« AnteriorContinuar »
Which I, wherever thou art met,
“But now proud thoughts are in your breastTo thee am owing;
What grief is mine you see. Av instinct call it, a blind sense;
Ahl would you think, even yet how blest A happy, genial influence,
Together we might be!
Though of both leaf and flower bereft,
Some ornaments to me are left
Rich store of scarlet hips is mine, Child of the Year! that round dost run
With which I, in my humble way, Thy course, bold lover of the sun,
Would deck you many a winter's day,
A happy Eglantine !"
What more he said I cannot tell.
The Torrent thundered down the dell
With unabating haste;
I listened, nor aught else could hear;
Those accents were his last.
THE KITTEN AND THE FALLING “ Begone, thou fond presumptuous elf,"
LEAVES. Exclaimed a thundering voice, “ Nor dare to trust thy foolish self
That way look, my infant, lo! Between me and my choice !"
What a pretty baby-show! A small Cascade fresh swoln with snows
See the kitten on the wall, Thus threatened a poor Briar-rose,
Sporting with the leaves that fall, That, all bespattered with his foam,
Withered leaves one-two-and threeAnd dancing high, and dancing low,
From the lofty elder-tree! Was living, as a child might know,
Through the calm and frosty air In an unhappy home.
Of this morning bright and fair
Eddying round and round they sink “ Dost thou presume my course to block? Off, off! or, puny thing!
Softly, slowly, one night think,
From the motions that are made, I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock
Every little leaf conveyed To which thy fibres cling.”
Sylph or fairy hither tending, The Flood was tyrannous and strong ;
To this lower world descending, The patient Briar suffered long,
Each invisible and mute, Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
In his wavering parachute. Hoping the danger would be past;
- But the kitten, how she starts, But, seeing no relief, at last He ventured to reply.
Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!
First at one, and then its fellow “ Ah !” said the Briar,“ blame me not;
Just as light and just as yellow; Why should we dwell in strife?
There are many now — now oneWe who in this sequestered spot
Now they stop; and there are none Once lived a happy life!
What intenseness of desire You stirred me on my rocky bed
In her upward eye of fire! What pleasure through my veins you spread!
With a tiger-leap, half way, The summer long, from day to day,
Now she meets the coming prey, My leaves you freshened and bedewed;
Lets it go as fast, and then Nor was it common gratitude
Has it in her power again: That did your cares repay.
Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian conjuror; “ When spring came on with bud and bell,
Quick as he in feats of art, Among these rocks did I
Far beyond in joy of heart. Before you hang my wreaths, to tell
Were her antics played in the eye That gentle days were nigh!
Of a thousand standers-by, And in the sultry summer hours,
Clapping hands with shout and stare, I sheltered you with leaves and flowers ;
What would little Tabby care And in my leaves- now shed and gone,
For the plaudits of the crowd ? The linnet lodged, and for us two
Over happy to be proud, Chaunted his pretty songs, when you
Over wealthy in the treasure Had little voice or none.
Of her own exceeding pleasure !
'Tis a pretty baby-treat;
Spreads with such a living grace Nor, I deem, for me unmeet;
O'er my little Laura's face; Here, for neither babe nor me,
Yes, the sight so stirs and charms Other playmate can I see.
Thee, baby, laughing in my arms, Of the countless living things,
That almost I could repine That with stir of feet and wings,
That your transports are not mine, (In the sun or under shade,
That I do not wholly far: Upon bough or grassy blade)
Even as ye do, thoughtless pair! And with busy revellings,
And I will have my careless season Chirp and song, and murmurings,
Spite of melancholy reason, Made this orchard's narrow space,
Will walk through life in such a way And this vale so blithe a place;
That, when time brings on decay, Multitudes are swept away
Now and then I may possess Never more to breathe the day:
Hours of perfect gladsomeness. Some are sleeping ; some in bands
— Pleased by any random toy; Travelled into distant lands;
By a kitten's busy joy, Others slunk to moor and wood,
Or an infant's laughing eye Far from human neighbourhood;
Sharing in the ecstasy ; And among the kinds that keep
I would fare like that or this, With us closer fellowship,
Find my wisdom in my bliss; With us openly abide,
Keep the sprightly soul awake, All have laid their mirth aside.
And have faculties to take, - Where is he that giddy sprite,
Even from things by sorrow wrought, Blue-cap, with his colours bright,
Matter for a jocund thought; Who was blest as bird could be,
Spite of care, and spite of grief,
To gambol with life's falling leaf.
TO THE CUCKOO. Fluttered, perched, into a round
Oblithe new-comer! I have heard, Bound himself, and then unbound;
I hear thee and rejoice : Lithest, gaudiest harlequin !
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering voice ?
While I am lying on the grass,
Thy loud note smites my ear! Frisking, bleating merriment,
It seems to fill the whole air's space, When the year was in it's prime,
At once far off and near!
