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Who lov’st with Night and Silence to partake,
So might it seem, the cares of them that wake;
And, through the cottage-lattice softly peeping,
Dost shield from harm the humblest of the sleeping;
What pleasure once encompass'd those sweet names
Which yet in thy behalf the Poet claims,
An idolizing dreamer as of yore! -
I slight them all; and, on this sea-beat shore
Sole-sitting, only can to thoughts attend
That bid me hail thee as the SAILOR'S FRIEND:
So call thee for Heaven's grace through thee made known
By confidence supplied and mercy shown,
When not a twinkling star or beacon's light
Abates the perils of a stormy night;
And for less obvious benefits, that find
Their way, with thy pure help, to heart and mind;
Both for th' adventurer starting in life's prime;
And veteran ranging round from clime to clime,
Long-baffled hope's slow fever in his veins,
And wounds and weakness oft his labour's sole remains.

Th’ aspiring Mountains and the winding Streams,
Empress of Night! are gladden’d by thy beams;
A look of thine the wilderness pervades,
And penetrates the forest's inmost shades;
Thou, chequering peaceably the minster's gloom,
Guid'st the pale Mourner to the lost one's tomb;
Canst reach the Prisoner, - to his grated cell
Welcome, though silent and intangible!-
And lives there one, of all that come and go
On the great waters toiling to and fro,
One, who has watch'd thee at some quiet hour
Enthroned aloft in undisputed power,
Or cross'd by vapoury streaks and clouds that more
Catching the lustre they in part reprove;
Nor sometimes felt a fitness in thy sway
To call up thoughts that shun the glare of day,
And make the serious happier than the gay?

Yes, lovely Moon! if thou so mildly bright
Dost rouse, yet surely in thy own despite,
To fiercer mood the frenzy-stricken brain,
Let me a compensating faith maintain ;
That there's a sensitive, a tender part
Which thou canst touch in every human heart,
For healing and composure.— But, as least
And mightiest billows ever have confess'd
Thy domination; as the whole vast Sea

Feels through her lowest depths thy sovereignty;
So shines that countenance with especial grace
On them who urge the keel her plains to trace,
Furrowing its way right onward. The most rude,
Cut off from home and country, may have stood,
Even till long gazing hath bedimm'd his eye,
Or the mute rapture ended in a sigh,
Touch'd by accordance of thy placid cheer,
With some internal lights to memory dear,
Or fancies stealing forth to soothe the breast
Tired with its daily share of Earth's unrest,
Gentle awakenings, visitations meek;
A kindly influence whereof few will speak,
Though it can wet with tears the hardiest cheek.

And when thy beauty in the shadowy cave
Is hidden, buried in its monthly grave;
Then, while the Sailor, ʼmid an open sea
Swept by a favouring wind that leaves thought free,
Paces the deck, -- no star perhaps in sight,
And nothing save the moving ship’s own light
To cheer the long dark hours of vacant night, -
Oft with his musings does thy image blend,
In his mind's eye thy crescent horns ascend,
And thou art still, 0 Moon, that SAILOR'S FRIEND![1835.

BEGUILED into forgetfulness of care
Due to the day's unfinish'd task; of pen
Or book regardless, and of that fair scene
In Nature's prodigality display'd
Before my window, oftentimes and long
I gaze upon a Portrait whose mild gleam
Of beauty never ceases to enrich
The common light; whose stillness charms the air,
Or seems to charm it, into like repose;
Whose silence, for the pleasure of the ear,
Surpasses sweetest music. There she sits,
With emblematic purity attired
In a white vest, white as her marble neck

Is, and the pillar of the throat would be, 3 This portrait was from the pencil of Mr. F. Stone. The poet speaks of it thus

“This portrait has hung for many years in our principal sitting. room, and represents J. Quillinan, as she

was when a girl. The picture, though somewhat thinly painted, has much merit in tone and general effect; it is chicky valuable, however, for the sentiment that pervades it."

in his notes, 1843:

But for the shadow by the drooping chin
Cast into that recess; the tender shade,
The shade and light, both there and everywhere,
And through the very atmosphere she breathes,
Broad, clear, and toned harmoniously, with skill
That might from Nature have been learnt in th' hour
When the lone shepherd sees the morning spread
Upon the mountains. Look at her, whoe'er
Thou be that, kindling with a poet's soul,
Hast loved the painter's true Promethean craft
Intensely; - from Imagination take
The treasure; what mine eyes behold see thou,
Even though th' Atlantic ocean roll between.

A silver line, that runs from brow to crown,
And in the middle parts the braided hair,
Just serves to show how delicate a soil
The golden harvest gows in; and those eyes,
Soft and capacious as a cloudless sky
Whose azure depth their colour emulates,
Must needs be conversant with upward looks,
Prayer's voiceless service: but now, seeking nought
And shunning nought, their own peculiar life
Of motion they renounce, and with the head
Partake its inclination towards the earth
In humble grace, and quiet pensiveness
Caught at the point where it stops short of sadness.

