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So I straightway began to pluck a posy, How silent comes the water round that bend!
Slowly across the chequer'd shadows pass. Ah, sure no tasteful nook could be without Why you might read two sonnets, ere they them!
reach And let a lush laburnum oversweep them, To where the hurrying freshnesses aye preach And let long grass grow round the roots, to A natural sermon o'er their pebbly beds; keep them
Where swarms of minnows show their little Moist, cool, and green ; and shade the violets, heads, That they may bind the moss in leafy nets. Staying their wavy bodies 'gainst the streams,
To taste the luxury of sunny beams A filbert-hedge with wild brier overtwined, Tempered with coolness. How they ever And clumps of woodbine, taking the soft wrestle wind
With their own sweet delight, and ever Upon their summer thrones; there too should nestle be
Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand ! The frequent chequer of a youngling tree, If you but scantily hold out the hand, That with a score of light green brethren That very instant not one will remain; shoots
But turn your eye, and they are there again. From the quaint mossiness of aged roots, Round which is heard a spring-head of clear
The ripples seem right glad to reach those waters, Babbling so wildly of its lovely daughters,
cresses, The spreading blue-bells: it may haply mourn
And cool themselves among the emerald That such fair clusters should be rudely torn
tresses; From their fresh beds, and, scattered thought
The while they cool themselves, they freshlessly
And moisture, that the bowery green may live: By infant hands, left on the path to die.
So keeping up an interchange of favors, Open afresh your round of starry folds,
Like good men in the truth of their beha
viors. Ye ardent marigolds ! Dry up the moisture from your golden lids,
Sometimes goldfinches one by one will drop
From low-hung branches; little space they For great Apollo bids
stop, That in these days your praises should be
But sip, and twitter, and their feathers sleek; sung On many harps, which he has lately strung : Or perhaps
, to show their black and golden
Then off at once, as in a wanton freak: And when again your dewiness he kisses,
wings, Tell him, I have you in my world of blisses : So, haply, when I rove in some far vale,
Pausing upon their yellow flutterings. Ilis mighty voice may come upon the gale.
Were I in such a place, I sure should pray Here are sweet peas, on tiptoe for a flight, That nought less sweet might call my thoughts With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white, away, And taper fingers catching at all things, Than the soft rustle of a maiden's gown Tc bind them all about with tiny rings. Fanning away the dandelion's down; Linger awhile upon some bending planks Than the light music of her nimble toes That lean against a streamlet's rushy banks, Patting against the sorrel as she goes. And watch intently Nature's gentle doings: How she would start and blush, thus to be They will be found softer than ring-doves' caught cooings.
Playing in all her innocence of thought!
NATURE AND THE POETS.
O let me lead her gently o'er the brook, So that we feel uplifted from the world, Watch her half-smiling lips and downward | Walking upon the white clouds wreathed and look;
curled. O let me for one moment touch her wrist; Let me one moment to her breathing list; So felt he who first told how Psyche went And as she leaves me, may she often turn On the smooth wind to realms of wonder. Her fair eyes looking through her locks au
What Psyche felt, and Love, when their full
lips What next? a tuft of evening primroses, First touch’d; what amorous and fondling O'er which the mind may hover till it dozes; nips O'er which it well might take a pleasant They gave each other's cheeks—with all sleep,
their sighs, But that 'tis ever startled by the leap And how they kist each other's tremulous Of buds into ripe flowers; or by the flitting eyes ; Of divers moths, that aye their rest are quit- The silver lamp—the ravishment—the wonting;
derOr by the moon lifting her silver rim The darkness-loneliness—the fearful thunAbove a cloud, and with a gradual swim Coming into the blue with all her light. Their woes gone by, and both to heaven up
flown, O Maker of sweet poets ! dear delight To bow for gratitude before Jove's throne. Of this fair world and all its gentle livers ; Spangler of clouds, halo of crystal rivers, So did he feel, who pulled the boughs aside, Mingler with leaves, and dew, and tumbling That we might look into a forest wide, streams;
To catch a glimpse of Fauns, and Dryades Closer of lovely eyes to lovely dreams; Coming with softest rustle through the trees; Lover of loneliness, and wandering,
And garlands woven of flowers wild, and Of upcast eye, and tender pondering!
