« AnteriorContinuar »
The W Whose
That he makes in the wood.
I took the oars: the pilot's boy, He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
Who now doth crazy go, The Albatross's blood.
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
“ Ha! ha!" quoth he, “ full plain I see, This hermit good lives in that wood
The devil knows how to row." Which slopes down to the sea.
And now, all in my own countree, How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
I stood on the firm land! He loves to talk with marineres
The hermit stepped forth from the boat, That come from a far countree.
And scarcely he could stand. He kneels at morn,
and noon and eveHe hath a cushion plump:
“O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!"
The hermit cross'd his brow.
“ Say quick," quoth he, “ I bid thee say,
What manner of man art thou?" The Skiff-boat near'd: I heard them talk,
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd Why this is strange, I trow!
With a woeful agony, Where are those lights so many and fair,
Which forced me to begin my tale; That signal made but now?".
And then it left me free. “Strange, by my faith !" the Hermit said
Since then at an uncertain hour, “ And they answered not our cheer!
That agony returns ; The planks look warped! and see those sails,
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door! Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look
The wedding-guests are there; (The pilot made reply)
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are; I am a-feared-Push on, push on!
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
O wedding-guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea :
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me, The ship went down like lead.
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!-
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray, My body lay afloat;
While each to his great Father bends, But swift as dreams, myself I found
Old men, and ba
and loving friends, Within the pilot's boat.
And youths and maidens gay! Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell The boat spun round and round;
To thee, thou wedding-guest! And all was still, save that the hill
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Manes of th' unnumber'd slain!
Ye that gasp'd on Warsaw's plain!
Ye that erst at Ismail's tower,
When human ruin choak'd the streams,
Fell in conquest's glutted hour,
Mid women's shrieks and infant's screams!
Spirits of the uncoffin'd slain,
Sudden blasts of triumph swelling,
Oft, at night, in misty train,
Rush around her narrow dwelling!
The exterminating fiend is fled-
(Foul her life, and dark her doom)
Mighty armies of the dead,
Dance like death-fires round her tomb!
Then with prophetic song relate,
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate!
With inward stillness, and submitted mind; Departing Year! 'twas on no earthly shore
My soul beheld thy vision! where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne,
Aye Memory sits: thy robe inscrib'd with gore,
With many an unimaginable groan
Thou storied'st thy sad hours! silence ensued,
Deep silence o'er th'ethereal multitude,
Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with II.
Then, his eye wild ardours glancing,
From the choired Gods advancing,
The spirit of the earth made reverence meet,
And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat.
Throughout the blissful throng,
Hush'd were harp and song:
Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven,
(The mystic words of Heaven) By time's wild harp, and by the hand
Permissive signal make;
[spake! Whose indefatigable sweep
The fervent spirit bow'd, then spread his wings and Raises it's fateful strings from sleep,
“ Thou in stormy blackness throning
Love and uncreated light,
By the earth's unsolaced groaning,
Seize thy terrors, arm of might!
By peace, with proffer'd insult scar’d,
Masked hate and envying scorn!
By years of havoc yet unborn!
And Hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared!
But chief by Afric's wrongs,
Strange, horrible, and foul!
By what deep guilt belongs
By Wealth's insensate laugh! by Torture's howl !
For ever shall the thankless Island scowl,
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow?
Speak! from thy storm-black Heaven Ospeak aloud! “Ah! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress stay?
And on the darkling foe
Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud !
O dart the flash! O rise and deal the blow!
The past to thee, to thee the future cries !
Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below!
Rise, God of Nature! rise."
In vain, in vain the birds of warning singFlap their lank pennons on the groaning wind!
Have wailed my country with a loud lament. The voice had ceased, the vision fled;
Now I recenter my immortal mind Yet still I gasp'd and reeld with dread.
In the deep sabbath of meek self-content; And ever, when the dream of night
Cleans'd from the vaporous passions that bedim Renews the phantom to my sight,
God's image, sister of the Seraphim. Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs ;
My ears throb hot; my eye-balls start; My brain with horrid tumult swims;
FEARS IN SOLITUDE.
WRITTEN IN 1798, DURING THE ALARM OF AN
A green and silent spot, amid the hills,
A small and silent dell! O'er stiller place The soldier on the war-field spread,
No singing sky-lark ever pois'd himself.
The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope,
All golden with the never-bloomless furze,
Which now blooms most profusely; but the dell, See! the starting wretch's head
Bath'd by the mist, is fresh and delicate
As vernal corn-field, or the unripe flax,
When, through its half-transparent stalks, at ere,
The level sunshine glimmers with green light. O Albion! O my mother Isle!
