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THE FAIRY QUEEN'S CHARIOT.
Her chariot of a snail's fine shell,
Which for the colours did excel :
The fair Queen Mab becoming well,
So lively was the limning;
The seat the soft wool of the bee,
The cover, gallantly to see,
The wing of a pyed butterflee;
I trow, 'twas simple trimming.
The wheels composed of crickets' bones,
And daintily made for the nonce,
For fear of rattling on the stones,
With thistle-down they shod it;
For all her maidens much did fear,
If Oberon had chanced to hear
That Mab his queen should have been there,
He would not have abode it.
And in their silent faces did he read
Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle; sensation, soul, and form,
All melted into him; they swallowed up
His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live; they were his life.
In such access of mind, in such high hour
Of visitation from the living God,
Thought was not ; in enjoyment it expired.
No thanks he breathed; he proffered no request;
Rapt into still communion, that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power
That made him ;-It was blessedness and love!
A herdsman, on the lonely mountain tops,
Such intercourse was his ; and in this sort
Was his existence oftentimes possessed.
Oh then, how beautiful, how bright appeared
The written promise! He had early learned
To reverence the Volume which displays
The mysteries, the life that cannot die ;
But in the mountains did he feel his faith;
There did he see the writing;-all things there
Breathed immortality, revolving life,
And greatness still revolving;-infinite!
There littleness was not ;-the least of things
Seemed infinite; and there his spirit shaped
Her prospects; nor did he believe-he saw.
What wonder if his being thus became
Sublime and comprehensive! low desires,
Low thoughts had there no place; yet was his heart
Lowly; for he was meek in gratitude,
Oft as he called those ecstasies to mind,
And whence they flowed; and from them he acquired Wisdom, which works through patience; thence he learned,
In many a calmer hour of sober thought,
To look on Nature with an humble heart,
Self-questioned where he did not understand,
And with a reverential eye of love.
HE night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek;
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
S. T. COLERIDGE. [From "Christabel."]
ER by her smile how soon the stranger knows!
How soon by this the glad discovery shows!
As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy,
What answering looks of sympathy and joy!
He walks, he speaks. In many a broken word
His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard,
And ever, ever to her lap he flies,
When rosy sleep comes on with sweet surprise.
Lock'd in her arms, his arms across her flung,
(That name most dear for ever on his tongue,)
As with soft accents round her neck he clings,
And, cheek to cheek, her lulling song she sings,
How blest to feel the beatings of his heart,
Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart,
Watch o'er his slumbers like the brooding dove,
And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love!
But soon a nobler task demands her care; Apart she joins his little hands in prayer, Telling of Him who sees in secret there. And now the volume on her knee has caught His wand'ring eye-now many a written thought Never to die, with many a lisping sweet
His moving murm'ring lips endeavour to repeat.
Released, he chases the bright butterfly;
Oh, he would follow-follow through the sky!
Climbs the gaunt mastiff slumbering in his chain,