Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thou a seraph art to go
All undaunted to and fro
Where the fiercest ardours glow. . .

[blocks in formation]

I DREAM'D that, as I wander'd by the way,

Bare Winter suddenly was changed to Spring, And gentle odours led my steps astray,

Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay

Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling Its green arms round the bosom of the stream, But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.

II

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,

Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth, The constellated flower that never sets ;

Faint oxslips ; tender bluebells, at whose birth
The sod scarce heaved ; and that tall flower that wets-

Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth-
Its mother's face with Heaven's collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.

Arcturi] northern stars.
that tall flower] the 'Crown Imperial'(?).

III

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,

Green cowbind and the moonlight-colour'd may, And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine

Was the bright dew, yet drain'd not by the day; And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,

With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray ; And flowers azure, black, and streak'd with gold, Fairer than

any
waken'd

eyes

behold.

IV

And nearer to the river's trembling edge
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank'd with

white,
And starry river-buds among the sedge,

And floating water-lilies, broad and bright, Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge

With moonlight beams of their own watery light; And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green As scothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

V

Methought that of these visionary flowers

I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
That the same hues which in their natural bowers

Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Kept these imprison'd children of the Hours
Within

my

hand—and then, elate and gay, I hasten'd to the spot whence I had come, That I might there present it!-Oh, to whom ?

Shelley.

eglantine) sweet-briar.

cowbind] Bryony.

[blocks in formation]

HELEN, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicéan barks of

yore
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The

weary way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,

Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home

To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche

How statue-like I see thee stand,

The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which

Are Holy Land!

Poe.

II3

THERE be none of Beauty's daughters

With a magic like thee ;
And like music on the waters

Is thy sweet voice to me :
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull’d winds seem dreaming.

And the midnight moon is weaving

Her bright chain o'er the deep ;
Whose breast is gently heaving,

As an infant's asleep :

So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

Byron.

I14

The Solitary Reaper
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself ;
Stop here, or gently pass !
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen ! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary

bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands :
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings ?-
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago :
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day ?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again ?

Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending ;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;
I listen'd, motionless and still ;
And, when I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

Wordsworth, 1804.

115

Ferry Hinksey
BEYOND the ferry water
That fast and silent flow'd,
She turn'd, she gazed a moment,
Then took her onward road

Between the winding willows
To a city white with spires :
It seem'd a path of pilgrims
To the home of earth's desires.

Blue shade of golden branches
Spread for her journeying,
Till he that linger'd lost her
Among the leaves of Spring.

Laurence Binyon.

116

The Wayfarer KEEN, fitful gusts are whisp'ring here and there

Among the bushes, half leafless and dry;

The stars look very cold about the sky, And I have many miles on foot to fare.

I

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »