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I watched its vagrant course and rippling wake,
Till I forgot the sun amidst the heavens.
It closed, sunk, dwindled to a point, then nothing;
While the last bubble crowned the dimpling eddy,
Through which mine eyes still giddily pursued it,
A joyous creature vaulted through the air-
The aspiring fish that fain would be a bird,
On long, light wings, that flung a diamond-shower
Of dew-drops round its evanescent form,
Sprang into light, and instantly descended.
Ere I could greet the stranger as a friend,
Or mourn his quick departure on the surge,
A shoal of dolphins tumbling in wild glee,
Clowed with such orient tints, they might have been
The rainbow's offspring, when it met the ocean
In that resplendent vision I had seen.
While yet in ecstasy I hung o'er these,
With every motion pouring out fresh beauties,
As though the conscious colours came and went
At pleasure, glorying in their subtle changes,-
Enormous o'er the flood, Leviathan
Looked forth, and from his roaring nostrils sent
Two fountains to the sky, then plunged amain
Iur headlong pastime through the closing gulf.
Ye clouds! that far above me float and pause,
Whose pathless march no mortal may control!
Ye ocean-waves! that, wheresoe'er ye roll, Yield homage only to eternal laws !
Ye woods! that listen to the night-bird's singing,
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined,
Save when your own imperious branches, swinging,
Have made a solemn music of the wind !
Where, like a man beloved of God,
Through glooms, which never woodman trod,
How oft, pursuing fancies holy,
My moonlight way o'er flowering weeds I wound,
Inspired beyond the guess of folly,
By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound !
O ye loud waves! and Oye forests high!
And 0 ye clouds that far above me soared!
Thou rising sun! thou blue rejoicing sky!
Yea, everything that is, and will be free!
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still adored
The spirit of divinest Liberty.
THE QUARREL OF FRIENDS.
ALAS! they had been friends in youth:
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
And to be wroth with one we love
Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline!
Each spoke words of high disdain
And insult to his heart's best brother;
They parted-ne'er to meet again!
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining;
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between,
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been.
TO A FRIEND,
PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE AUTHOR.
How heavenly sweet, if some dear friend should bless
The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime
Now lead, now follow; the glad landscape round,
Wide and more wide, increasing without bound !
O then, 'twere loveliest sympathy, to mark
The berries of the half-uprooted ash
Dripping and bright; and list the torrent’s dash,
Beneath the cypress or the yew more dark,
Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock:
In social silence now, and now to unlock
The treasured heart; arm linked in friendly arm,
Save if the one, his muse's witching charm
Muttering brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag ;
Till, high o'er head, his beckoning friend appears,
And from the forehead of the topmost crag
Shouts eagerly; for haply there uprears
That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs,
Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight
Seen from below, when eve the valley dims,
Tinged yellow with the rich departing light;
And haply, basined in some unsunned cleft,
A beauteous spring, the rocks' collected tears,
Sleeps sheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the gale!
Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left,
Stretched on the crag, and shadowed by the pine,
And bending o'er the clear delicious fount,
Ah, dearest Charles ! it were a lot divine
To cheat our noons in moralizing mood,
While west winds fanned our temples, toil bedewed';
Then downward slope, oft pausing, from the mount,
To some low mansion in some woody dale,
Where smiling with blue eye, Domestic Bliss
Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss !
SWEET Mercy! how my very soul has bled
To see thee, poor old man! and thy gray hairs
Hoar with the snowy blast; while no one cares
To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and palsied head.
My father! throw away this tattered vest
That mocks thy shivering! Take my garment, use
A young man's arm. I'll melt these frozen dews
That hang from thy white beard and numb thy breast.
My Sara, too, shall tend thee like a child :
And thou shalt talk, in our fire-side's recess,
Of purple pride, that scowls on wretchedness ;-
He did not scowl, the Galilean mild,
Who met the lazar turned from rich man's doors,
And called him friend, and wept upon his sores!
THE SKY-LAR K.
Bird of the wilderness,
Blythsome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place-
O to abide in the desert with thee!
Wild is thy lay and loud
Far in the downy cloud,
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.
Where, on thy dewy wing,
Where art thou journeying?
Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.
O’er fell and fountain sheen,
O’er moor and mountain green,
O’er the red streamer that heralds the day,
Over the cloudlet dim,
Over the rainbow's rim, Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!
Then, when the gloaming comes,
Low in the heather blooms
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place,
O to abide in the desert with thee!