
Yet am I changed; though still enough the same
In strength to bear what time can not abate,
And feed on bitter fruits without accusing Fate.
Something too much of this:- but now 'tis past,
And the spell closes with its silent scal.
Long absent IIarold reappears at last;
He of the breast which fain no more would feel,
Wrung with the wounds which kill not, but :.e'er heal;
Yet Time, who changes all, had alter'd him
In soul and aspect as in age : years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
His had been quaff’d too quickly, and he found
The dregs were wormwood; but he fillid agair,
And from a purer fount, on holier ground,
And deem'd its spring perpetual ; but in vain!
Still round him clung invisibly a chain
Which gall’d for ever, fettering though unseen,
And heavy though it clank'd not; worn with pain,
Which pined although it spoke not, and grew keen, Entering with every step he took through many a scene.
Secure in guarded coldness, he had mix'd
Again in fancied safety with his kind.
And deem'd his spirit now so firmly fix'd
And sheath'd with an invulnerable mind,
That, if no joy, no sorrow lurk'd behind :
And he, as one, might midst the many
stand Unheeded, searching through the crowd to find
Fit speculation ; such as in strange land He found in wonder-works of God and Nature's hand.
But who can view the ripen'd rose, nor seek
To wear it? who can curiously behold
The smoothness and the sheen of beauty's cheek,
Nor feel the heart can never all
Who can contemplate Fame through clouds unfold
The star which rises o'er her steep, nor climb ?
Harold, once more within the vortex, rollid
On with the giddy circle, chasing Time,
Yet with a nobler aim than in his youth's fond primc.
But soon he knew himself the most unfit
Of men to herd with Man ; with whom he held
Little in common; untaught to submit
His thoughts to others, though his soul was quell'd
In youth by his own thoughts; still uncompelld,
He would not yield dominion of his mind
To spirits against whom his own rebelld;
Proud though in desolation ; which could find
A life within itself, to breathe without mankind.
Where rose the mountains, there to him were friends
Where rollid the ocean, thereon was his home;
Where a blue sky, and glowing clime, extends,
He had the passion and the power to roam ;
T'he deser, forest, cavern, breaker's foam,
Were unto him companionship; they spake
A mutual language, clearer than the tome
Of his land's tongue, which he would ost forsake
For Nature's pages glass'd by sunbeams on the lake.
Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars,
Till he had peopled them with beings bright
As their own beams ; and earth, and earth-born jars,
And human frailtics, were forgotten quite :
Could he have kept his spirit to that night
He had beez happy ; but this clay will
sink Its spark immortal, envying it the light
To which it mounts, as if to break the link That keeps us from yon heaven which woos us to its brink.