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Born on the stage-through every shifting scene,
SLEEP on, and dream of heaven a while.
Ah, now soft blushes tinge her cheeks,
She starts, she trembles, and she weeps!
Sleep on secure! Above control,
Go-you may call it madness, folly;
O, if you knew the pensive pleasure
Her dark and eloquent eyes, mild, full of fire,
"Twas heaven to look upon; and her sweet voice, As tunable as harp of many strings,
At once spoke joy and sadness to my soul!
Dear is that valley to the murmuring bees;
CAGED in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake
In vain the nurse that rusted relic wears,
Oft have I heard a child, gay among flowers,
THE sailor sighs as sinks his native shore,
Ah! now each dear, domestic scene he knew,
True as the needle, homeward points his heart,
When morn first faintly draws her silver line,
Her gentle spirit, lightly hovering o'er,
THERE is a streamlet issuing from a rock. The village girls, singing wild madrigals, Dip their white vestments in its waters clear, And hang them to the sun. There first I saw And clasps the maid he singled from the world.
Carved is her name in many a spicy grove,
But lo, at last he comes with crowded sail!
-'Tis she, 'tis she herself! she waves her hand!
TO AN OLD OAK.
Immota manet; multosque nepotes,
ROUND thee, alas, no shadows move!
There once the steel-clad knight reclined,
Then culture came, and days serene;
Father of many a forest deep,
Thy singed top and branches bare
TO TWO SISTERS.*
WELL may you sit within, and, fond of grief,
ON A TEAR.
O! THAT the chymist's magic art
On the death of a younger sister.
FRAGMENT OF A STATUE OF HERCULES, COMMONLY CALLED THE TORSO.
AND dost thou still, thou mass of breathing stone,
What though the spirits of the north, that swept
АH! little thought she, when, with mild delight, By many a torrent's shining track she flew, When mountain-glens and caverns full of night O'er her young mind divine enchantment threw,
That in her veins a secret horror slept,
Yet round her couch indulgent fancy drew
She moved her lips to bless thee, and expired.
And now to thee she comes; still, still the same
To thee, how changed! comes as she ever came
WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER. THERE, in that bed so closely curtain'd round, Worn to a shade, and wan with slow decay, A father sleeps! O hush'd be every sound! Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away! He stirs--yet still he sleeps. May heavenly dreams Long o'er his smooth and settled pillow rise; Till through the shutter'd pane the morning streams And on the hearth the glimmering rushlight dies.
*In the gardens of the Vatican, where it was placed by Julius II., it was long the favourite study of those great men to whom we owe the revival of the arts, Michael Angelo, Raphael, and the Carracci.
+ Once in the possession of Praxiteles, if we may believe an ancient epigram on the Guidian Venus.-Analecta Vet. Poetarum, III. 200.
On the death of her sister.
THE BOY OF EGREMOND.*
"SAY, what remains when hope is fled ?" She answer'd," Endless weeping!" For in the herdsman's eye she read Who in his shroud lay sleeping.
At Embsay rung the matin-bell,
As through the mist he wing'd his way,
There now the matin-bell is rung; The "Miserere!" duly sung; And holy men in cowl and hood Are wandering up and down the wood. But what avail they? Ruthless lord, Thou didst not shudder when the sword Here on the young its fury spent, The helpless and the innocent. Sit now and answer groan for groan, The child before thee is thy own. And she who wildly wanders there The mother in her long despair, Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping, Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping; Of those who would not be consoled When red with blood the river roll'd.
TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE ON thee, blest youth, a father's hand confers The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew. Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers; Thine be the joys to firm attachment due. As on she moves with hesitating grace, She wins assurance from his soothing voice; And, with a look the pencil could not trace, Smiles through her blushes, and confirms the choice.
*In the twelfth century William Fitz-Duncan laid waste the valleys of Craven with fire and sword; and was afterward established there by his uncle, David, King of Scotland.
He was the last of the race; his son, commonly called the Boy of Egremond, dying before him in the manner here related; when a priory was removed from Embsay to Bolton, that it might be as near as possible to the place where the accident happened. That place is still known by the name of the Strid; and the mother's answer, as given in the first stanza, is to this day often repeated in Wharfedale.-See Whittaker's Hist. of Craven.
Spare the fine tremors of her feeling frame!