Upheld on ivory wrists, or sporting feet: Thee must I praise above all other glories Telling us how fair trembling Syrinx fled That smile us on to tell delightful stories. Arcadian Pan, with such a fearful dread. For what has made the sage or poet write, Poor Nymph,-poor Pan,—how did he weep But the fair paradise of Nature's light?
to find In the calm grandeur of a sober line, Nought but a lovely sighing of the wind We see the waving of the mountain pine ; Along the reedy stream! a half-heard strain, And when a tale is beautifully staid, Full of sweet desolation-balmy pain. We feel the safety of a hawthorn glade ; When it is moving on luxurious wings, What first inspired a bard of old to sing The soul is lost in pleasant smotherings; Narcissus pining o'er the untainted spring ? Fair dewy roses brush against our faces, In some delicious ramble he had found And flowering laurels spring from diamond A little space, with boughs all woven round; vases ;
And in the midst of all, a clearer pool O'erhead we see the jasmine and sweet- Than e'er reflected in its pleasant cool brier,
The blue sky here and there serenely peepAnd bloomy grapes laughing from green ing, attire;
Through tendril wreaths fantastically creepWhile at our feet, the voice of crystal bub ing. bles
And on the bank a lonely flower he spied, Charms us at once away from all our trou- A meek and forlorn flower, with nought of bles,
Drooping its beauty o'er the watery clear- | As thou exceedest all things in thy shine, ness,
So every tale does this sweet tale of thine. To woo its own sad image into nearness. O for three words of honey, that I might Deaf to light Zephyrus it would not move; Tell but one wonder of thy bridal night! But still would seem to droop, to pine, to love.
Where distant ships do seem to show their So while the poet stood in this sweet spot,
keels, Some fainter gleamings o'er his fancy shot; Phæbus awhile delayed his mighty wheels, Nor was it long ere he had told the tale
And turned to smile upon thy bashful eyes, Of young Narcissus, and sad Echo's bale.
Ere he his unseen pomp would solemnize.
The evening weather was so bright, and clear, Where had he been, from whose warm That men of health were of unusual cheer, head outflew
Stepping like Homer at the trumpet's cal That sweetest of all songs, that ever knew Or young Apollo on the pedestal ; That aye refreshing, pure deliciousness, And lovely women were as fair and warm, Coming ever to bless
As Venus looking sideways in alarm. The wanderer by moonlight—to him bringing
The breezes were ethereal, and pure, Shapes from the invisible world, unearthly And crept through half-closed lattices to cure singing
The languid sick: it cool'd their fever'd sleep, From out the middle air, from flowery nests, and soothed them into slumbers full and And from the pillowy silkiness that rests
deep. Full in the speculation of the stars ?
Soon they awoke clear-eyed; nor burn'd Ah! surely he had burst our mortal bars;
with thirsting, Into some wondrous region he had gone,
Nor with hot fingers, nor with temples burstTo search for thee, divine Endymion!
And springing up, they met the wondering He was a Poet, sure a lover too,
sight Who stood on Latmos' top, what time there of their dear friends, nigh foolish with deblew
light, Soft breezes from the myrtle vale below; Who feel their arms and breasts, and kiss, And brought, in faintness solemn, sweet, and
and stare, slow,
And on their placid foreheads part the hair. A hymn from Dian's temple; while upswell- Young men and maidens at each other gazed, ing,
With hands held back, and motionless, The incense went to her own starry dwell amazed ing.
To see the brightness in each other's eyes; But though her face was clear as infants' And so they stood, fill'd with a sweet sureyes,
prise, Though she stood smiling o'er the sacrifice, Until their tongues were loosed in poesy. The poet wept at her so piteous fate, Therefore no lover did of anguish die; Wept that such beauty should be desolate. But the soft numbers, in that moment spoken, So in fine wrath some golden sounds he Made silken ties that never may be broken.
won, And gave meek Cynthia her Endymion, .
