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In phrase that now with echoes soft
Haunted her lonely cell;
She heard th' ancestral stream;
Forgotten like a dream!
While I have lodged in this rough hold,
From social life estranged;
High Heaven is my defence;
For injured Innocence.
From Moscow to the Wilderness
It was my choice to come,
Lest virtue should be harbourless,
And honour want a home;
To end life here like this poor deer,
Or a lamb on a green hill.” At speed a wounded deer, Bounding through branches interlaced, “Are you the Maid,” the Stranger cried, And where the wood was clear.
“From Gallic parents sprung,
Whose vanishing was rumour'd wide, The fainting creature took the marsh,
Sad theme for every tongue ? And toward the Island fled,
Who foil'd an Emperor's eager quest? While plovers scream'd with tumult harsh
You, Lady, forced to wear Above his antler'd head:
These rude habiliments, and rest This, Ina saw; and, pale with fear,
Your head in this dark lair !" Shrunk to her citadel; The desperate deer rush'd on, and near But wonder, pity, soon were quell'd; The tangled covert fell.
And in her face and mien
The soul's pure brightness he beheld Across the marsh, the game in view, Without a veil between: The Hunter follow'd fast,
He loved, he hoped, -a holy flame Nor paused, till o'er the stag he blew
Kindled 'mid rapturous tears; A death-proclaiming blast;
The passion of a moment came
As on the wings of years.
Exclaim'd he; “righteous Heaven,
Preparing your deliverance, From your deportment, Sir, I deem
To me the charge hath given. That you have worn a sword,
The Czar full oft in words and deeds And will not hold in light esteem
Is stormy and self-will'd; A suffering woman's word:
But, when the Lady Catherine 7 pleads, There is my covert, there perchance
His violence is still'd.
“Leave open to my wish the course, Not even to you reveal'd.
And I to her will go;
From that humane and heavenly source, Tears might be shed, and I might pray, Good, only good, can flow.”Crouching and terrified,
Faint sanction given, the Cavalier
Though question follow'd question, dcar But I will not defile with dust
To the Maiden's filial heart. The knee that bends to adore
Light was his step,-his hopes, more light, The God in Heaven: attend, be just; This ask I, and no more.
Kept pace with his desires;
7 This was the famous lally then bear. I speak not of the Winter's cold,
ing that name as the acknowledged wito For Summer's heat exchanged,
of Peter the Great.
And the fifth morning gave him sight But, seeing no relief, at last
He ventured to reply.
“Ah!” said the Briar, “blame me not; The Emperor sent a pledge as strong
Why should we dwell in strife? As sovereign power could give.
We who in this sequester'd spot
Once lived a happy life!
What pleasure thro’my veins you spread! And joy's excess produced a fear
The Summer long, from day to day, Of something void and vain;
My leaves you freshen'd and bedew'd; 'Twas when the Parents, who had mourn'a Nor was it common gratitude So long the lost as dead,
That did your cares repay.
When Spring came on with bud and bell,
Among these rocks did I Soon gratitude gave way to love
Before you hang my wreaths, to tell Within the Maiden's breast:
That gentle days were nigh: Deliver'd and Deliverer move
And in the sultry summer hours In bridal garments drest;
I shelter'd you with leaves and flowers; Meek Catherine had her own reward; And in my leaves — now shed and gone The Czar bestow'd a dower;
The linnet lodged, and for us two And universal Moscow shared
Chanted his pretty songs, when you The triumph of that hour.
Had little yoice or none. Flowers strew'd the ground; the nuptial But now proud thoughts are in your
Was held with costly state; (feast What grief is mine you see: [breast; And there, 'mid many a noble guest, Ah, would you think, even yet how blest The Foster-parents sate:
Together we might be! Encouraged by th' imperial eye,
Though of both leaf and flower bereft, They shrank not into shade;
Some ornaments to me are left,Great was their bliss, the honour high Rich store of scarlet hips is mine, To them and nature paid! (1830. With which I, in my humble way,
Would deck you many a winter day,
A happy Eglantine!”
What more he said I cannot tell:
The Torrent down the rocky dell “BEGONE, thou fond presumptuous Elf," Came thundering loud and fast; Exclaim'd an angry Voice,
I listen'd, nor aught else could hear; “Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self The Briar quaked, -and much I fear Between me and my choice!”