At each response the sacred rite requires, From her full bosom bursts th' unbidden sigh. A strange, mysterious awe the scene inspires; And on her lips the trembling accents die.
O'er her fair face what wild emotions play!
Ah soon, thine own confest, ecstatic thought!
THE ALPS AT DAYBREAK. THE Sunbeams streak the azure skies, And line with light the mountain's brow: With hounds and horns the hunters rise, And chase the roe-buck through the snow. From rock to rock, with giant bound, High on their iron poles they pass; Mute, lest the air, convulsed by sound, Rend from above a frozen mass."
The goats wind slow their wonted way, Up craggy steeps and ridges rude; Mark'd by the wild wolf for his prey, From desert cave or hanging wood.
And while the torrent thunders loud,
IMITATION OF AN ITALIAN SONNET.
But now as rage the god appears!
As through the hedge-row shade the violet steals,
* There are passes in the Alps, where the guides tell you to move on with speed, and say nothing, lest the agitation of the air should loosen the snows above.
YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF LADY ****.
AH, why with tell-tale tongue reveal* What most her blushes would conceal? Why lift that modest veil to trace The seraph sweetness of her face? Some fairer, better sport prefer; And feel for us, if not for her.
For this presumption, soon or late, Know thine shall be a kindred fate. Another shall in vengeance riseSing Harriet's cheeks, and Harriet's eyes; And, echoing back her wood-notes wild, -Trace all the mother in the child!
AN EPITAPH† ON A ROBIN-REDBREAST.
TREAD lightly here; for here, 'tis said,
TO THE GNAT.
WHEN by the greenwood side, at summer eve, Poetic visions charm my closing eye;
And fairy scenes, that fancy loves to weave,
MINE be a cot beside the hill,
A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear; A willowy brook, that turns a mill, With many a fall, shall linger near.
Alluding to some verses which she had written on an elder sister.
+ Inscribed on an urn in the flower-garden at Hafod.
The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch Shall twitter from her clay-built nest; Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch, And share my meal, a welcome guest.
Around my ivied porch shall spring
The village church, among the trees, Where first our marriage vows were given, With merry peals shall swell the breeze, And point with taper spire to heaven.
WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT, 1786. WHILE through the broken pane the tempest sighs, And my step falters on the faithless floor, Shades of departed joys around me rise, With many a face that smiles on me no more; With many a voice that thrills of transport gave, Now silent as the grass that tufts their grave!
AN ITALIAN SONG.
DEAR is my little native vale,
The ring-dove builds and murmurs there; Close by my cot she tells her tale
To every passing villager.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree, And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange groves and myrtle bowers,
SHEPHERD, or huntsman, or worn mariner,
See an anecdote related by Pausanias, iii. 20.
That birds may come and drink upon his grave, Making it holy !*
WRITTEN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND, SEPTEMBER 2, 1812.
BLUE was the loch, the clouds were gone, Ben Lomond in his glory shone, When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze Bore me from thy silver sands, Thy kirk-yard wall among the trees, Where, gray with age, the dial stands ; That dial so well known to me! -Though many a shadow it had shed, Beloved sister, since with thee
The legend on the stone was read.
Tarbat, thy shore I climb'd at last, And, thy shady region pass'd, Upon another shore I stood, And look'd upon another flood ;§ Great ocean's self! ('Tis he who fills That vast and awful depth of hills ;) Where many an elf was playing round, Who treads unshod his classic ground; And speaks, his native rocks among, As Fingal spoke, and Ossian sung.
Night fell; and dark and darker grew That narrow sea, that narrow sky, As o'er the glimmering waves we flew; The sea-bird rustling, wailing by. And now the grampus, half descried, Black and huge above the tide, The cliffs and promontories there, Front to front, and broad and bare; Each beyond each, with giant feet Advancing as in haste to meet; The shatter'd fortress, whence the Dane Blew his shrill blast, nor rush'd in vain, Tyrant of the drear domain: All into midnight shadow sweep, When day springs upward from the deep! Kindling the waters in its flight,
The prow wakes splendour; and the oar,
Glad sign, and sure! for now we hail Thy flowers, Glenfinnart, in the gale; And bright indeed the path should be That leads to friendship and to thee!
A Turkish superstition.
† A famous outlaw. Signifying, in the Erse language, an isthmus. § Loch Long.
|| A phenomenon described by many navigators.