Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part,
Demands the service of a mind and heart,
Heroically fashioned to infuse
Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse,
While the whole world seems adverse to desert.
And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may,
Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,
Still to be strenuous for the bright reward,
And in the soul admit of no decay,
Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness,
Great is the glory, for the strife is hard !

[ocr errors]

IV.

FROM the dark chambers of dejection freed,
Spurning the unprofitable yoke of care,
Rise, GILLIES, rise: the gales of youth shall bear
Thy genius forward like a winged steed.
Though bold Bellerophon (so Jove decreed
In wrath) fell headlong from the fields of air,
Yet a rich guerdon waits on minds that dare,
If aught be in them of immortal seed,
And reason govern that audacious flight
Which heavenward they direct. — Then droop

not thou,
Erroneously renewing a sad vow
In the low dell 'mid Roslin's faded

grove: A cheerful life is what the Muses love, A soaring spirit is their prime delight.

[ocr errors]

FAIR Prime of life! were it enough to gild
With ready sunbeams every straggling shower;
And, if an unexpected cloud should lower,
Swiftly thereon a rainbow arch to build
For Fancy's errands,-then, from fields half-tilled
Gathering green weeds to mix with poppy-flower,
Thee might thy Minions crown, and chant thy

power,
Unpitied by the wise, all censure stilled.
Ah! show that worthier honors are thy due ;
Fair Prime of Life! arouse the deeper heart;
Confirm the Spirit glorying to pursue
Some path of steep ascent and lofty aim ;
And, if there be a joy that slights the claim
Of grateful memory, bid that joy depart.

VI.

and yet ;

I WATCH, and long have watched, with calm

regret
Yon slowly sinking star, – immortal Sire
(So might he seem) of all the glittering choir !
Blue ether still surrounds him — yet.
But now the horizon's rocky parapet
Is reached, where, forfeiting his bright attire,
He burns, – transmuted to a dusty fire,
Then pays submissively the appointed debt
To the flying moments, and is seen no more.

Angels and gods! We struggle with our fate, While health, power, glory, from their height

decline, Depressed ; and then extinguished: and our state, In this, how different, lost Star, from thine, That no to-morrow shall our beams restore !

VII.

I HEARD (alas ! 't was only in a dream)
Strains, - which, as sage Antiquity believed,
By waking ears have sometimes been received
Wafted adown the wind from lake or stream;
A most melodious requiem, a supreme
And perfect harmony of notes, achieved
By a fair Swan on drowsy billows heaved,
O’er which her pinions shed a silver gleam.
For is she not the votary of Apollo?
And knows she not, singing as he inspires,
That bliss awaits her which the ungenial Hollow *
Of the dull earth partakes not, nor desires ?
Mount, tuneful Bird, and join the immortal choirs !
She soared, and I awoke, struggling in vain to

follow.

* See the Phædon of Plato, by which this Sonnet was suggested.

VIII.

RETIREMENT.

IF the whole weight of what we think and feel,
Save only far as thought and feeling blend
With action, were as nothing, patriot Friend !
From thy remonstrance would be no appeal ;
But to promote and fortify the weal
Of her own Being is her paramount end;
A truth which they alone shall comprehend
Who shun the mischief which they cannot heal.
Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss :
Here, with no thirst but what the stream can slake,
And startled only by the rustling brake,
Cool air I breathe; while the unencumbered Mind,
By some weak aims at services assigned
To gentle Natures, thanks not Heaven amiss.

IX.

Not Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell
Of civil conflict, nor the wrecks of change,
Nor Duty struggling with afflictions strange, -
Not these alone inspire the tuneful shell;
But where untroubled peace and concord dwell,
There also is the Muse not loth to range,
Watching the twilight smoke of cot or grange,
Skyward ascending from a woody dell.
Meek aspirations please her, lone endeavor,

And sage content, and placid melancholy ;
She loves to gaze upon a crystal river,
Diaphanous because it travels slowly ;
Soft is the music that would charm for ever;
The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.

X.

MARK the concentred hazels that inclose
Yon old gray Stone, protected from the ray
Of noontide suns:-- and even the beams that play
And glance, while wantonly the rough wind blows,
Are seldom free to touch the moss that grows
Upon that roof, amid embowering gloom,
The very image framing of a Tomb,
In which some ancient Chieftain finds repose
Among the lonely mountains. — Live, ye trees!
And thou, gray Stone, the pensive likeness keep
Of a dark chamber where the Mighty sleep:
For more than Fancy to the influence bends
When solitary Nature condescends
To mimic Time's forlorn humanities.

XI.

COMPOSED AFTER A JOURNEY ACROSS THE HAMBLETON

HILLS, YORKSHIRE.

DARK and more dark the shades of evening fell ; The wished-for point was reached; but at an hour When little could be gained from that rich dower

« AnteriorContinuar »