Cynthia! I cannot tell the greater blisses
That follow'd thine, and thy dear shepherd's Queen of the wide air; thou most lovely kisses : queen
Was there a poet born ?-But now no moreOf all the brightness that mine eyes have My wandering spirit must no farther soar. seen!
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee; TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
Ruthless bears, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead;
Careless of thy sorrowing! Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost Whilst as fickle Fortune smil'd, fill,
Thou and I were both beguil'd. While the jolly hours lead on propitious Every one that flatters thee May.
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind; First heard before the shallow cuckoo's Faithful friends are hard to find. bill,
Every man will be thy friend Portend success in love. O if Jove's will Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend; Have linked that amorous power to thy But, if stores of crowns be scant, soft lay,
No man will supply thy want. Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate If that one be prodigal, Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove Bountiful they will him call; nigh;
And, with such-like flattering, As thou from year to year hast sung too “Pity but he were a king.” late
If he be addict to vice, For my relief, yet hadst no reason why.
Quickly him they will entice; Whether the Muse or Love call thee his But if Fortune once do frown, mate,
Then farewell his great renown: Both them I serve, and of their train am I. They that fawn'd on him before,
JOIN MILTON. Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed,
If thou sorrow, he will weep,
Thus, of every grief in heart, As it fell upon a day,
He with thee doth bear a part. In the merry month of May,
These are certain signs to know Sitting in a pleasant shade
Faithful friend from flattering foe. Which a grove of myrtles made,
RICHARD BARNFIELD. Beasts did leap, and birds did sing, Trees did grow, and plants did spring; Every thing did banish moan, Save the nightingale alone.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE. She, poor bird, as all forlorn, Lean 'd her breast up-till a thorn; DEAR chorister, who from those shadows And there sung the dolefull’st ditty
sendsThat to hear it was great pity.
Ere that the blushing morn dare show her Fie, fie, fie! now would she cry;
lightTeru, teru, by-and-by;
Such sad lamenting strains, that night atThat, to hear her so complain,
tends, Scarce I could from tears refrain; Become all ear, stars stay to hear thy plight; For her griefs, so lively shown,
If one whose grief even reach of thought Made me think upon mine own.
transcends, Ah! (thought I) thou mourn 'st in vain; Who ne'er (not in a dream) did taste delight, None takes pity on thy pain;
May thee importune who like case pretends,
And seems to joy in woe, in woe's despite; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow, Tell me (so may thou fortune milder try,
And leaden-eyed despairs And long, long sing !) for what thou thus Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous complains,
eyes, Since Winter's gone, and sun in dappled sky Or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Enamor'd smiles on woods and flow'ry plains ?
Away! away! for I will fly to thee! The bird, as if my questions did her move, Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, With trembling wings sighed forth, “I love, But on the viewless wings of poesy, I love."
Though the dull brain perplexes and re-
And haply the queen-moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry fays; ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains blown
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk; Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
ways. One minute past, and Lethe-ward had sunk. 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, I can not see what flowers are at my feet,
But being too happy in thy happiness, Nor what soft incense hangs upon the That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, boughs; In some melodious plot
But, in embalmed darkrless guess each sweet Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Wherewith the seasonable month endows Singest of Summer in full-throated ease.
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-treo
wild: Oh for a draught of vintage
White hawthorn and the pastoral eglantine; Cooled a long age in the deep-delved earth, Fast-fading violets, covered up in leaves; Tasting of Flora and the country green,
And mid-May's oldest child, Dance, and Provençal song, and sun-burned
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, mirth!
The murmurous haunt of bees on summer Oh for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful-Hippocrene,
I have been half in love with easeful Death, That I might drink, and leave the world Called him soft names in many a mused unseen,
rhyme, And with thee fade away into the forest dim. To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now, more than ever, seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight, with no pain, Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad, What thou among the leaves hast never
In such an ecstasy! knownThe weariness, the fever, and the fret;
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in
vainHere, where men sit and hear each other To thy high requiem become a sod.
groanWhere palsy shakes a few sad, last gray Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird! hairs
No hungry generations tread thee down; Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, The voice I hear this passing night was heard and dies-
In ancient days by emperor and clown: