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Thy brother Death came, and cried,
"Wouldst thou me?"

Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmured like a noontide bee,
"Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?"—And I replied,
"No, not thee."


Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon-

Sleep will come when thou art fled.
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, beloved Night-
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!



My faint spirit was sitting in the light
Of thy looks, my love;

It panted for thee like the hind at noon
For the brooks, my love.

Thy barb, whose hoofs outspeed the tempest's flight,
Bore thee far from me;

My heart, for my weak feet were weary soon,
Did companion thee.

Ah! fleeter far than fleetest storm or steed,

Or the death they bear,

The heart which tender thought clothes like a dove With the wings of care;

In the battle, in the darkness, in the need,

Shall mine cling to thee,

Nor claim one smile for all the comfort, love,

It may bring to thee.


MADONNA, wherefore hast thou sent to me
Sweet-basil and mignonette,

Embleming love and health, which never yet
In the same wreath might be?

Alas, and they are wet!

Is it with thy kisses or thy tears?

For never rain or dew

Such fragrance drew

From plant or flower.

My sadness ever new,

The very doubt endears

The sighs I breathe, the tears I shed, for thee.

March 1821.


UNFATHOMABLE Sea, whose waves are years!
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears!

Thou shoreless flood which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality,

And, sick of prey yet howling on for more, Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore! Treacherous in calm, and terrible in storm, Who shall put forth on thee, Unfathomable Sea?


FAR, far away, O ye
Halcyons of Memory!

Seek some far calmer nest
Than this abandoned breast;
No news of your false Spring
To my heart's winter bring.
Once having gone, in vain
Ye come again.

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And from isle, tower, and rock,
The blue beacon-cloud broke:
And, though dumb in the blast,
The red cannon flashed fast

From the lee.


And "Fear'st thou?" and "Fear'st thou ?"

And "Seest thou?" and "Hear'st thou ?" And "Drive we not free

O'er the terrible sea,

I and thou?"

One boat-cloak did cover

The loved and the lover;

Their blood beats one measure,

They murmur proud pleasure
Soft and low;—

While around the lashed ocean,
Like mountains in motion,
Is withdrawn and uplifted,
Sunk, shattered, and shifted
To and fro.


In the court of the fortress
Beside the pale portress,

Like a bloodhound well beaten

The bridegroom stands, eaten

By shame.

On the topmost watch-turret,
As a death-boding spirit,

Stands the grey tyrant father;
To his voice, the mad weather

Seems tame;

And, with curses as wild

As e'er clung to child,

He devotes to the blast

The best, loveliest, and last,

Of his name.


MUSIC, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;

Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken;

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,

Are heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.


RARELY, rarely comest thou,
Spirit of Delight!

Wherefore hast thou left me now

Many a day and night?

Many a weary night and day

'Tis since thou art fled away.


How shall ever one like me

Win thee back again? With the joyous and the free,

Thou wilt scoff at pain. Spirit false thou hast forgot

All but those who need thee not.


As a lizard with the shade

Of a trembling leaf,

Thou with sorrow art dismayed;

Even the sighs of grief

Reproach thee that thou art not near,

And reproach thou wilt not hear.


Let me set my mournful ditty

To a merry measure ;— Thou wilt never come for pity,

Thou wilt come for pleasure;

Pity then will cut away

Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.

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