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which is rarely powerful save when it comes in the guise of love. The last edition of SHELLEY's writings, published by Mr. Moxon, was edited by his widow, the author of Frankenstein, a woman worthy to be the wife of such a man. Its notes, with the text, constitute the best biography of the poet. In our own country more justice has been done to SHELLEY’s genius, motives, and actions than they have received at home. I refer with pleasure for a more elaborate discussion
THE SENSITIVE PLANT.
PART I. A sensitive Plant in a garden grew, And the young winds fed it with silver dew, And it open'd its fan-like leaves to the light, And closed them beneath the kisses of night. And the spring arose on the garden fair, And the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on earth's dark breast Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest. But none ever trembled and panted with bliss In the garden, the field, or the wilderness, Like a doe in the noontide with love's sweet want, As the companionless Sensitive Plant. The snowdrop, and then the violet, Arose from the ground with warm rain wet, And their breath was mix'd with fresh odour, sent From the turf, like the voice and the instrument. Then the pied wind-flowers and the tulip tall, And narcissi, the fairest among them all, Who gaze on their eyes in the stream's recess, Till they die of their own dear loveliness; And the Naiad-like lily of the vale, Whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale, That the light of its tremulous bells is seen Through their pavilions of tender green; And the hyacinth purple, and white, and blue, Which flung from its bells a sweet peal anew Of music so delicate, soft, and intense, It was felt like an odour within the sense; And the rose like a nymph to the bath addrest, Which unveil'd the depth of her glowing breast, Till, fold after fold, to the fainting air The soul of her beauty and love lay bare: And the wand-like lily, which lifted up, As a Maenad, its moonlight-colour'd cup, Till the fiery star, which is its eye, Gazed through clear dew on the tender sky; And the jessamine faint, and the sweet tuberose, The sweetest flower for scent that blows; And all rare blossoms from every clime Grew in that garden in perfect prime. And on the stream whose inconstant bosom Was prankt under boughs of embowering blossom, With golden and green light, slanting through Their heaven of many a tangled hue, Broad water-lilies lay tremulously, | And starry river-buds glimmer'd by,
of his claims than I can here present, to Rambles and Reveries, by my friend H. T. TuckerMAN: a volume which contains a series of essays on the modern English poets, by one of the most elegant and discriminating critics of the day. Shelley left but one child, a son, Percy Florence SHELLEy, who, by the death of the poet's father in the summer of 1844, has be- || come a baronet and succeeded to the family estates. Sir PERCY SHELLEY is now about twenty-five years of age.
And around them the soft stream did glide and dance
Whilst the lagging hours of the day went by In a basket, of grasses and wild flowers full,
And the day's veil fell from the world of sleep,
PART II. The RE was a Power in this sweet place, An Eve in this Eden; a ruling grace Which to the flowers, did they waken or dream, Was as God is to the starry scheme. A lady, the wonder of her kind, Whose form was upborne by a lovely mind Which, dilating, had moulded her mien and motion Like a sea-flower unfolded beneath the ocean, Tended the garden from morn to even: And the meteors of that sublunar heaven, Like the lamps of the air when night walks forth, Laugh’d round her footsteps up from the earth! She had no companion of mortal race, But her tremulous breath and her flushing face Told, whilst the morn kiss'd the sleep from her eyes, That her dreams were less slumber than Paradise: As if some bright Spirit for her sweet sake Had deserted heaven while the stars were awake, As if yet around her he lingering were, Though the veil of daylight conceal’d him from her. Her step seem'd to pity the grass it prest; You might hear, by the heaving of her breast, That the coming and the going of the wind Brought pleasure there and left passion behind. And wherever her airy footstep trod, Her trailing hair from the grassy sod Erased its light vestige, with shadowy sweep, Like a sunny storm o'er the dark green deep. I doubt not the flowers of that garden sweet Rejoiced in the sound of her gentle feet; I doubt not they felt the spirit that came
From her glowing fingers through all their frame.