Those accents were his last. (1800. A small Cascade fresh swoln with snows Thus threaten'd a poor Briar-rose, That, all bespatter'd with his foam,
THE OAK AND THE BROOM. And dancing high and dancing low,
His simple truths did Andrew glean
Beside the babbling rills; “Dost thou presume my course to block? A careful student he had been of off! or, puny Thing,
Among the woods and hills. I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock One Winter's night, when thro' the trees To which thy fibres cling."
The wind was roaring, on his knees The Flood was tyrannous and strong; His youngest born did Andrew hold; The patient Briar suffer'd long,
And, while the rest, a ruddy quire, Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Were seated round their blazing fire, Hoping the danger would be past; This Tale the Shepherd told.
"I saw a crag, a lofty stone
Disasters, do the best we can,
Will reach both great and small;
Who is not wise at all.
Spread here his careless blossoms, hero His neighbour thus address'd:
Attain'd a good old age.
*Eight weary weeks, thro' rock and clay, Even such as his may be my lot.
In truth a favour'd plant?
That I am cover'd o'er with flowers, Last night I heard a crash, — 'tis true,
And, when the Frost is in the sky,
My branches are so fresh and gay
This Plant can never die.
You are preparing, as before,
The butterfly, all green and gold,
To me hath often flown,
Wings lovely as his own:
It is a joy to me.'
If breeze or bird to this rough steep Her voice was blithe, her heart was light Your kind's first seed did bear,
The Broom might have pursued The breeze had better been asleep, Her speech, until the stars of night The bird caught in a snare:
Their journey had renew'd; For you and your green twigs decoy But in the branches of the oak The little witless shepherd-boy
Two ravens now began to croak To come and slumber in your bower; Their nuptial song, a gladsome air; And, trust me, on some sultry noon, And to her own green bower the breeze Both you and he, Heaven knows how soon! That instant brought two stripling bees, Will perish in one hour.
To rest or murmur there.
TO THE DAISY.
If stately passions in me burn,
And one chance look to Thee should turn, In youth from rock to rock I went,
I drink out of an humbler urn From hill to hill in discontent
A lowlier pleasure; Of pleasure high and turbulent,
The homely sympathy that heeds Most pleased when most uneasy;
The common life, our nature breeds; But now my own delights I make,
A wisdom fitted to the needs
Of hearts at leisure.
Fresh-smitten by the morning ray,
When thou art up, alert and gay, Thee Winter in the garland wears
Then, cheerful Flower, my spirits play That thinly decks his few grey hairs; With kindred gladness: Spring parts the clouds with softest airs, And when, at dusk, by dews opprest That she may sun thee;
Thou sink'st, the image of thy rest
Of careful sadness.
And all day long I number yet,
All seasons through, another debt, In shoals and bands, a morrice train,
Which I, whenever thou art met, Thou greet'st the traveller in the lane,
To thee am owing; Pleased at his greeting thee again;
An instinct call it, a blind sense; Yet nothing daunted
A happy, genial influence, Nor grieved if thou be set at nought:
Coming one knows not how nor whence, And oft alone in nooks remote
Nor whither going. We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
Child of the Year, that round dost run When such are wanted.
Thy pleasant course,- when day's begun
As ready to salute the Sun Be violets in their secret mews
As lark or leveret, The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose;
Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain; Proud be the rose, with rains and dews
Nor be less dear to future men Her head impearling:
Than in old time; – thou not in vain Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim,
Art Nature's favourite.
(1802. Yet hast not gone without thy fame; Thou art indeed by many a claim The Poet's darling.
TO THE SAME FLOWER. If to a rock from rains he fly,
With little here to do or see Or, some bright day of April sky,
Of things that in the great world be, Imprison'd by hot sunshine lie
Daisy, again I talk to thee; Near the green holly,
For thou art worthy, And wearily at length should fare;
Thon unassuming common-place He needs but look about, and there
Of Nature, with that homely face, Thou art,- a friend at hand, to scare
And yet with something of a grace, His melancholy.
Which Love makes for thee.
A hundred times, by rock or bower,
Or stray invention.
Oft on the dappled turf at case
Thoughts of thy raising:
While I am gazing.
Bright Flower ! for by that name at last,
Poets, vain men in their mood,
Sweet silent creature,
TO THE SMALL CELANDINE.
PANSIES, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
Comfort have thon of thy merit,
Ill befall the yellow flowers,
8 The flower here celebrated is the ting itself up and opening out according