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ODE TO MELANCHOLY.

663

But love may haunt the grave of love, And watch the mould in vain.

Let clay wear smiles, and green grass wave;
Mirth shall not win us back again,
Whilst man is made of his own grave,
And fairest clouds but gilded rain!

I saw my mother in her shroud;
Her cheek was cold and very pale;
And ever since I're looked on all
As creatures doomed to fail !
Why do buds ope, except to die?
Aye, let us watch the roses wither,
And think of our loves' cheeks;
And O, how quickly time doth fly
To bring death's winter hither!
Minutes, hours, days, and weeks,
Months, years, and ages, shrink to nought-
An age past is but a thought!

O clasp me, sweet, whilst thon art mine,
And do not take my tears amiss;
For tears must flow to wash away
A thought that shows so stern as this.
Forgive, if somewhile I forget,
In woe to come, the present bliss.
As frighted Proserpine let fall
Her flowers at the sight of Dis,
Ev'n so the dark and bright will kiss.
The sunniest things throw sternest shade;
And there is even a happiness
That makes the heart afraid.
Now let us with a spell invoke
The full-orbed moon to grieve our eyes;
Not bright, not bright—but, with a cloud
Lapped all about her, let her rise
All pale and dim, as if from rest
The ghost of the late buried sun
Had crept into the skies.
The moon! she is the source of sighs,
The very face to make us sad,
If but to think in other times
The same calm, quiet look she had,
As if the world held nothing base,
Of vile and mean, of fierce and bad
The same fair light that shone in streams,
The fairy lamp that charmed the lad;
For so it is, with spent delights
She taunts men's brain's, and makes them

mad.

Aye, let us think of him a while
That, with a coffin for a boat,
Rows daily o'er the Stygian moat;
And for our table choose a tomb.
There's dark enough in any skull
To charge with black a raven plume;
And for the saddest funeral thoughts
A winding-sheet hath ample room,
Where Death, with his keen-pointed style,
Hath writ the common doom.
How wide the yew-tree spreads its gloom,
And o'er the dead lets fall its dew,
As if in tears it wept for them,
The many human families
That sleep around its stem!
How cold the dead have made these

stones,
With natural drops kept ever wet!
Lo! here the best, the worst, the world
Doth now remember or forget
Are in one common ruin hurled;
And love and hate are calmly met-
The loveliest eyes that ever shone,
The fairest hands, and locks of jet.
Is 't not enough to vex our souls
And fill our eyes, that we have set
Our love upon a rose's leaf,
Our hearts upon a violet?
Blue eyes, red cheeks, are frailer yet;
And, sometimes, at their swift decay
Beforehand we must fret.
The roses bud and bloom again;

All things are touched with melancholy,
Born of the secret soul's mistrust
To feel her fair ethereal wings
Weighed down with vile, degraded dust.
Even the bright extremes of joy
Bring on conclusions of disgust-
Like the sweet blossoms of the May,
Whose fragrance ends in must.
O give her, then, her tribute just,
Her sighs and tears, and musings holy!
There is no music in the life
That sounds with idiot laughter solely;
There's not a string attuned to mirth,
But has its chord in melancholy.

Thomas Hood.

seen

I.

III.

And those thin clouds above, in flakes and
DEJECTION: AN ODE.

bars,

That give away their motion to the stars
Late, late yestreen I saw the new moon,

Those stars, that glide behind them or be-
With the old moon in her arms;

tween,
And I fear, I fear, my master dear!

Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always
We shall have a deadly storm.
BALLAD OF SIR PATRICK SPENCE.

Yon crescent moon, as fixed as if it grew
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue:

I see them all so excellently fair-
WELL! if the bard was weather-wise, who

I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!
made
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
This night, so tranquil now, will not go

My genial spirits fail;
hence

And what can these avail Unroused by winds that ply a busier trade

To lift the smothering weight from off my Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy

breast? flakes,

It were a vain endeavor, Or the dull sobbing draft that moans and

Though I should gaze forever rakes

On that green light that lingers in the west: Upon the strings of this Eolian lute,

I may not hope from outward forms to win Which better far were mute.

The passion and the life whose fountains are For lo! the new-moon, winter-bright,

within.
And overspread with phantom light-
With swimming phantom light o'erspread,

But rimmed and circled by a silver thread ! O lady! we receive but what we give,
I see the old moon in her lap, foretelling And in our life alone does Nature live;
The coming on of rain and squally blast.

Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her
And O! that even now the gust were swell-

shroud! ing,

And would we aught behold of bigher And the slant night-shower driving loud

worth and fast!

Than that inanimate cold world allowed Those sounds, which oft have raised me whilst To the poor, loveless, ever-anxious crowdthey awed,

Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth And sent my soul abroad,

A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud Might now perhaps their wonted impulse

Enveloping the earth; give

And from the soul itself must there be sent Might startle this dull pain, and make it move

A sweet and potent voice of its own birth, and live.

Of all sweet sounds the life and element!

IV.

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II.

v.
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear-O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me

A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, What this strong music in the soul may be-
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, What, and wherein it doth exist-
In word, or sigh, or tear-

This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
O lady! in this wan and heartless mood, This beautiful and beauty-making power,
To other thoughts by yonder throstle wooed, Joy, virtuous lady! Joy that ne'er was
All this long eve, so balmy and serene,

given
Have I been gazing on the western sky, Save to the pure, and in their purest hour-

And its peculiar tint of yellow green; Life, and life's effluence, cloud at once and And still I gaze—and with how blank an eye! shower

DEJECTION-AN ODE.

665

VI.

ness.

Joy, lady, is the spirit and the power Or lonely house, long held the witches'
Which, wedding nature to us, gives in dower home,
A new earth and new heaven,

Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud— Mad lutanist! who, in this month of showers, Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous Of dark brown gardens, and of peeping cloud

flowers, We in ourselves rejoice!

Mak’st devils' yule, with worse than wintry And thence flows all that charms our ear or song, sight

The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves All melodies the echoes of that voice,

among! All colors a suffusion from that light.

Thou actor, perfect in all tragic sounds! Thou mighty poet, e'en to frenzy bold !

What tell'st thou now about? There was a time when, though my path was

'Tis of the rushing of a host in rout, rough,

With groans of trampled men, with smartThis joy within me dallied with distress;

ing woundsAnd all misfortunes were but as the stuff

At once they groan with pain, and shudder

with the cold. Whence fancy made me dreams of happi

But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence!

And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd, For hope grew round me like the twining

With vine;

groans, and tremulous shudderings—all

is overAnd fruits and foliage, not my own, seemed

It tells another tale, with sounds less deep mine.

and loud! But now afflictions bow me down to earth,

A tale of less affright,
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth;
But 0! each visitation

And tempered with delight,
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,

As Otway's self had framed the tender lay:

'Tis of a little child My shaping spirit of imagination. For not to think of what I needs must feel,

Upon a lonesome wildBut to be still and patient, all I can;

Not far from home, but she hath lost her And haply by abstruse research to steal

way; From my own nature all the natural man

And now moans low in bitter grief and

fearThis was my sole resource, my only plan: Till that which suits a part infects the whole,

And now screams loud, and hopes to make

her mother hear. And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.

'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of

sleep; Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my Full seldom may my friend such vigils minde

keep! Reality's dark dream!

Visit her, gentle Sleep, with wings of healI turn from you, and listen to the wind,

ing! Which long has raved unnoticed. What a And may this storm be but a mountain

birth; Of agony, by torture lengthened out, May all the stars hang bright above her That lute sent forth! Thou wind, that ravest dwelling, without!

Silent as though they watched the sleeping Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted earth! tree,

With light heart may she rise, Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, Gay fancy, cheerful eyes

VIII.

VII.

scream

Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice! And why I'm so plump the reason I tellTo her may all things live, from pole to polem Who leads a good life is sure to live well. Their life the eddying of her living soul!

What baron or squire, O simple spirit, guided from above!

Or knight of the shire,
Dear lady! friend devoutest of my choice!

Lives half so well as a holy friar?
Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice.
SAMUEL TAYLOE COLERIDGE.

After supper of heaven I dream,
But that is a pullet and clouted cream;
Myself, by denial, I mortify-
With a dainty bit of a warden pie;

I'm clothed in sackcloth for my sin-
SIR MARMADUKE.

With old sack wine I'm lined within;

A chirping cup is my matin song,
Sir MARMADUKE was a hearty knight-

And the vesper's bell is my bowl, ding dong.
Good man! old man!

What baron or squire,
He's painted standing bolt upright,

Or knight of the shire,
With his hose rolled over his knee;

Lives half so well as a holy friar?
His periwig's as white as chalk,

Jonx O'KEEFE
And on his fist he holds a hawk;

And he looks like the head
Of an ancient family.

THE AGE OF WISDOM.
His dining-room was long and wide-
Good man! old man!

Ho! pretty page, with the dimpled chin,
His spaniels lay by the fireside;

That never has known the barber's shear,
And in other parts, d'ye see,

All your wish is woman to win;
Cross-bows, tobacco-pipes, old hats, This is the way that boys begin-
A saddle, his wife, and a litter of cats; Wait till you come to forty year.

And he looked like the head
Of an ancient family.

Curly gold locks cover foolish brains;

Billing and cooing is all your cheerHe never turned the poor from the gate—Sighing, and singing of midnight strains, Good man! old man!

Under Bonnybell's window panes-
But was always ready to break the pate Wait till you come to forty year.

Of his country's enemy.
What knight could do a better thing

Forty times over let Michaelmas pass;
Than serve the poor, and fight for his king?

Grizzling hair the brain doth clear;

Then
And so may every head

you

know a boy is an ass, Of an ancient family.

Then you know the worth of a lass

Once you have come to forty year.
GEORGE COLMAN, “the younger."

Pledge me round; I bid ye declare,

All good fellows whose beards are gray.

Did not the fairest of the fair
I AM A FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY. Common grow and wearisome ere

Ever a month was past away?
I am a friar of orders gray,
And down in the valleys I take my way;

The reddest lips that ever have kissed,
I pull not blackberry, haw, or hip The brightest eyes that ever have shone,
Good store of venison fills my scrip; May pray and whisper and we not list,
My long bead-roll I merrily chant; Or look away and never be missed
Where'er I walk no money I want;

Ere yet ever a month is gone.

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Gillian 's dead! God rest her bier

But pretty lies loved I How I loved her twenty years syne !

As much as any kingMarian's married; but I sit here,

When youth was on the wing, Alone and merry at forty year,

And (must it then be told ?) when youth had Dipping my nose in the Gascon wine.

quite gone by.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.

Alas! and I have not
The pleasant hour forgot,

When one pert lady said,

“O, Landor! I am quite TO PERILLA.

Bewildered with affright;

I see (sit quiet now!) a white hair on your An, my Perilla! dost thou grieve to see

head!” Me, day by day, to steal away from thee? Age calls me hence, and my gray hairs bid

Another, more benign, come,

Drew out that hair of mine, And haste away to mine eternal home;

And in her own dark hair 'Twill not be long, Perilla, after this

Pretended she had found That I must give thee the supremest kiss.

That one, and twirled it round.Dead when I am, first cast in salt, and bring Fair as she was, she never was so fair. Part of the cream from that religious spring,

WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR. With which, Perilla, wash my hands and

feet;
That done, then wind me in that very sheet
Which wrapt thy smooth limbs when thou
didst implore

OLD.
The gods' protection, but the night before;
Follow me weeping to my turf, and there

By the wayside, on a mossy stone,
Let fall a primrose, and with it a tear.
Then lastly, let some weekly strewings be

Sat a hoary pilgrim sadly musing;
Devoted to the memory of me;

Oft I marked him sitting there alone,

All the landscape like a page perusing; Then shall my ghost not walk about, but

Poor, unknown-
keep
Still in the cool and silent shades of sleep.

By the wayside, on a mossy stone.
ROBERT HERRIOK.

Buckled knee and shoe, and broad-rimmed

hat;

Coat as ancient as the form 't was folding; THE ONE GRAY HAIR.

Silver buttons, queue, and crimpt cravat;

Oaken staff, his feeble hand upholding-
THE wisest of the wise

There he sat!
Listen to pretty lies,

Buckled knee and shoe, and broad-rimmed
And love to hear them told;

hat.
Doubt not that Solomon
Listened to many a one-

Seemed it pitiful he should sit there, Some in his youth, and more when he grew No one sympathizing, no one heedingold.

None to love him for his thin gray hair,

And the furrows all so mutely pleading
I never sat among

Age and care-
The choir of Wisdom's song, Seemed it pitiful he should sit there.

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