She sprinkled bright water from the stream
Whose path is the lightning's, and soft moths that
Tha EE days the flowers of the garden fair, Like stars when the moon is awaken'd, were, Or the waves of Baiae, ere luminous She floats up through the smoke of Vesuvius. And on the fourth, the Sensitive Plant Felt the sound of the funeral chant, And the steps of the bearers, heavy and slow, And the sobs of the mourners deep and low; The weary sound and the heavy breath, And the silent motions of passing death, And the smell, cold, oppressive, and dank, Sent through the pores of the coffin plank; The dark grass, and the flowers among the grass, Were bright with tears as the crowd did pass; From their sighs the wind caught a mournful tone, And sate in the pines and gave groan for groan. The garden, once fair, became cold and foul, Like the corpse of her who had been its soul; Which at first was lovely as if in sleep, Then slowly changed, till it grew a heap To make men tremble who never weep. Swift summer into the autumn flow'd, And frost in the mist of the morning rode, Though the noonday sun look'd clear and bright, Mocking the spoil of the secret night. The rose leaves, like flakes of crimson snow, Paved the turf and the moss below. The lilies were drooping, and white, and wan, Like the head and the skin of a dying man; And Indian plants, of scent and hue The sweetest that ever were fed on dew, Leaf after leaf, day by day, . Were mass'd into the common clay. And the leaves, brown, yellow, and gray, and red, And white with the whiteness of what is dead, Like troops of ghosts on the dry wind past; Their whistling noise made the birds aghast. And the gusty winds waked the winged seeds Out of their birth-place of ugly weeds, Till they clung round many a sweet flower's stem, Which rotted into the earth with them. The water-blooms under the rivulet Fell from the stalks on which they were set; And the eddies drove them here and there, As the winds did those of the upper air. Then the rain came down, and the broken stalks Were bent and tangled across the walks ; And the leafless net-work of parasite bowers
Mass'd into ruin, and all sweet flowers.
But the mandrakes, and toadstools, and docks, and darnels, Rose like the dead from their ruined charnels.
conclusion. Whether the Sensitive Plant, or that Which within its boughs like a spirit sat Ere its outward form had known decay, Now felt this change, I cannot say. Whether that lady's gentle mind, No longer with the form combined Which scattered love, as stars do light, Found sadness, where it left delight, I dare not guess; but in this life Of error, ignorance, and strife, Where nothing is, but all things seem, And we the shadows of the dream, It is a modest creed, and yet Pleasant, if one considers it, To own that death itself must be, Like all the rest, a mockery. That garden sweet, that lady fair, And all sweet shapes and odours there, In truth have never pass'd away: "Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they. For love, and beauty, and delight, There is no death nor change: their might Exceeds our organs, which endure No light, being themselves obscure.
LOVE. Thou art the wine whose drunkenness is all We can desire, O Love' and happy souls, Ere from thy vine the leaves of autumn fall, Catch thee and feed from thine o'erflowing bowls, Thousands who thirst for thy ambrosial dew. Thou art the radiance which when ocean rolls Investeth it; and when the heavens are blue Thou fillest them: and when the earth is fair The shadows of thy moving wings imbue Its deserts, and its mountains; till they wear Beauty, like some bright robe. Thou ever soarest Among the towers of men; and as soft air In spring, which moves the unawakened forest, Clothing with leaves its branches bare and bleak, Thou floutest among men; and age implorest That which from thee they should implore:—the Alone kneel to thee, offering up the hearts [weak The strong have broken—yet where shall any seek A garment, whom thou clothest not
There was a poet, whose untimely tomb
Frequent with crystal column, and clear shrines
AMemphis and Thebes, and whatsoe'er of strange
Sculptured on alabaster obelisk,
–0– ALASTOR AND THE SWAN.
At length upon the lone Chorasmian shore He paused, a wide and melancholy waste Of putrid marshes. A strong impulse urged His steps to the sea-shore. A swan was there, Beside a sluggish stream among the reeds. It rose as he approach'd, and with strong wings Scaling the upward sky, bent its bright course High over the immeasurable main. His eyes pursued its flight.—“Thou hast a home, Beautiful bird' thou voyagest to thine home, Where thy sweet mate will twine her downy neck With thine, and welcome thy return with eyes Bright in the lustre of their own fond joy. And what am I that I should linger here, With voice far sweeter than thy dying notes, Spirit more vast than thine, frame more attuned To beauty, wasting these surpassing powers In the deaf air, to the blind earth, and heaven That echoes not my thoughts?” A gloomy smile Of desperate hope wrinkled his quivering lips. For sleep, he knew, kept most relentlessly Its precious charge, and silent death exposed, Faithless perhaps as sleep, a shadowy lure, With doubtful smilemocking its ownstrange charms.