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SONNET

ON MISTRESS NICELY, A PATTERN FOR

HOUSEKEEPERS.

Written after seeing Mrs. Davenport in the character, at

Covent Garden.

She was a woman peerless in her station,

With household virtues wedded to her name;

Spotless in linen, grass-bleach'd in her fame, And pure

and clear-starch'd in her conversation ; Thence in my Castle of Imagination

She dwells for evermore, the dainty dame,

To keep all airy draperies from shame,
And all dream furnitures in preservation:

There walketh she with keys quite silver bright,
In perfect hose, and shoes of seemly black,
· Apron and stomacher of lily-white,
And decent order follows in her track:

The burnish'd plate grows lustrous in her sight, And polish'd floors and tables shine her back.

SONNET.

WRITTEN IN A VOLUME OF SHAKSPEARE.

How bravely Autumn paints upon the sky
The gorgeous fame of Summer which is fled !
Hues of all flow'rs that in their ashes lie,
Trophied in that fair light whereon they fed,
Tulip, and hyacinth, and sweet rose red, –
Like exhalations from the leafy mould,
Look here how honour glorifies the dead,
And warms their scutcheons with a glance of gold! -
Such is the memory of poets old,
Who on Parnassus' hill have bloom'd elate ;
Now they are laid under their marbles cold,
And turn'd to clay, whereof they were create ;
But God Apollo hath them all enroll’d,
And blazon'd on the very clouds of fate !

SONNET

TO FANCY.

Most delicate Ariel ! submissive thing,
Won by the mind's high magic to its hest, -
Invisible embassy, or secret guest,
Weighing the light air on a lighter wing ; -
Whether into the midnight moon, to bring
Illuminate visions to the eye of rest,
Or rich romances from the florid West,
Or to the sea, for mystic whispering, -
Still by thy charm'd allegiance to the will,
The fruitful wishes prosper in the brain,
As by the fingering of fairy skill,
Moonlight, and waters, and soft music's strain,
Odours, and blooms, and my Miranda's smile,
Making this dull world an enchanted isle.

SONNET

TO AN ENTHUSIAST.

Young ardent soul, graced with fair Nature's truth,
Spring warmth of heart, and fervency of mind,
And still a large late love of all thy kind,
Spite of the world's cold practice and Time's tooth, —
For all these gifts, I know not, in fair sooth,
Whether to give thee joy, or bid thee blind
Thine eyes with tears,

that thou hast not resign'd
The passionate fire and freshness of thy youth :
For as the current of thy life shall flow,
Gilded by shine of sun or shadow-stain'd,
Through flow'ry valley or unwholesome fen,
Thrice blessed in thy joy, or in thy woe
Thrice cursed of thy race, - thou art ordain'd
To share beyond the lot of common men,

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SONNET.

It is not death, that sometime in a sigh
This eloquent breath shall take its speechless flight;
That sometime these bright stars, that row reply
In sunlight to the sun, shall set in night;
That this warm conscious flesh shall perish quite,
And all life's ruddy springs forget to flow;
That thoughts shall cease, and the immortal spright
Be lapp'd in alien clay and laid below;
It is not death to know this, but to know
That pious thoughts, which visit at new graves
In tender pilgrimage, will cease to go
So duly and so oft, - and when grass waves
Over the past-away, there may be then
No resurrection in the minds of men.

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