Obrazy na stronie

That veiling strove to deck your charms divine,
Rich viands, and the pleasurable wine,
Were yours unearn'd by toil; nor could you see
The unenjoying toiler's misery.
And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell!
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure :
Whence learnt you that heroic measure ?

There crowd your finely-fibred frame,
All living faculties of bliss;
And Genius to your cradle came, -
His forehead wreathed with lambent flame,
And bending low, with godlike kiss
Breathed in a more celestial life;
But boasts not many a fair compeer
A heart as sensitive to joy and fear?
And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife,
Some few, to nobler being wrought,
Co-rivals in the nobler gift of thought.
Yet these delight to celebrate
Laurell'd War and plumy State;
Or in verse and music dress
Tales of rustic happiness—
Pernicious Tales! insidious Strains!
That steel the rich man's breast,
And mock the lot unblest, .
The sordid vices and the abject pains,
Which evermore must be
The doom of Ignorance and Penury"
But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell"
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
Where learnt you that heroic measure?

You were a Mother! That most holy name,
Which Heaven and Nature bless,
I may not vilely prostitute to those
Whose Infants owe them less
Than the poor Caterpillar owes
Its gaudy Parent Fly.
You were a Mother! at your bosom sed
The Babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye,
Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read,
Which you yourself created, Oh! delight!
A second time to be a Mother,
Without the Mother's bitter groans:
Another thought, and yet another,
By touch, or taste, by looks or tones
O'er the growing Sense to roll, -
The Mother of your infant's Soul!
The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides .
His chariot-planet round the goal of day,
All trembling gazes on the Eye of God,
A moment turn'd his awful face away;
And as he view'd you, from his aspect sweet
New influences in your being rose,
Blest Intuitions and Communions fleet
With living Nature, in her joys and woes!
Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see
The shrine of social Liberty!
O beautiful! O Nature's child"
"Twas thence you hail'd the Platform wild,

Where once the Austrian sell

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure! Thence leafrnt you that heroic measure.


TRANouillity thou better name Than all the family of Fame! • Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age To low intrigue, or factious rage; For oh! dear child of thoughtful Truth, To thee I gave my early youth, And left the bark, and blest the stedfast shore, Ere yet the Tempest rose and scared me with its roar.

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine, On him but seldom, power divine, Thy spirit rests: Satiety And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee, Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope And dire Remembrance interlope, To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind: The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind.

But me thy gentle hand will lead At morning through the accustom'd mead; And in the sultry summer's heat Will build me up a mossy seat; And when the gust of Autumn crowds And breaks the busy moonlight clouds, Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune, Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding Moon.

The feeling heart, the searching soul,
To thee I dedicate the whole ! -
And while within myself. I traco
The greatness of some future race,
Aloos with hermit-eye I scan
The present works of present man—

A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile,

Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile!



composed in 1796.

A MoUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep,
But a green mountain variously up-piled,
Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep,
Or color'd lichens with slow oozing weep;
Where cypress and the darker yew start wild;
And 'mid the summer torrent's gentle dash
Dance brighten'd the red clusters of the ash;
Beneath whose boughs, by those still sounds be-
guiled, - -
Calm Pensiveness might muse horself to sleep;
Till haply startled by some sleecy dam,
That rustling on the bushy clist above,
With melancholy bleat of anxious love,
Made meek inquiry for her wandering lamb;

Such agreen mountain't were most sweet to climb, E’en while the bosom ached with loneliness— How more than sweet, if some dear friend should bless The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime Now lead, now follow : the glad landscape round, Wide and more wide, increasing without bound !

O then 't were loveliest sympathy, to mark The berries of the half-uprooted ash Dripping and bright; and list the torrent's dash;Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark, Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock; In social silence now, and now to unlock The treasured heart; arm link'd in friendly arm, Save if the one, his muse's witching charm Muttering brow-bent, at unwatch'd distance lag; Till high o'erhead his beckoning friend appears, And from the forehead of the topmost crag Shouts eagerly: for haply there uprears That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs, Which latest shall detain the enamour'd sight Seen from below, when eve the valley dims, Tinged yellow with the rich departing light; And haply, basin'd in some unsuin'd cleft, A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears, Sleeps shelter'd there, scarce wrinkled by the gale! Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left, Stretch'd on the crag, and shadow'd by the pine, And bending o'er the clear delicious fount, Ah! dearest youth ! it were a lot divine To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, While west-winds fann'd our temples toil-bedev'd : Then downwards: slope, oft pausing, from the Indunt, To some lone mansion, in some woody dàle, Where smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss Gives this the Husband's, that the Brother's kiss'

Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore, The Hill of Knowledge I essay’d to trace; That verdurous hill with many a resting-place, And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour

To glad and fertilize the subject plains; That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod, And many a fancy-blest and holy sod,

Where Inspiration, his diviner strains Low murmuring, lay; and starting from the rocks Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age, And Bigotry's mad fire-invoking rage'

O meek retiring spirit! we will climb,
Cheering and cheerd, this lovely hill sublime;
And from the stirring world uplifted high
(Whose noises, faintly wafted on the wind,
To quiet musings shall attune the mind,
And oft the melancholy theme supply),
There, while the prospect through the gazing eye
Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul,
We’ll smile at wealth, and learn to smile at fame,
Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same,
As neighboring fountains image, each the whole:
Then, when the mind hath drunk its fill of truth,
We'll discipline the heart to pure delight,
Rekindling sober Joy's domestic flame.
They whom I love shall love thee. Honor'd youth!
Now may Heaven realize this vision bright!

LINES TO w. L. ESQ. while HE SANG A song To purch:LL's MUSIC.

WiiILE my young cheek retains its healthful hues,
And I have many friends who hold me dear;
L—! methinks, I would not often hear
Such melodies as thine, lest I should lose
All memory of the wrongs and sore distress,
For which my miserable brethren weep !
But should uncomforted misfortunes steep
My daily bread in tears and bitterness;
And if at death's dread moment I should lie
With no beloved face at my bed-side,
To fix the last glance of my closing eye,
Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel-guide,
Would make me pass the cup of anguish by,
Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died:


who abando NEd himself to AN INDole:NT AND CAUSELESS MELANCholy.

HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe,
O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear!
To plunder'd Want's half-shelter'd hovel go,
Go, and some hunger-bitten Infant hear
Moan haply in a dying Mother's ear:
Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood
O'er the rank church-yard with sere elm-leaves
Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part
Was slaughter'd, where o'er his uncoffin'd limbs
The flocking flesh-birds scream'd : Then, while thy
Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims,
Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind)
What Nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal!
O abject! is, to sickly dreams resign'd,
All effortless thou leave life's commonweal
A prey to Tyrants, Murderers of Mankind.


DEAR native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West:
How many various-fated years have past,
What happy, and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows gray,
And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes
Gleam'd through thy bright transparence On my
way, -
Visions ofoilo oft have ye beguiled
Lone manhood's cares, yet waking sondest sighs:
Ah! that once more I were a careless child:


composed on A Journey IIoMEwARD; THE AUTHoR having RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE or the birtth of A son, sh;preyiber 20, 1796. Opt o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll Which makes the present (while the flash doth last) Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past, Mix'd with such feelings, as perplex the soul Self-question'd in her sleep; and some have said” We lived, ere yet this robe of Flesh we wore. O my sweet baby! when I reach my door, If heavy looks should tell me thou art dead (As sometimes, through excess of hope, I fear), I think that I should struggle to believe Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere Sentenced for some more venial crime to grieve; Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick reprieve, While we wept idly o'er thy little bier'



Charles' my slow heart was only sad, when first
I scann'd that face of feeble infancy:
For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst
All I had been, and all my child might be?
But when I saw it on its Mother's arm,
And hanging at her bosom (she the while
Bent o'er its features with a tearful smile)
Then I was thrill'd and melted, and most warm
Impress'd a Father's kiss; and all beguiled
Of dark remembrance and presageful fear,
I seem'd to see an angel-form appear—
"T was even thine, beloved woman mild !
So for the Mother's sake the Child was dear,
And dearer was the Mother for the Child.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

She listen'd to the tale divine, And closer still the Babe she press'd ; And while she cried, the Babe is mine! The milk rush'd faster to her breast: Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn; Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born.

Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace, Poor, simple, and of low estate' That Strife should vanish, Battle cease, Q why should this thy soul elate Sweet Music's loudest note, the Poet's story, Did'st thou ne'er love to hear of Fame and Glory?

And is not War a youthful King, A stately Hero clad in mail? Beneath his footsteps laurels spring; Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail Their Friend, their Play-mate! and his bold bright eye Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

“Tell this in some more courtly scene, To maids and youths in robes of state' I am a woman poor and mean, And therefore is my Soul elate. War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, That from the aged Father tears his Child !

