« AnteriorContinuar »
Insight as keen as frosty star
Is to her charity no bar,
Nor interrupts her frolic graces
When she is, far from these wild places,
Encircled by familiar faces.
Air sparkles round her with a dazzling sheen;
But mark her glowing cheek, her vesture green !
And, as if wishful to disarm
Or to repay the potent Charm,
She bears the stringèd lute of old romance,
That cheered the trellised arbour's privacy,
And soothed war-wearied knights in raftered hall.
How vivid, yet how delicate, her glee!
So tripped the Muse, inventress of the dance;
So, truant in waste woods, the blithe Euphrosyne !
But the ringlets of that head
Why are they ungarlanded ?
Why bedeck her temples less
Than the simplest shepherdess ?
Is it not a brow inviting
Choicest flowers that ever breathed,
Which the myrtle would delight in
With Idalian rose enwreathed ?
But her humility is well content
With one wild floweret (call it not forlorn)
FLOWER OF THE WINDS, beneath her bosom worn-
Yet more for love than ornament.
O the charm that manners draw,
Nature, from thy genuine law !
If from what her hand would do,
Her voice would utter, aught ensue
Untoward or unfit ;
She, in benign affections pure,
In self-forgetfulness secure,
Sheds round the transient harm or vague mis-
A light unknown to tutored elegance :
Her's is not a cheek shame-stricken,
But her blushes are joy-flushes ;
And the fault (if fault it be)
Only ministers to quicken
And kindle sportive wit-
Leaving this Daughter of the mountains free
As if she knew that Oberon king of Faery
Had crossed her purpose with some quaint vagary,
And heard his viewless bands
Over their mirthful triumph clapping hands.
“ Last of the Three, though eldest born,
Reveal thyself, like pensive Morn
Touched by the skylark's earliest note,
Ere humbler gladness be afloat.
But whether in the semblance drest
Of Dawn-or Eve, fair vision of the west,
Come with each anxious hope subdued
By woman's gentle fortitude,
Each grief, through meekness, settling into rest.
-Or I would hail thee when some high-wrought
Of a closed volume lingering in thy hand
Has raised thy spirit to a peaceful stand
Among the glories of a happier age.”
Open, ye thickets ! let her fly,
Swift as a Thracian Nymph o'er field and height !
For She, to all but those who love her, shy,
Would gladly vanish from a Stranger's sight;
Though where she is beloved and loves,
Light as the wheeling butterfly she moves;
Her happy spirit as a bird is free,
That rifles blossoms on a tree,
Turning them inside out with arch audacity.
Alas ! how little can a moment show
Of an eye where feeling plays
In ten thousand dewy rays;
A face o'er which a thousand shadows go !
- She stops—is fastened to that rivulet's side ;
And there (while, with sedater mien,
O'er timid waters that have scarcely left
Their birth-place in the rocky cleft
She bends) at leisure may be seen
Features to old ideal grace allied,
Amid their smiles and dimples dignified-
Fit countenance for the soul of primal truth ;
The bland composure of eternal youth !
What more changeful than the sea ?
But over his great tides
Fidelity presides ;
And this light-hearted Maiden constant is as he.
High is her aim as heaven above,
And wide as ether her good-will;
And, like the lowly reed, her love
Can drink its nurture from the scantiest rill :
Her brow hath opened on me—see it there, Brightening the umbrage of her hair ; So gleams the crescent moon, that loves To be descried through shady groves. Tenderest bloom is on her cheek ; Wish not for a richer streak ; Nor dread the depth of meditative eye ; But let thy love, upon that azure field Of thoughtfulness and beauty, yield Its homage offered up in purity. What would'st thou more! In sunny glade, | Or under leaves of thickest shade,
Inquire not if the faery race
Shed kindly influence on the place,
Ere northward they retired ; If here a warrior left a spell, Panting for glory as he fell ;
Or here a saint expired.
Was such a stillness e'er diffused
Since earth grew calm while angels mused !