I hear thee babbling to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers; Save a little neighbouring rill,
But unto me thou bring'st a tale
Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring ! And the air is calm in vain;
Even yet thou art to me Vainly morning spreads the lure
No bird; but an invisible thing, Of a sky serene and pure ;
A voice, a mystery. Creature none can she decoy
The same whom in my school-boy days Into open sign of joy:
I listened to; that cry Is it that they have a fear
Which made me look a thousand ways, Of the dreary season near?
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green; In the impenetrable cell
And thou wert still a hope, a love; of the silent heart which Nature
Still longed for, never seen!
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain Such a light of gladness breaks,
And listen, till I do beget Pretty kitten! from thy freaks,
That golden time again.
O blessed bird! the earth we pace
RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE. Again appears to be
There was a roaring in the wind all night; An unsubstantial, faery place;
The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
Over his own sweet voice the stock-dore broods;
The jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters; There is a yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters. Which to this day stands single, in the midst Of its owu darkness, as it stood of yore,
All things that love the sun are out of doors; Not loth to furnish weapons for the bands
The sky rejoices in the morning's birth; Of Umfraville or Percy, ere they marched
The grass is bright with rain-drops;-on the moors To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed the sea The hare is running races in her mirth; And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,
And with her feet she from the plashy earth Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.
Raises a mist; which, glittering in the sun, Of vast circumference and gloom profound
Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run. This solitary tree! a living thing Produced too slowly ever to decay;
I was a traveller then upon the moor; Of form and aspect too magnificent
I saw the hare that raced about with joy;
I heard the woods, and distant waters, roar;
Or heard them not, as happy as a boy:
The pleasant season did my heart employ:
My old remembrances went from me wholly; Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy! Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved,
But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might Nor uninformed with phantasy, and looks
Of joy in minds that can no farther go,
And fears, and fancies, thick upon me came; Of boughs, as if for festal purpose, decked
Dim sadness, and blind thoughts, I knew not, nor With unrejoicing berries, ghostly shapes
could name. May meet at noontide-Fear and trembling Hope,
I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky;
And I bethought me of the playful hare:
Even such a happy child of earth am I; As in a natural temple scattered o'er
Even as these blissful creatures do I fare ; With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
Far from the world I walk, and from all care; United worship; or in mute repose
But there may come another day to meTo lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty. Murmuring from Glaramara’s inmost caves.
My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought,
As if life's business were a summer mood; THE REVERIE OF POOR SUSAN.
As if all needful things would come unsought At the corner of Wood-street, when day-light ap- To genial faith, still rich in genial good; pears,
But how can he expect that others should Hangs a thrush that sings loud, it has sung for Build for him, sow for him, and at his call Poor Susan has passed by the spot, and has heard Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all? In the silence of morning the song of the bird.
I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous boy, 'Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees The sleepless soul that perished in his pride ; A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
Of Him who walked in glory and in joy Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide, Following his plough, along the mountain-side : And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside. By our own spirits are we deified;
We poets in our youth begin in gladness; (ness. Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale,
But thereof comes in the end despondency and madDown which she so often has tripped with her pail; And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,
Now, whether it were by peculiar grace, The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.
A leading from above, a something given,
Yet it befel, that, in this lonely place, She looks, and her heart is in heaven; but they fade, When I with these untoward thoughts had striven, The mist and the river, the hill and the shade: Beside a pool bare to the eye of Heaven The stream will not flow and the hill will not rise, I saw a man before me unawares : And the colours have all passed away from her eyes. The oldest man he seemed that ever wore grey hair) As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills; Couched on the bald top of an eminence;
And hope that is unwilling to be fed ; Wonder to all who do the same espy,
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills; By what means it could thither come, and whence; And mighty poets in their misery dead. So that it seems a thing endued with sense : -Perplexed, and longing to be comforted, Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf My question eagerly did I renew, Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself; “ How is it that you live, and what is it you do?" Such seemed this man, not all alive nor dead,
He with a smile did then his words repeat; Nor all asleep; in his extreme old age:
And said, that, gathering leeches, far and wide His body was bent double, feet and head
He travelled; stirring thus about his feet Coming together in life's pilgrimage;
The waters of the ponds where they abide. As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
“ Once I could meet with them on every side; Of sickness felt by him in times long past,
But they have dwindled long by slow decay; A more than human weight upon his frame had cast.
Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may." Himself he propped, his body, limbs, and face,
While he was talking thus, the lonely place, Upon a long grey staff of shaven wood:
The old man's shape, and speech, all troubled me: And, still as I drew near with gentle pace,
In my mind's eye I seemed to see him pace
About the weary moors continually,
Wandering about alone and silently.
While I these thoughts within myself pursued, And moveth all together, if it move at all.
He, having made a pause, the same discourse re
newed. At length, himself unsettling, he the pond
And soon with this he other matter blended, Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind,
But stately in the main; and when he ended, And now a stranger's privilege I took ;
I could have laughed myself to scorn, to find
In that decrepid man so firm a mind. And, drawing to his side, to him did say,
“ God,” said I,“ be my help and stay secure; “ This morning gives us promise of a glorious day."
