Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed]


The turf shall be my fragrant shrine ;
My temple, Lord I that arch of thine ;
My censer's breath the mountain airs,
And silent thoughts my only prayers.
My choir shall be the moonlight waves,
When murmuring homeward to their caves,
Or, when the stillness of the sea
Even more than music, breathes of Thee!

I'll seek, by day, some glade unknown,
All light and silence, like thy throne !
And the pale stars shall be, at night,
The only eyes that watch my rite.

Thy heaven, on which 'tis bliss to look,
Shall be my pure and shining book,
Where I shall read, in words of flame,
The glories of thy wondrous name.

I'll read thy anger in the rack
That clouds awhile the day-beam's track;
Thy mercy in the azure hue
Of sunny brightness breaking through!

There's nothing bright, above, below,
From flowers that bloom to stars that glow,
But in its light my soul can see
Some feature of thy Deity !

There's nothing dark, below, above,
But in its gloom I trace thy love,
And meekly wait that moment when
Thy touch shall turn all bright again!


Is it not sweet to think, hereafter,

When the spirit leaves this sphere,
Love, with deathless wing, shall waft her

To those she long hath mourn'd for here?

Hearts, from which 'twas death to sever,

Eyes, this world can ne'er restore,
There, as warm, as bright as ever,

Shall meet us, and be lost no more.

When wearily we wander, asking

Of earth and heaven, where are they
Beneath whose smile we once lay basking-

Blest, and thinking bliss would stay?
Hope still lifts her radiant finger

Pointing to the eternal home,
Upon whose portal yet they linger,

Looking back for us to come.

Alas-alas-doth hope deceive us !

Shall friendship-love-shall all those ties
That bind a moment, and then leave us,

Be found again where nothing dies ?
Oh! if no other boon were given,

To keep our hearts from wrong and stain,
Who would not try to win a heaven

Where all we love shall live again ?


Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea,
Jehovah has triumphed, his people are free ;
Sing, for the pride of the tyrant is broken,
His chariots his horsemen so splendid and brave,
How vain was their boasting, the Lord hath but spoken,
And chariots, and horsemen, are sunk in the wave.

Sound the loud timbrel, &c.

Praise to the conqueror, praise to the Lord,
His word was our arrow, his breath was our sword,
Who shall return to tell Egypt the story,
Of those she sent forth in the hour of her pride?
For the Lord hath looked out from his pillar of glory,
And all her brave thousands are dashed in the tide.

Sound the loud timbrel, &c.



[PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, was descended from an ancient family. His father was Sir Timothy Shelley. He was born at Field Place, in the County of Sussex, in the year 1792. He was expelled from the university for some injudicious speculations on religious subjects, and this had a considerable effect upon his future writings, which are by no means such as can be generaily recommended. After publishing many poems, he travelled on the continent, and was unfortunately drowned in a storm, near the bay of Spezia, on the coast of Italy, in 1822. His body was afterwards picked up by his friend Lord Byron, and burned after the custom of the ancients on the sea shore.

The private character of Shelley was by no means such as his principles would seem to indicate; he was affectionate, honourable, and tender-hearted, and died beloved and lamented.

The poetry of Shelley, has been overrated by his admirers, and his despisers have not had the charity to give him his due. That he was a poet, in all that constitutes the poet, there can be no doubt; but possessing a mind highly metaphysical, his writings are fantastical and obscure, and in wading through them, the reader seems as if lost in some entangled wood, where amid the ruggedness and distraction, many flowers of great beauty appear, although to pluck them he is liable to injury from the thorns that surround them.

Shelley has perhaps, as great a command of language as any modern Poet, and a most refined ear for all the touching music of versification; but still his ideas run into the most impenetrable obscurities of expression, and the metre of his verses is very often most unhappily chosen. Thus he will never be a general favourite with the public, although the genuine lover of poetry, will ever recur to his writings with pleasure, for he will find running throughout them, genuine sublimity of idea, a rich vein of deep thought, and powerful feeling, though alas ! what was Shelley's glory as a poet, was his shame as a man.

Shelley was peculiarly unhappy as regards his religious notions, and fell into many morbid fits of atheism and infidelity. Thus his writings are calculated to do serious injury to the viciously inclined, who generally form to themselves a creed from their own evil propensities; he who reads them and feels influenced by them, to acts, which religion, morality, and common sense, alike denounce, may be quite sure that his reasoning powers are exceedingly weak and imbecile, for no man of the commonest claim to intellectuality, can be for a moment beguiled by the false logic, and miserable sophistry of poor Shelley. We introduce his name among other of Britain's Poets, because he was a poet in the truest sense of the word; and to have left him out of this collection, because his opinions were at issue with our own, would have betrayed a want of that common charity, which is as much the Christian's ornament as the most exalted faith.




Earth, ocean, air, beloved brotherhood !
If our great Mother have imbued my soul
With aught of natural piety to feel
Your love, and recompense the boon with mine;
If dewy morn, and odorous noon, and even,
With sunset and its gorgeous ministers,
And solemn midnight's tingling silentness;
If autumn's hollow sighs in the sere wood,
And winter robing with pure snow and crowns
Of starry ice the grey grass and bare boughs;
If spring's voluptuous pantings when she breathes
Her first sweet kisses, have been dear to me;
If no bright bird, insect, or gentle beast,
I consciously have injured, but still loved
And cherished these my kindred ;-then forgive
This boast, beloved brethren, and withdraw
No portion of your wonted favour now !

Mother of this unfathomable world ! Favour my solemn song, for I have loved Thee ever, and thee only: I have watched Thy shadow, and the darkness of thy steps, And my heart ever gazes on the depth Of thy deep mysteries. I have made my bed In charnels and on coffins, where black death Keeps records of the trophies won from thee, Hoping to still these obstinate questionings Of thee and thine, by forcing some lone ghost, Thy messenger, to render up the tale Of what we are. In lone and silent hours, When night makes a weird sound of its own stillness, Like an inspired and desperate alchymist Staking his very life on some dark hope, Have I mixed awful talk and asking looks With my most innocent love, until strange tears Uniting with those breathless kisses, made

« AnteriorContinuar »