Softly she treads, as if her foot were loth
To crush the mountain dew-drops-soon to melt
On the flower's breast ; as if she felt
That flowers themselves, whate'er their hue,
With all their fragrance, all their glistening,
Call to the heart for inward listening-
And though for bridal wreaths and tokens true
Welcomed wisely; though a growth
Which the careless shepherd sleeps on,
As fitly spring from turf the mourner weeps on- 1
And without wrong are cropped the marble tomb
The Charm is over ; the mute Phantoms gone,
Nor will return-but droop not, favoured Youth;
The apparition that before thee shone
Obeyed a summons covetous of truth.
From these wild rocks thy footsteps I will guide
To bowers in which thy fortune may be tried,
And one of the bright Three become thy happy
Enough that all around is fair, Composed with Nature's finest care,
And in her fondest love Peace to embosom and contentTo overawe the turbulent,
The selfish to reprove.
Yea ! even the Stranger from afar, Reclining on this moss-grown bar,
Unknowing, and unknown, The infection of the ground partakes, Longing for his Belov'd—who makes
All happiness her own.
Then why should conscious Spirits fear The mystic stirrings that are here,
The ancient faith disclaim ? The local Genius ne'er befriends Desires whose course in folly ends,
Whose just reward is shame.
Smile if thou wilt, but not in scorn, If some, by ceaseless pains outworn,
Here crave an easier lot ; If some have thirsted to renew A broken vow, or bind a true,
With firmer, holier knot.
The laughter of the Christmas hearth
With sighs of self-exhausted mirth
Ye feelingly reprove;
And daily, in the conscious breast,
Your visitations are a test
And exercise of love.
When some great change gives boundless scope
To an exulting Nation's hope,
Oft, startled and made wise
By your low-breathed interpretings,
The simply-meek foretaste the springs
Of bitter contraries.
The form and rich habiliments of One
Whose countenance bore resemblance to the sun,
When it reveals, in evening majesty,
Features half lost amid their own pure light.
Poised like a weary cloud, in middle air
He hung,—then floated with angelic ease
(Softening that bright effulgence by degrees)
Till he had reached a summit sharp and bare,
Where oft the venturous heifer drinks the noon-
Upon the apex of that lofty cone
Alighted, there the Stranger stood alone ;
Fair as a gorgeous Fabric of the east
Suddenly raised by some enchanter's power,
Where nothing was; and firm as some old Tower
Of Britain's realm, whose leafy crest
Waves high, embellished by a gleaming shower!
Ye daunt the proud array of war,
Pervade the lonely ocean far
As sail hath been unfurled;
For dancers in the festive hall
What ghastly partners hath your call
Fetched from the shadowy world.
'Tis said, that warnings ye dispense, Emboldened by a keener sense ;
That men have lived for whom, With dread precision, ye made clear The hour that in a distant year
Should knell them to the tomb.
Unwelcome insight! Yet there are Blest times when mystery is laid bare,
Truth shows a glorious face, While on that isthmus which commands The councils of both worlds, she stands,
Sage Spirits ! by your grace.
Beneath the shadow of his purple wings
Rested a golden harp ;—he touched the strings;
And, after prelude of unearthly sound
Poured through the echoing hills around,
«No wintry desolations,
Scorching blight or noxious dew,
Affect my native habitations ;
Buried in glory, far beyond the scope
Of man's inquiring gaze, but to his hope
Imaged, though faintly, in the hue
Profound of night's ethereal blue;
And in the aspect of each radiant orb ;-
Some fixed, some wandering with no timid curb;
But wandering star and fixed, to mortal eye,
Blended in absolute serenity,
And free from semblance of decline ;
Fresh as if Evening brought their natal hour,
Her darkness splendour gave, her silence power,
To testify of Love and Grace divine.
III. What if those bright fires Shine subject to decay, Sons haply of extinguished sires, Themselves to lose their light, or pass away Like clouds before the wind, Be thanks poured out to Him whose hand bestows, Nightly, on human kind That vision of endurance and repose. -And though to every draught of vital breath Renewed throughout the bounds of earth or ocean, The melancholy gates of Death Respond with sympathetic motion ;
BENEATH the concave of an April sky,
When all the fields with freshest green were dight,
Appeared, in presence of the spiritual eye
That aids or supersedes our grosser sight,