Offspring of soul-bewitching Art, make me
Thy confidant! say, whence derived that air
Of calm abstraction? Can the ruling thought
Be with some lover far away, or one
Cross’d by misfortune, or of doubted faith?
Inapt conjecture! Childhood here, a moon
Crescent in simple loveliness serene,
Has but approch’d the gates of womanhood,
Not enter'd them: her heart is yet unpierced
By the blind Archer-god; her fancy free:
The fount of feeling, if unsought elsewhere,
Will not be found.

Her right hand, as it lies
Across the slender wrist of the left arm
Upon her lap reposing, holds - but mark
How slackly, for the absent mind permits
No firmer grasp -- a little wild-flower, join'd,
As in a posy, with a few pale cars
Of yellowing corn, the same that overtopp’ıl
And in their common birthplace shelter'd it

Till they were pluck'd together; a blue flower
Calld by the thrifty husbandman a weed:
But Ceres, in her garland, might have worn
That ornament, unblamed. The floweret, held
In scarcely conscious fingers, was, she knows,
(Her Father told her so,) in youth's gay dawn
Her Mother's favourite; and the orphan Girl,
In her own dawn, - a dawn less gay and bright,-
Loves it, while there in solitary peace
She sits, for that departed Mother's sake, -
Not from a source less sacred is derived
(Surely I do not err) that pensive air
Of calm abstraction though the face diffused
And the whole person.

Words have something told
More than the pencil can, and verily
More than is needed; but the precious Art
Forgives their interference,- Art divine,
That both creates and fixes, in despite
Of Death and Time, the marvels it hath wrought.

Strange contrasts have we in this world of ours!
That posture, and the look of filial love
Thinking of past and gone, with what is left
Dearly united, might be swept away,
From this fair Portrait's fleshly Archetype,
Even by an innocent fancy's slightest freak
Banish'd, nor ever, haply, be restored
To their lost place, or meet in harmony
So exquisite; but here do they abide,
Enshrined for ages.

Is not then the Art
Godlike, a humble branch of the divine,
In visible quest of immortality,
Stretch'd forth with trembling hope? In every realm,
From high Gilbraltar to Siberian plains,
Thousands, in each variety of tongue
That Europe knows, would echo this appeal ;
One above all, a Monk who waits on God
In the magnific Convent built of yore
To sanctify th’Escurial palace. IIC —
Guiding, from cell to cell and room to room,
A British Painter, eminent for truth
In character, and depth of feeling, shown

By labours that have touch’d the hearts of kings, 4 The pile of buildings, composing the palace and convent of San Lorenzo, has, in common usage, lost its proper name in that of the Escurial, a village at the foot of the hull upon which the splendid edifice, built by Philip the Second, stands. 5 This “ British Painter" was Wilkie.

And are endeard to simple cottagers,)
Came, in that service, to a glorious work,
Our Lord's Last Supper, beautiful as when first
Th' appropriate Picture, fresh from Titian's hand,
Graced the Refectory: and there, while both
Stood with eyes fix'd upon that masterpiece,
The hoary Father in the stranger's ear
Breathed out these words: “Here daily do we sit,
Thanks given to God for daily bread, and here,
Pondering the mischiefs of these restless times,
And thinking of my Brethren, dead, dispersed,
Or changed and changing, I not seldom gaze
Upon this solemn Company unmoved
By shock of circumstance or lapse of years,
Until I cannot but believe that they,
They are in truth the Substance, we the Shadows."

So spake the mild Jeronymite, his griefs
Melting away within him like a dream
Ere he had ceased to gaze, perhaps to speak:
And I, grown old, but in a happier land,
Domestic Portrait! have to verse consign’d
In thy calm presence those heart-moving words;
Words that can soothe, more than they agitate;
Whose spirit, like the angel that went down
Into Bethesda's pool, with healing virtue
Informs the fountain in the human breast
Which by the visitation was disturb’d.

But why this stealing tear? Companion mute,
On thee I look, not sorrowing: fare thee well,
My Song's Inspirer, once again farewell!




FAIR Star of evening, Splendour of the West,
Star of my country! on th' horizon's brink
Thou hangest, stooping, as might seem, to sink
On England's bosom ; yet well pleased to rest,
Meanwhile, and be to her a glorious crest
Conspicuous to the Nations. Thon, I think,

Shouldst be my Country's emblem ; and shouldst wink, 6 The anecdote of the saying of the monk, in sight of Titian's picture, was told mo in this house hy Mr. Wilkie, and was, I believe, first communicated to the public in this poem, which I was composing at the time Southey heard the story from Miss Hutchinson, and transferred it to The Doctor. - Author's Notes, 1843.

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