“A murderous fiend, by fiends adored, He kills the Sire and starves the Son; The Husband kills, and from her board Steals all his Widow's toil had won; Plunders God's world of beauty; rands away All safety from the Night, all comfort from the Day.

“Then wisely is my soul elate, That Strife should vanish, Battle cease: I'm poor and of a low estate; , The Mother of the Prince of Peace. Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn: Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born!”



If dead, we cease to be; if total gloom
Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare
As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom,
Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being ! If the Breath
Be Life itself, and not its task and tent,
If even a soul like Milton's can know death,
O Man! thou vessel, purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes!
Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finish'd vase,
Retreating slow, with meditative pause,
She form'd with restless hands unconsciously:
Blank accident! nothing's anomaly!
If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state,
Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy Hopes, thy Fears,
The counter-weights!—Thy Laughter and thy Tears
Mean but themselves, each o,to create,

And to repay the other! Why rejoices
Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good?
Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood,
Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
Image of image, Ghost of Ghostly Elf,
That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold!
Yet what and whence thy gain if thou withhold
These costless shadows of thy shadowy self?
Be sad be glad be neither! seek, or shun!
Thou hast no reason why | Thou canst have none:
Thy being's being is contradiction.



NEver, believe me,
Appear the Immortals,
Never alone: .

Scarce had I welcomed the Sorrow-beguiler,
Iacchus! but in came Boy Cupid the Smiler;
Lo! Phoebus the Glorious descends from his Throne!
They advance, they float in, the Olympians all!

With Divinities fills my

Terrestrial Hall !

How shall I yield you Due entertainment, - Celestial Quire 2 Me rather, bright guests! with your wings of upbuoyance Bear aloft to your homes, to your banquets of joyance, That the roofs of Olympus may echo my lyre: Ha! we mount! on their pinions they walt up my Soul! O give me the Nectar! ... • O fill me the Bowl! Give him the Nectar! Pour out for the Poet, Hebe' pour free Quicken his eyes with celestial dew, That Styx the detested no more he may view, And like one of us Gods may conceit him to be ' Thanks, Hebe' I quaff it! Io Pean, I cry! The Wine of the Immortals Forbids me to die!


IMITATED from one of ARENside's BLANK verse INSCRIPTIONs.

NEAR the lone pile with ivy overspread,
Fast by the rivulet's sleep-persuading sound,

Where “sleeps the moonlight” on von verdant bed—
O humbly press that consecrated ground !

For there does Edmund rest, the learned swain! And there his spirit most delights to rove:

Young Edmund ! famod for each harmonious strain, And the sore wounds of ill-requited love.

Like some tall tree that spreads its branches wide,
And loads the west-wind with its soft perfume,

His manhood blossom'd : till the faithless pride
Of fair Matilda sank him to the tomb.

But soon did righteous Heaven her guilt pursue 1
Where'er with wilder'd steps she wander'd pale,

Still Edmund's image rose to blast her view,
Still Edmund's voice accused her in each gale.

With keen regret, and conscious guilt's alarms, Amid the pomp of affluence she pined:

Nor all that lured her faith from Edmund's arms Could lull the wakeful horror of her mind.

Go, Traveller! tell the tale with sorrow fraught:
Some tearful maid, perchance, or blooming youth,

May hold it in remembrance; and be taught
That Riches cannot pay for Love or Truth.



[The following fragment is here published at the request of a poet of great and deserved celebrity, and, as far as the Author's own opinions are concerned, rather as a psychological curiosity, than on the ground of any supposed poetic merits.

In the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farm-house between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the cffects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's “Pilgrimage:"— “Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palnce to be built, and a stately garden thereunto ; and thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall.” The author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation, or consciousness of effort. On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink. and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision. yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast, but, alas: without the after restoration of the latter.

Then all the charm is broken—als that phantom-world so fair Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, And each misshapes the other. Stay awhile, Poor youth who scarcely darest lift up thine eyes– The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon The visions will return And Jo, he stays, And soon the fragments (lim of lovely forms Come trembling back, unite, and now once more The pool becomes a mirror.

Yet from the still surviving recollections in his mind, the Author has frequently purposed to finish for himself what had been originally, as it were, given to him. Saatpov advov age. but the to-morrow is yet to come. As a contrast to this vision, I have annexed a fragment of a very different character, describing with equal fidelity the

dream of pain and disease.--Note to the first Edition, 1816.)

IN Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree;
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man.

Down to a sunless sca.

« PoprzedniaDalej »