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No trace of pain or languor could abide
That change age on thy brow was smoothed, thy cold
Wan cheek at once was privileged to unfold
A loveliness to living youth denied.
Oh! if within me hope should e'er decline,
The lamp of faith, lost friend! too faintly burn ;
Then may that heaven-revealing smile of thine,
The bright assurance, visibly return:
And let my spirit in that power divine
Rejoice, as, through that power, it ceased to mourn.
"IT IS A BEAUTEOUS EVENING, CALM AND FREE"
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder everlastingly.
Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
And worshipp'st at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
"THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US; LATE AND SOON"
THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon ;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn ;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
TO THE MEMORY OF RAISLEY CALVERT
CALVERT! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem,
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where'er I liked; and finally array
My temples with the muse's diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth;
If there be aught of pure, or good, or great,
In my past verse; or shall be, in the lays
Of higher mood, which now I meditate ;—
It gladdens me, O worthy, short-lived, youth!
To think how much of this will be thy praise.
"SCORN NOT THE SONNET. CRITIC, YOU HAVE FROWNED"
SCORN not the sonnet. Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
With it Camöens soothed an exile's grief;
The sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains, alas, too few!
HIGH is our calling, friend! creative Art
(Whether the instrument of words she use,
Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues),
Demands the service of a mind and heart,
Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest part,
Heroically fashioned; to infuse
Faith in the whispers of the lonely muse,
While the whole world seems adverse to desert.
And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she may,
Through long-lived pressure of obscure distress,
Still to be strenuous for the bright reward,
And in the soul admit of no decay,
Brook no continuance of weak-mindedness.
Great is the glory, for the strife is hard!
COMPOSED AFTER A JOURNEY ACROSS THE HAMBLETON HILLS, YORKSHIRE
DARK and more dark the shades of evening fell;
The wished-for point was reached; but late the hour,
And little could be gained from all that dower
Of prospect, whereof many thousands tell.
Yet did the glowing west with marvellous power
Salute us; there stood Indian citadel.
Temple of Greece, and minster with its tower
Substantially expressed, a place for bell
Or clock to toll from! Many a tempting isle,
With groves that never were imagined, lay
'Mid seas how steadfast! objects all for the eye
Of silent rapture; but we felt the while
We should forget them; they are of the sky,
And from our earthly memory fade away.
LADY! the songs of spring were in the grove
While I was shaping beds for winter flowers;
While I was planting green unfading bowers,
And shrubs, to hang upon the warm alcove,
And sheltering wall; and still, as fancy wove
The dream, to time and nature's blended powers
I gave this paradise for winter hours,
A labyrinth, lady! which your feet shall rove.
Yes! when the sun of life more feebly shines,
Becoming thoughts, I trust, of solemn gloom
Or of high gladness you shall hither bring;
And these perennial bowers and murmuring pines
Be gracious as the music and the bloom
And all the mighty ravishment of spring.
"THE STARS ARE MANSIONS BUILT BY NATURE'S HAND"
THE stars are mansions built by Nature's hand,
And, haply, there the spirits of the blest
Dwell, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;
Huge ocean shows, within his yellow strand,
A habitation marvellously planned,
For life to occupy in love and rest;
All that we see is dome, or vault, or nest,
Or fortress, reared at Nature's sage command.
Glad thought for every season! but the Spring
Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart,
'Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring
And while the youthful year's prolific art
Of bud, leaf, blade, and flower was fashioning
Abodes where self-disturbance hath no part.
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE,
SEPTEMBER 3, 1802
EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty :
This city now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
OXFORD, MAY 30, 1820
YE sacred nurseries of blooming youth!
In whose collegiate shelter England's flowers
Expand, enjoying through their vernal hours.
The air of liberty, the light of truth;