« FöregåendeFortsätt »
God! sing, ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice! Or father, or the venerable name
Ye living flowers that skirt th' eternal frost! Turn'd westward, shaping in the steady clouds
My native land!
Floated away, like a departing dream,
Mankind to be one mighty family,
ON OBSERVING A BLOSSOM ON THE FIRST
OF FEBRUARY, 1796.
SWEET flower! that peeping from thy russet stem
This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering
Hath borrow'd Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee LINES
With blue voluptuous eye,) alas, poor flower!
These are but flatteries of the faithless year. WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM AT ELBINGERODE, IN
Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave, THE HARTZ FOREST.
E'en now the keen north-east is on its way. I stood on Brocken's* sovran height, and saw Flower that must perish! shall I liken thee Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
To some sweet girl of too, too rapid growth, A surging scene, and only limited
Nipp'd by consumption ’mid untimely charms ?
Or to Bristowa's bard,* the wondrous boy!
An amaranth, which earth scarce seem'd to own, Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong forms
Beat it to earth ? or with indignant grief
Farewell, sweet blossom! better fate be thine,
And mock my boding! Dim similitudes
Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour
And the warm wooings of this sunny day
Tremble along my frame, and harmonize
THE EOLIAN HARP.
COMPOSED AT CLEVEDON, SOMERSETSHIRE.
My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd jasmin, and the broad-leaved
(Meet emblems they of innocence and love !)
Peep'd at the chamber window. We could hear, The stilly murmur of the distant sea
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn, Tells us of silence.
The sea's faint murmur. In the open air And that simplest lute, Our myrtles blossomd ; and across the porch Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, Thick jasmins twined: the little landscape round bark !
Was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye. How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
It was a spot which you might aptly call Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,
The Valley of Seclusion! once I saw It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness) Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its À wealthy son of coinmerce saunter by, strings,
Bristowa's citizen: methought, it calm’d Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse Over delicious surges sink and rise,
With wiser feelings; for he paused, and look'd Such a soft floating witchery of sound
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around, As twilight elfins make, when they at eve Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again, Voyage on gentler gales from Fairy-land,
And sighd, and said, it was a blessed place.
Long listening to the viewless sky-lark's note,
Gleaming on sunny wings,) in whisper'd tones
When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hush'd, Not to love all things in a world so fill'd;
And the heart listens !" Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
But the time, when first Is music slumbering on her instrument.
From that low dell, steep up the stony mount And thus, my love! as on the midway slope I climb'd with perilous toil, and reach'd the top, Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
0! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak mount, Whilst through my half-closed eyelids I behold The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep, The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main, Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields ; And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
And river, now with bushy rocks o'erbrow'd, Full many a thought uncall’d and undetain'd, Now winding bright and full, with naked banks ; And many idle, fitting fantasies,
And seats, and lawns, the abbey and the wood, Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city spire; As wild and various as the random gales
The channel there, the islands, and white sails, That swell and flutter on this subject lute! Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless
And what if all of animated nature Be but organic harps diversely framed,
It seem'd like Omnipresence! God, methought, That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps, Had built him there a temple : the whole world Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
Seem'd imaged in its vast circumference, At once the soul of each, and God of all ?
No wish profaned my overwhelmed heart. But thy more serious eye a mild reproof Blest hour! It was a luxury,—to be! Darts, 0 beloved woman ! nor such thoughts Ah! quiet dell; dear cot, and mount sublime ! Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
I was constrain’d to quit you. Was it right, And biddest me walk humbly with my God. While my unnumber'd brethren toild and bled, Meek daughter in the family of Christ!
That I should dream away th' intrusted hours
Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth:
And he that works me good with unmoved face, The Incomprehensible ! save when with awe Does it but half: he chills me while he aids, I praise him, and with faith that inly feels; My benefactor, not my brother man ! Who with his saving mercies healed me,
Yet even this, this cold beneficence, A sinful and most miserable man,
Praise, praise it, O my soul ! oft as thou scann'st Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess The sluggard pity's vision-weaving tribe ! Peace, and this cot, and thee, heart-honoura | Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched, maid!
Nursing in some delicious solitude
WITH SOME POEMS.
Their slothsul loves and dainty sympathies ! At mine own home and birthplace: chiefly then,
And boding evil, yet still hoping good,
Sorrow'd in silence! He who counts alone
That Being knows, how I have loved thee ever,
To talk of thee and thine: or when the blast
Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl;
We, in our sweet sequester'd orchard plot,
Sit on the tree crook'd earthward; whose old
Stirr'd by the faint gale of departing May,
Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads !
When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear A BLESSED lot hath he, who having pass’d
To my wild firstling-lays ? Since then my son His youth and early manhood in the stir
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind, With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
Cope with the tempest's swell!
These various strains, And haply views his tottering little ones Embrace those aged knees and climb that lap,
Which I have framed in many a various mood, On which first kneeling his own infancy
Accept, my brother! and (for some perchance Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest friend! Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
If aught of error or intemperate truth At distance did ye climb life's upland road,
Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age Yet cheer'd and cheering; now fraternal love
Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it! Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days Holy, and blest, and blessing may ye live! To me th’ Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed
A TOMBLESS EPITAPH.
And honouring with religious love the great
The hollow puppets of a hollow age,
(Too much of all,) thus wasting in vain war Mix'd their own venom with the rain from heaven, of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true, That I woke poison'd! But, all praise to Him Whole years of weary days, besieged him close, Who gives us all things, more have yielded me E’en to the gates and inlets of his life! Permanent shelter ; and beside one friend,
But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
And with a natural gladness, he maintained
Was strong to follow the delightful muse.
