Images de page
PDF
ePub

a

The spectre knight, the hellhounds and their prey,
The chase, the slaughter, and the festal mirth
Suddenly blasted. 'Twas a theme he loved,
But others claim'd their turn; and many a tower,
Shatter'd, uprooted from its native rock,
Its strength the pride of some heroic age,
Appear'd and vanish'd (many a sturdy steer
Yoked and unyoked), while, as in happier days,
He pour'd his spirit forth. The past forgot,
All was enjoyment. Not a cloud obscured
Present or future.

He is now at rest;
And praise and blame fall on his ear alike,
Now dull in earth. Yes, Byron, thou art gone :
Gone like a star that through the firmament
Shot and was lost, in its eccentric course
Dazzling, perplexing. Yet thy heart, methinks,
Was generous, noble : noble in its scorn
Of all things low or little ; nothing there
Sordid or servile. If imagined wrongs
Pursued thee, urging thee sometimes to do
Things long regretted, oft, as many know,
None more than I, thy gratitude would build
On slight foundations: and if in thy life
Not happy, in thy death thou surely wert,
Thy wish accomplish'd; dying in the land
Where thy young mind had caught ethereal fire,
Dying in Greece, and in a cause so glorious !

They in thy train-ah, little did they think,
As round we went, that they so soon should sit
Mourning beside thee, while a nation mourn'd,
Changing her festal for her funeral song;
That they so soon should hear the minute-gun,
As morning gleam'd on what remaind of thee,
Roll o'er the sea, the mountains, numbering
Thy years of joy and sorrow.

Thou art gone ;
And he who would assail thee in thy grave,

Oh, let him pause! For who among us all,
Tried as thou wert-even from thine earliest years,
When wandering, yet unspoild, a Highland boy-
Tried as thou wert, and with thy soul of flame;
Pleasure, while yet the down was on thy cheek,
Uplifting, pressing, and to lips like thine,
Her charmed cup-ah, who among us all
Could say he had not err'd as much, and more?

TO

Au! little thought she, when, with wild delight,

By many a torrent's shining track she flew, When mountain glens and caverns full of night

O'er her young mind divine enchantment threw,

That in her veins a secret horror slept,

That her light footsteps should be heard no more, That she should die: nor n'd, alas! nor wept

By thee, unconscious of the pangs she bore. Yet round her couch indulgent fancy drew

The kindred forms her closing eye required. There didst thou stand : there, with the smile she

knew, She moved her lips to bless thee-and expired.

And now to thee she comes; still, still the same

As in the hours gone unregarded by! To thee, how changed ! comes as she ever came,

Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her eye!

Nor less, less oft, as on that day, appears,

When lingering, as prophetic of the truth, By the wayside she shed her parting tearsFor ever lovely in the light of youth!

TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE.

On thee, bless'd youth, a father's hand confers

The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew. Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers;

Thine be the joys to firm attachment due. As on she moves with hesitating grace,

She wins assurance from his soothing voice ; And, with a look the pencil could not trace, (choice.

Smiles through her blushes, and confirms the Spare the fine tremours of her feeling frame!

To thee she turns : forgive a virgin's fears ! To thee she turns with surest, tenderest claim :

Weakness that charms, reluctance that endears! At each response the sacred rite requires,

From her full bosom bursts the unbidden sigh. A strange, mysterious awe the scene inspires,

And on her lips the trembling accents die. O’er her fair face what wild emotions play!

What lights and shades in sweet confusion blend ! Soon shall they fly, glad harbingers of day,

And settled sunshine on her soul descend ! Ah soon, thine own confess'd, ecstatic thought! That hand shall strew thy summer-path with

flow'rs; And those blue eyes, with mildest lustre fraught,

Gild the calm current of domestic hours !

A WISH.

MINE be a cot beside the hill,

A beehive's hum shall sooth my ear;
A willowy brook, that turns a mill,
With many a fall, shall linger near,

The swallow oft, beneath my thatch,

Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,

And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Around my ivied porch shall spring

Each fragrant flow'r that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing

In russet gown and apron blue.
The village church, among the trees,

Where first our marriage vows were given,
With merry peals shall swell the breeze,

And point with taper spire to Heaven,

TO THE BUTTERFLY.

Child of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight,
Mingling with her thou lovest in fields of light;
And, where the flowers of Paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening sky,
Expand and shut with silent ecstasy!
-Yet wert thou once a worm, a thing that crept
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept.
And such is man; soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day!

WILLIAM WORDSWORTA.

1766.

TINTERN ABBEY.

Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters ! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain springs

With a sweet inland murmur. a

Once again Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, That on a wild, secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion, and connect The landscape with the quiet of the sky. The day is come when I again repose Here, under this dark sycamore, and view These plots of cottage ground, these orchard tufts, Which at this season, with their unripe fruits, Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves Among the woods and copses, nor disturb The wild green landscape. Once again I see These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines Of sportive wood run wild : these pastoral farms, Green to the very door ; and wreaths of smoke Sent up in silence from among the trees ! With some uncertain notice, as might seem, Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods, Or of some hermit's cave, where, by his fire, The hermit sits alone.

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration : feelings, too,
Of unremember'd pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremember'd acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime ; that bless'd mood
In which the burden of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight

[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »