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Yesternight I pray'd aloud,
In anguish and in agony;
Upstarting from the fiendish crowd
Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me.
I HAD a dream in the dead of night,
A dream of agony;
I thought the world stood in affright,
Beneath the hot and parching light
Of an unclouded sky;
I thought there had fallen no cooling rain
For months upon the feverish plain,
And that all the springs were dry:
And I was standing on a hill,
And looking all around:
I know not how it was; but still
Strength in my limbs was found,
As if with a spell of threefold life,
My destinies were bound.
Beneath me was a far-spread heath,
Where once had risen a spring,
Looking as bright as a silver wreath
In its graceful wandering:
But now the sultry glance of the sun,
And the glare of the dark-blue sky,
Had check'd its course,-no more to run
In light waves wandering by.
And farther on was a stately wood,
With its tall trees rising high,
But now like autumn wrecks they stood
Beneath a summer sky:
For ages: he was gone; and all
His rocky pillows shown,
With their clustering shells, and sea-weed pall,
And the rich gems round them thrown.
And the monsters of the deep lay dead,
With many a human form,
That there had found a quiet bed
Away from the raging storm; And the fishes, sodden in the sun,
Were strewn by thousands round; And a myriad things, long lost and won, Were there, unsought for, found.
I turn'd away from earth and sea,
And look'd on the burning sky,
But no drop fell, like an angel's tear-
The founts of heaven were dry:
The birds had perish'd every one;
Not a cloud was in the air,
And desolate seem'd the very Sun,
He look'd so lonely there!
And I began to feel the pang-
The agony of thirst:
I had a scorching swelling pain,
As if my heart would burst.
My tongue seem'd parch'd; I tried to speak-
The spell that instant broke;
And, starting at my own wild shriek,
In mercy I awoke.
Addressed to a Young Lady on her entrance into Life
FLOWER of light! forget thy birth,
Daughter of the sordid earth,
Lift the beauty of thine eye
To the blue ethereal sky.
While thy graceful buds unfold
Silver petals starr'd with gold,
Let the bee among thy bells
Rifle their ambrosial cells,
And the nimble pinion'd air
Waft thy breath to heaven, like prayer;
Cloud and sun alternate shed
Gloom or glory round thy head;
Morn impearl thy leaves with dews,
Evening lend them rosy hues,
Morn with snow-white splendour bless,
Night with glow-worm jewels dress;
Thus fulfil thy summer day,
Spring and flourish and decay;
Live a life of fragrance-then
Disappear to rise again,
When thy sisters of the vale
Welcome back the nightingale.
So may she whose name I write,
Be herself a flower of light,
Live a life of innocence,
Die, to be transported hence
To that Garden in the skies,
Where the lily never dies.
ADDRESS TO A PRIMROSE.
FLOWER! thou art not the same to me
That thou wert long ago;
The hue has faded from thy face,
Or from my heart the glow-
The glow of young romantic thoughts,
When all the world was new,
And many a blossom round my path
Its sweet, fresh fragrance threw;
Thou art not what I thought thee then
Nor ever wilt thou be again.
It was a thing of wild delight,
To find thee on the bank,
Where all the day thy opening leaves
The golden sunlight drank—
To see thee in the sister group
That clustering grew together,
And seem'd too delicate for aught
Save summer's brightest weather, Or for the gaze of Leila's eyesThou happiest primrose 'neath the skies!
I know not what it was that made
My heart to love thee so;
For though all gentle things to me
Were dear, long, long ago,
There was no bird upon the bough,
No wild-flower on the lea,
No twinkling star, no running brook,
I loved so much as thee;
I watch'd thy coming every spring,
And hail'd thee as a living thing.
And yet I look upon thee now
Without one joyful thrill;
The spirit of the past is dead,
My heart is calm and still:
A lovelier flower than e'er thou art
Has faded from my sight,
And the same chill that stole her bloom Brought unto me a blight,
"Tis fitting thou should'st sadder seem, Since Leila perish'd like a dream.
THOU lovely and thou happy child,
Ah, how I envy thee!
I should be glad to change our state,
If such a change might be.
And yet it is a lingering joy
To watch a thing so fair,
To think that in our weary life
Such pleasant moments are
A little monarch thou art there,
And of a fairy realm,
Without a foe to overthrow,
A care to overwhelm.
Thy world is in thy own glad will,
And in each fresh delight,
And in thy unused heart, which makes Its own, its golden light.
With no misgivings in thy past,
Thy future with no fear:
The present circles thee around,
An angel's atmosphere.
How little is the happiness
That will content a childA favourite dog, a sunny fruit, A blossom growing wild.
A word will fill the little heart
With pleasure and with pride;
It is a harsh, a cruel thing,
That such can be denied.
And yet how many weary hours
Those joyous creatures know;
How much of sorrow and restraint
They to their elders owe!
How much they suffer from our faults:
How much from our mistakes;
How often, too, mistaken zeal
An infant's misery makes!