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Since by dark wood, or hamlet far retired,
Spell-struck, with thee I loiter'd.—Sorceress !
I cannot burst thy bonds !—It is but lift
Thy blue eyes to that deep-bespangled vault,
Wreathe thy enchanted tresses round thine arm,
And mutter some obscure and charmed rhyme,
And I could follow thee, on thy night's work,
Up to the regions of thrice-chasten'd fire,
Or in the caverns of the ocean-flood,
Thrid the light mazes of thy volant foot.
Yet other duties call me, and mine ear
Must turn away from the high minstrelsy
Of thy soul-trancing harp, unwillingly
Must turn away; there are severer strains
(And surely they are sweet as ever smote
The ear of spirit, from this mortal coil
Released and disembodied, there are strains,
Forbid to all, save those whom solemn thought,
Through the probation of revolving years,
And mighty converse with the spirit of truth,
Have purged and purified.—To these my soul
Aspireth; and to this sublimer end
I gird myself, and climb the toilsome steep
With patient expectation.--Yea, sometimes
Foretaste of bliss rewards me; and sometimes
Spirits unseen upon my footsteps wait, .
And minister strange music, which doth seem
Now near, now distant, now on high, now low,
Then swelling from all sides, with bliss complete
And full fruition filling all the soul.
Surely such ministry, though rare, may soothe
The steep ascent, and cheat the lassitude
Of toil; and but that my fond heart
Reverts to day-dreams of the summer gone;
When by clear fountain, or embower'd brake,
I lay a listless muser, prizing, far
Above all other lore, the poet's theme;
But for such recollections, I could brace
My stubborn spirit for the arduous path
Of science unregretting; eye afar
Philosophy upon her steepest height,
And with bold step, and resolute attempt,
Pursue her to the innermost recess,
Where throned in light she sits, the Queen of Truth.
I HAVE a wish, and
That wish lies buried;
To keep it there's a foolish part,
For, oh! it must not be,
It must not, must not be.
Why, my fond heart, why beat'st thou so ?
The dream is fair to see-
But, did the lovely flatterer go;
It must not, must not be,
Oh! no, it must not be.
'Tis well this tear in secret falls,
This weakness suits not me;
I know where sterner duty calls—
It must not, cannot be,
Oh! no, it cannot be.
ONCE more his beagles wake the slumb'ring morn,
And the high woodland echoes to his horn,
As on the mountain cliff the hunter band
Chase the fleet chamois o'er the unknown land;
Or sadly silent, from some jutting steep,
He throws his line into the gulfy deep,
Where, in the wilderness grotesque and drear,
The loud Arve stuns the eve's reposing ear;
Or, if his lost domestic joys arise,
Once more the prattler its endearments tries-
It lisps, “My father!” and as newly prest
Its close embraces meet his lonely breast.
His long-lost partner, too, at length restored,
Leans on his arm, and decks the social board.
Yet still, mysterious on his fever'd brain
The deep impressions of his woes remain; [pale ?
He thinks she weeps.—“ And why, my love, so
What hidden grief could o'er thy peace prevail,
Or is it fancy—yet thou dost but * *."
And then he weeps, and weeps, he knows not why.
DREAR winter! who dost knock
So loud and angry on my cottage roof,
In the loud night-storm wrapt, while drifting snows
The cheerless waste invest, and cold, and wide,
Seen by the flitting star, the landscape gleams;
With no unholy awe I hear thy voice,
As by my dying embers, safely housed,
I, in deep silence, muse. Though I am lone,
And my low chimney owns no cheering voice
Of friendly converse ; yet not comfortless
Is my long evening, nor devoid of thoughts
To cheat the silent hours upon their way.
There are, who in this dark and fearful night,
Houseless, and cold of heart, are forced to bide
These beating snows, and keen relentless winds-
Wayfaring men, or wanderers whom no home
Awaits, nor rest from travel, save the inn
Where all the journiers of mortal life
Lie down at last to sleep. Yet some there be
Who merit not to suffer.-Infancy,
And sinew-shrinking age, are not exempt
From penury's severest, deadliest gripe.
Oh! it doth chill the eddying heart's blood to see
The guileless cheek of infancy turn'd blue
With the keen cold.-Lo, where the baby hangs
On his wan parent's hand; his shiv'ring skin
Half bare, and opening to the biting gale.
Poor shiverer, to his mother he upturns
A meaning look in silence! then he casts
Askance, upon the howling waste before,
A mournful glance upon the forward way-
But all lies dreary, and cold as hope
In his forsaken breast.
Behold the shepherd boy, who homeward tends, Finish'd his daily labor.-O'er the path, Deep overhung with herbage, does he stroll With pace irregular: by fits he runs, Then sudden stops with vacant countenance, And picks the pungent herb, or on the stile Listlessly sits and twines the reedy whip, And carols blithe his short and simple song. Thrice happy idler!-thou hast never known Refinement's piercing pang; thy joys are small, Yet are they unalloy'd with bitter thought And after misery.-As I behold Thy placid, artless countenance, I feel Strange envy of thy state, and fain would change These short, uncommon hours of keener bliss For thy long day of equal happiness.
Heaven grant no after trials may imprint Trouble's deep wrinkle on thine open face, [tread And cloud thy generous features.—May'st thou In the calm paths through which thy fathers trod, To their late graves of honorable rest : So will thy lot be happy. So the hour Of death come clad in loveliness and joy; And as thou lay'st down thy blanched head Beneath the narrow mound, affection's hand Will bend the osier o'er thy peaceful grave, And bid the lily blossom on thy turf. But, oh! may Heaven avert from thee the curse Of mad fanaticism: away, away!Let not the restless monster dare pollute The calm abodes of rural innocence !