Oh! 'tis a quiet spirit-healing nook! Thy vallies, fair as Eden's bowers,
Which all, methinks, would love; but chiefly he, Glitter green with sunny showers;
The humble man, who, in his youthful years, Thy grassy uplands' gentle swells
Knew just so much of folly, as had made Echo to the bleat of flocks;
His early manhood more securely wise! (Those grassy hills, those glitt'ring dells
Here he might lie on fern or wither'd heath, Proudly ramparted with rocks)
While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen And Ocean mid his uproar wild
The minstrelsy that solitude loves best.) Speaks safety to his Island-child !
And from the sun, and from the breezy air, Hence, for many a fearless age,
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame; Has social Quiet lov'd thy shore;
And he, with many feelings, many thoughts, Nor ever proud invader's rage
Made up a meditative joy, and found Or sack'd thy towers, or stain'd thy fields with gore.
Religious meanings in the forms of nature !
And so his senses gradually wrapt
In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
And dreaming hears thee still, O singing-lark, At cowardly distance, yet kindling with pride
That singest like an angel in the clouds! Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast stood,
My God! it is a melancholy thing And join'd the wild yelling of Famine and Blood!
For such a man, who would full fain preserve The nations curse thee, and with eager wond'ring
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream!
For all his human brethren- my God! Strange-eyed Destruction ! who with many a
It is indeed a melancholy thing, dream
And weighs upon the heart, that he must think Of central fires thro' nether seas upthund'ring
What uproar and what strife may now be stirring Soothes her fierce solitude; yet as she lies
This way or that way o'er these silent hillsBy livid fount, or red volcanic stream,
Invasion, and the thunder and the shout, If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,
And all the crash of onset; fear and rage,
And undetermin'd conflict-even now,
Even now, perchance, and in his native isle:
We have offended, Oh! my countrymen!
We have offended very grievously,
And been most tyrannous. From east to west And hark! I hear the famish'd brood of prey
A groan of accusation pierces Heaven!
The wretched plead against us; multitudes
Countless and vehement, the sons of God,
Our brethren! like a cloud that travels on, With daily prayer and daily toil
Steam'd up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence,
Ev'n so, my countrymen! have we gone forth
Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute
And technical in victories and deceit,
And all our dainty terms for fratricide;
Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues
Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which
We join no feeling and attach no form!
As if the soldier died without a wound;
As if the fibres of this godlike frame
Were gor'd without a pang; as if the wretch,
Pass'd off to Heaven, translated and not kill'd;
As though he had no wife to pine for him,
No God to judge him! therefore, evil days
Are coming on us, O my countrymen!
The desolation and the agony
Spare us yet awhile,
Father and God! Oh! spare us yet awhile!
Oh! let not English women drag their flight
Fainting beneath the burden of their babes,
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday
Laugh'd at the breast! Sons, brothers, husbands, all
Who ever gaz'd with fondness on the forms
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side,
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure!
Stand forth! be men ! repel an impious foe,
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race,
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth
With deeds of murder; and still promising
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free,
Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes
And all that lifts the spirit! Stand we forth;
And let them toss as idly on it's waves
As the vile sea-weed, which some mountain-blast
Swept from our shores! and oh! may we return
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear,
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung
So fierce a foe to frenzy!
I have told,
O Britons! O my brethren! I have told
Most bitter truth, but without bitterness.
Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis-tim'd;
For never can true courage dwell with them,
Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look
At their own vices. We have been too long
Dupes of a deep delusion! Some, belike,
Groaning with restless enmity, expect
All change from change of constituted power;
On which our vice and wretchedness were tagg'd
Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe
Pullid off at pleasure. Fondly these attach
A radical causation to a few
Poor drudges of chastising Providence,
Who borrow all their hues and qualities.
With bor To frighAnd the
A WAR ECLOGUE,
He let To bice
Their wives and their children faint for bread.
From our own folly and rank wickedness,
And grateful, that by Nature's quietness
Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human kiad.
FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.
The Scene, a desolated Tract in La Vendee. FAMINE
is discovered lying on the ground; lo her enter A husband, and a father! who revere
FIRE and SLAUGHTER.
Sisters! sisters! who sent you here?
SLAUGHTER (to Fire.)
I will whisper it in her ear.
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell: Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
'Twill make an holiday in Hell. The joy and greatness of its future being?
No! no! no! There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
Myself, I nam'd him once below,
And all the souls, that damned be,
They no longer beeded me;
But laugh'd to hear Hell's burning rafters
Unwillingly re-echo laughters!
No! no! no!
Spirits hear what spirits tell: And menace of the vengeful enemy
”Twill make an holiday in Hell! Pass like the gust, that roar'd and died away In the distant tree; which heard, and only heard
FAMINE. In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
Whisper it, sister! so and so!
In a dark hint, soft and slow.
Letters four do form his name-
And who sent you?
The same! the same!
He came by stealth, and unlock'd my den,
And I have drunk the blood since then Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty
Of thrice three hundred thousand men.
Who bade you do't?
The same! the same!
Letters four do form his name. And close behind them, hidden from my view,
He let me loose, and cried, Halloo! Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe
To him alone the praise is due.
Thanks, sister, thanks! the men have bled,