Lurk'd undiscover'd by him; not a rill Bright with no fading colours !
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene,
Yet at times But he had traced it upward to its source, My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell. Sull most a stranger, most with naked heart
Knew the gay wild-Nowers on its banks, and cull'a
Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, The haunt obscure of old philosophy,
Fann'd by the waterfall! and there my friends He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds,* Sparkle as erst they sparkled to the flame
That all at once (a most fantastic sight!)
Now, my friends emerge Philosopher! contemning wealth and death, Beneath the wide, wide heaven-and view again Yet docile, childlike, full of life and love!
The many-steepled tract magnificent Here, rather than on monumental stone,
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
Of purple shadow! Yes, they wander on
My gentle-hearted Charles ; for thou hast pined INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A
And hunger'd after nature, many a year,
In the great city pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain This sycamore, oft musical with bees,Such tents the patriarchs loved ! O long unharm'd And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious sun! May all its aged boughs o’er-canopy
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb, The small round basin, which this jutting stone Keeps pure from falling leaves ! Long may the Ye purple heath-flowers ! richlier burn, ye clouds !
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves ! spring,
And kindle, thou blue ocean! So my friend, Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath,
Struck with deep joy, may stand, as I have stood, Send up cold waters to the traveller With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance,
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem Which at the bottom, like a fairy's page,
Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
As veil th' Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes As merry and no taller, dances still, Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the fount.
Spirits perceive his presence. Here twilight is and coolness : here is moss,
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
As I myself was there! Nor in this bower,
Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze
Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd
Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue In the June of 1797, some long-expected friends Through the late twilight: and though now the bat paid a visit to the author's cottage ; and on the Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters, morning of their arrival, he met with an accident, Yet still the solitary humble bee which disabled him from walking during the whole sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall time of their stay. One evening, when they had
know left him for a few hours, he composed the following That nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure: lines in the garden bower.
No plot so narrow, be but nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing
Had cross'd the mighty orb's dilated glory,
* The asplenium scolopendrium, called in some coun Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock
tries the adder's tongue, in others the hart's tongue; but
Withering gives the aduer's longue as the trivial name of Flings arching like a bridge ;--that branchless ash, the ophioglossum only.
COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION
While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was still, | Action and joy !-An orphic song, indeed,
O great bard!
Of e'er-enduring men. The truly great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Nor less a sacred roll, than those of old, FRIEND of the wise! and teacher of the good! And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame Into my heart have I received that lay
Among the archives of mankind, thy work More than historic, that prophetic lay,
Makes audible a linked lay of truth, Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright) Of truth profound a sweet continuous lay, Of the foundations and the building up
Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes ! Of a human spirit, thou hast dared to tell
Ah! as I listen'd with a heart forlorn, What may be told, to the understanding mind The pulses of my being beat anew : Revealable; and what within the mind,
And e’en as life returns upon the drown'd, By vital breathings secret as the soul
Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of painsOf vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart Keen pangs of love, awakening as a babe Thoughts all too deep for words
Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart;
Theme hard as high! And fears self-will’d, that shunnid the eye of hope ; Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears, And hope that scarce would know itself from fear, (The first-born they of reason and twin birth,) Sense of past youth, and manhood come in vain, Of tides obedient to external force,
And genius given, and knowledge won in vain; And currents self-determined, as might seem, And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild, Or by some inner power; of moments awful, And all which patient toil had rear'd, and all, Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,
Commune with thee had open'd out-but flowers When power stream'd from thee, and thy soul re- Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier, ceived
In the same coffin, for the selfsame grave! The light reflected, as a light bestow'd
That way no more! and ill beseems it me, Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth, Who came a welcomer in herald's guise, Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought
Singing of glory, and futurity, Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens
To wander back on such unhealthful road, Native or outland, lakes and famous hills !
Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill
Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths
Nor do thou,
Sage bard ! impair the memory of that hour Distending wide, and man beloved as man, Of my communion with thy nobler mind Where France in all her towns lay vibrating By pity or grief, already felt too long! Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst Nor let my words import more blame than needs. Of heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud The tumult rose and ceased; for peace is nigh Is visible, or shadow on the main.
Where wisdom's voice has found a listening heart. For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, Amid the howl of more than wintry storms, Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
The halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours Amid a mighty nation jubilant,
Already on the wing. When from the general heart of human kind
Eve following eve, Hope sprang forth like a full-born deity;
Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of home -Of that dear hope afflicted and struck down, Is sweetest ! moments for their own sake hail'd So summond homeward, thenceforth calm and sure And more desired, more precious for thy song, From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute self, In silence listening, like a devout child, With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
My soul lay passive, by the various strain
Driven as in surges now beneath the stars,
Fair constellated foam,* still darting off
* Some months after I had written this line, it gave me * " A beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary inter. pleasure to observe that Bartram had observed the same vals coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and litcircumstance of the Savanna crane. “ When these birds lle stars of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it: move their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, mode- and every now and then light detachments of this white rale, and regular; and even when at a considerable dis- cloud-like foam darted off from the vessel's side, each lance, or high above us, we plainly hear the quill-feathers; with its own small constellation, over the sea, and scoured their shafts and webs upon one another creak as the joints out of sight like a Tartar troop over a wilderness.”—The or working of a vessel in a tempestuous sea."
Friend, p. 220.