I'll think of the leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!" A gentle answer did the old man make, In courteous speech which forth he slowly drew: And him with further words I thus bespake,
THE THORN. “ What occupation do you there pursue ?
“ There is a thorn-it looks so old, This is a lonesome place for one like you."
In truth, you'd find it hard to say He answered, while a flash of mild surprise
How it could ever have been young, Broke from the sable orbs of his yet vivid eyes. It looks so old and gray.
Not higher than a two years' child His words came feebly, from a feeble chest,
It stands erect, this aged thorn; But each in solemn order followed each,
No leaves it has, no thorny points; With something of a lofty utterance drest;
It is a mass of knotted joints, Choice word, and measured phrase; above the reach
A wretched thing forlorn. Of ordinary men; a stately speech ;
It stands erect, and like a stone Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use,
With lichens it is overgrown. Religious men, who give to God and man their dues.
Like rock or stone, it is o'ergrown He told me that he to this pond had come
With lichens to the very top, To gather leeches, being old and poor:
And hung with heavy tufts of moss, Employment hazardous and wearisome!
A melancholy crop : And he had many hardships to endure:
Up from the earth these mosses creep, From pond to pond he roamed, from moor to moor;
And this poor thorn they clasp it round Housing, with God's good help, by choice or chance:
So close, you'd say that they were bent And in this way he gained an honest maintenance.
With plain and manifest intent
To drag it to the ground; 'The old man still stood talking by my side;
And all had joined in one endeavour
To bury this poor thorn for ever.
High on a mountain's highest ridge,
Where oft the stormy winter gale Or like a man from some far region sent, (ment. Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds To give me human strength by strong admonish- It sweeps from vale to vale;
Not five yards from the mountain path,
And wherefore does she cry :This thorn you on your left espy;
Oh wherefore? wherefore ? tell me why And to the left, three yards beyond,
Does she repeat that doleful cry?”
“ I cannot tell; I wish I could; Though but of compass small, and bare
For the true reasou no one knows: To thirsty suns, and parching air.
But if you'd gladly view the spot,
The spot to which she goes; And, close beside this aged thorn,
The heap that's like an infant's grave, There is a fresh and lovely sight,
The pond—and thorn, so old and gray; A beauteous heap, a hill of moss,
Pass by her door—'tis seldom shutJust half a foot in height.
And, if you see her in her hut, All lovely colours there you see,
Then to the spot away! All colours that were ever seen;
I never heard of such as dare And mossy net-work too is there,
Approach the spot when she is there." As if by hand of lady fair The work had woven been;
« But wherefore to the mountain-top And cups, the darlings of the eye,
Can this unhappy woman go, So deep is their vermilion dye.
Whatever star is in the skies,
Whatever wind may blow?" Ah me! what lovely tints are there!
“ 'Tis known, that twenty years are passed Of olive green and scarlet bright,
Since she (her name is Martha Ray) In spikes, in branches, and in stars,
Gave with a maiden's true good will Green, red, and pearly white.
Her company to Stephen Hill; This heap of earth o'ergrown with moss,
And she was blithe and gay, Which close beside the thorn you see,
While friends and kindred all approved So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,
Of him whom tenderly she loved.
And they had fixed the wedding-day, But never, never any where,
The morning that must wed then both; An infant's grave was half so fair.
But Stephen to another maid
Had sworn another oath;
And with this other maid to church
Unthinking Stephen went-
Poor Martha! on that woeful day For oft there sits between the heap
A pang of pitiless dismay
Into her soul was sent;
A fire was kindled in her breast,
Which inight not burn itself to rest. And to herself she cries,
They say, full six months after this, “Oh misery! oh misery!
While yet the summer leaves were green, Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
She to the mountain-top would go, At all times of the day and night
And there was often seen. This wretched woman thither
'Tis said, her lamentable state
goes; And she is known to every star,
Even to a careless eye was plain; And every wind that blows;
She was with child, and she was mad; And there, beside the thorn, she sits
Yet often she was sober sad When the blue daylight's in the skies,
From her exceeding pain. And when the whirlwind's on the hill,
O guilty father,—would that death Or frosty air is keen and still,
Had saved him from that breach of faith! And to herself she cries, “ Oh misery! oh misery!
Sad case for such a brain to hold Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
Communion with a stirring child!
Sad case, as you may think, for one “ Now wherefore, thus, by day and night,
Who had a brain so wild! In rain, in tempest, and in snow,
Last Christmas-eve we talked of this, Thus to the dreary mountain-top
And gray-haired Wilfred of the glen Does this poor woman go?
Held that the unborn infant wrought And why sits she beside the thorn
About its mother's heart, and brought When the blue daylight's in the sky,
Her senses back again : Or when the whirlwind's on the hill,
And when at last her time drew near, Or frosty air is keen and still,
Her looks were calm, her seases clear.