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And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High, Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky. When o'er the green, undeluged earth,
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine, How came the world's gray fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign?
O'er mountains yet untrod,
To bless the bow of God. Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first-made anthem rang,
And the first poet sang.
Unraptured greet thy beam :
Be still the poet's theme!
The lark thy welcome sings,
The snowy mushroom springs. How glorious is thy girdle cast
O'er mountain, tower, and town, Or mirror'd in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down! As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem, As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam.
Heaven still rebuilds thy span,
That first spoke peace to man.
VALEDICTORY STANZAS TO J. P. KEMBLE.
Revived to Fancy's view.
When the sun smiles his last,
Our memory of the past;
That wine or music need not swell,
To Kemble-fare thee well!
Which only acting lends,
Where all their beauty blends :
Full many a tone of thought sublime,
Steals but a glance of Time.
Illusion's perfect triumphs come;
And Sculpture to be dumb.
But ne'er eclipse the charm,
Or Hotspur kindled warm.
To the deep sorrows of the Moor?
With him at Agincour?
His transport's most impetuous tone,
The Graces gave their zone. Vol. II.-GO
High were the task-too high,
Ye conscious bosoms here!
Of Kemble and of Lear;
Those bursts of Reason's half-extinguish'd glare;
Had Shakspeare's self amid you been,
And triumph'd to have seen!
Of blended kindred fame,
And sister magic came.
The tragic paragons had grown:
The columns of her throne;
From heart to heart in their applause,
In lovelier woman's cause.
Fair as some classic dome,
Robust and richly graced,
Of genius and of taste :
That, when supernal light is given,
And tell its height in heaven.
His mind survey'd the tragic page,
The scholar could presage.
These were his traits of worth:
And must we lose them now!
His sternly-pleasing brow!
"Tis all a transient hour below; And we that would detain thee here,
Ourselves as fleetly go! Yet shall our latest age
This parting scene review; Pride of the British stage,
A long and last adieu !
SONG TO THE EVENING STAR.
Star that bringest home the bee,
That send'st it from above,
Are sweet as hers we love.
Come to the luxuriant skies,
And songs, when toil is done,
Curls yellow in the sun.
Star of love's soft interviews,
Of thrilling vows thou art,
By absence from the heart.
THE BEECH-TREE'S PETITION. Oh leave this barren spot to me! Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree! Though bush or floweret never grow My dark, unwarming shade below; Nor summer bud perfume the dew Of rosy blush or yellow hue; Nor fruits of autumn, blossom-born, My green and glossy leaves adorn ; Nor murmuring tribes from me derive Th' ambrosial amber of the hive; Yet leave this barren spot to me: Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree !
Thrice twenty summers I have seen The sky grow bright, the forest green; And many a wintry wind have stood In bloomless, fruitless solitude, Since childhood in my pleasant hower First spent its sweet and sportive hour; Since youthful lovers in my shade Their vows of truth and rapture made ; And on my trunk's surviving frame Carved many a long-forgotten name. Oh! by the sighs of gentle sound, First breathed upon this sacred ground; By all that Love has whisper'd here, Or Beauty heard with ravish'd ear; As Love's own altar honour me, Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!
I'll bid the hyacinth to blow,
I'll teach my grotto green to be, And sing my true love, all below
The holly bower and myrtle-tree.