Images de page

Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense Poet who hath been building up the rhyine

of home

When he had better far have stretch'd his Je sweetest ! moments for their own sake

limbs haild,

Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, And more desired, more precious for thy song; By Sun or Moon-light, to the influxes In silence listening, like a devout child, of shapes and sounds and shifting elements My soul lay passive, by thy various strain Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song Driven, as in surges now beneath the stars, And of his fame forgetful! so his fame With momentary stars of my own birth, Should share in Nature's immortality, Fair constellated foam, still darting off A venerable thing! and so his song Into the darkness ; now a tranquil sea, Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the Be lov'd like Nature! But 'twill not be so;


And youths and maidens most poetical,
Who lose the deep'ning twilights of the

spring And when–0 Friend! my comforter and In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still


Full of meek sympathy must heave their Strong in thyself, and powerful to give

strength !

O’er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.
Thy long sustained song finally closed,
And thy deep voice had ceased — yet thou


My Friend, and thou, our Sister! we have Wert still before my eyes, and round us both

learnt That happy vision of beloved faces- A different lore: we may not thus profane Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its Nature's sweet voices, always full of love


And joyance ! 'Tis the merry Nightingale
I sate, my being blended in one thought That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates
(Thought was it? or aspiration? or resolve?) With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
Absorb’d, yet hanging still upon the sound- As he were fearful that an April-night
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer. Would be too short for him to utter forth

His love-chant, and disburthen his full soal
of all its music!- And I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,

Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
THE NIGHTINGALE; This grove is wild with tangling underwood,

And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the

Written in April 1798.

But never elsewhere in one place I knew

So many Nightingales; and far and near, No cloud, no relique of the sunken day In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip They answer and provoke each other's Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.

songsCome, we will rest on this old, mossy bridge! With skirmish and capricious passagings, You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, And murmurs musical and swift jug jug ; But hear no murmuring: it flows silently And one low piping sound more sweet than O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,

allA balmy night! and tho' the stars be dim, Stirring the air with such an harmony, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers That, should you close your eyes, you might That gladden the green earth, and we shall

almost find

Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes, A pleasure in the dimness of the stars. Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Most musical, most melancholy bird ! Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both A melancholy bird? Oh! idle thought!

bright and full, In nature there is nothing melancholy: Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the But some night-wandering man, whose heart

shade was pierced Lights, up her love-torch.—A most gentle With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,

Maid, Or slow distemper, or neglected love, Wbo dwelleth in her hospitable home (And so, poor wretch! fill'd all things with Hard by the castle, and at latest eve


(Even like a Lady vow'd and dedicate And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale To something more than Nature in the grove) Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he, Glides thro the pathways; she knows all First named these notes a melancholy strain!

their notes, And many a poet echoes the conceit , That gentle Maid! and oft a moment's space,


What time the Moon was lost behind a | Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame


Lies on my low burnt fire, and quivers not; Hath heard a pausc of silence; till the Only that film, which flutter'd on the grate,


Stili futters there, the sole unquiet thing. Emerging, hath awaken'd earth and sky Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature With one sensation, and these wakeful birds Gives it dim sympathies with me who live, Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy, Making it a companionable form, As if one quick and sudden gale had swept To which the living spirit in our frame, An hundred airy harps ! And she hath watch'd That loves not to behold a lifeless thing, Many a Nightingale perch giddily

Transfuses its own pleasures, its own will. On bloomy twig still swinging from the

breeze, And to that motion tune his wanton song How oft, at school, with most believing Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head.

mind, Presageful, have I gaz’d upon the bars,

To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow-eve, With unclosed lids already had I dreamt And you, my friends ! farewell, a short fare- Of my sweet birth-place, and the old churchwell!

tower, We have been loitering long and pleasantly, Whose bells, the poor man's only music, And now for our dear homes.-That strain

rang again?

From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day, Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe, So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me Who, capable of no articulate sound, With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear Mars all things with his imitative lisp, Most like articulate sounds of things to come! How he would place his hand beside his ear, So gaz’d I, till the soothing things, I dreamt, His little hand, the small forefinger up, Lulld me to sleep, and sleep prolong'd my And bid us listen! And I deem it wise

dreams! To make him Nature's play-mate. He knows And so I brooded all the following morn,


Aw'd by the stern preceptor's face, mine eye The evening-star; and once, when he awoke Fix'd with mock study on my swimming book: In most distressful mood (some inward pain Save if the door half opend, and I snatch'd Had made up that strange thing, an infants A hasty glance, and still iny heart leapt up,


For still I hop'd to see the stranger's face, I hurried with him to our orchard-plot, Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved, And he beheld the Moon, and, hush'd at My play - mate when we both were cloth'd ontce,

alike! Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, While his fair eyes, that swam with undropt


Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well!

side, It is a father's tale : But if that Heaven Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep Should give me life, his childhood shall

calm, grow up

Fill up the interspersed vacancies Familiar with these songs, that with the And momentary pauses of the thought!


My Babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart He may associate joy ! Once more farewell, with tender gladness, thus to look at thee, Sweet Nightingale! Once more, my friends! And think that thou shalt learn far other lore


And in far other scenes! For I was rear'd
In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and


But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a FROST AT MIDNIGHT.


By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crage The Frost performs its secret ministry, of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds Inhelp'd by any wind. The owlet's cry Which image in their bulk both lakes and Came loud--and hark, again! loud as before.

shores The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, And mountain-crags : 80 shalt thou see and Have left me to that solitude, which suits

hear Abstruser musings: save that at my side The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. of that eternal language, which thy God 'Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs Utters, who from eternity doth teach And sexes meditation with its strange Himself in all, and all things in hiinself. And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood, Great universal Teacher! he shall mould With all the numberless goings on of life, Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, And those thin clouds above, in flakes and Whether the summer clothe the general earth

bars, With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing That give away their motion to the stars; Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Those stars, that glide behind them or Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch

between, Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eve- Not sparkling, now bedimm’d, but always drops fall,

seen ; Heard only in the trances of the blast, Yon crescent Moon, as fix'd as if it grew Or if the secret ministry of frost

In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue; Shall hang them up in silent icicles, I see them all so excellently fair, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon. I see, not feel how beautiful they are !


My genial spirits fail,

And what can these avail,

To lift the smoth’ring weight from off my

It were a vain endeavour,

Though I should gaze for ever
Late, Jate yestreen I saw the new Moon,
With the old Moon in her arms;

On that green light that lingers in the west:
And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!

I may not hope from outward forms to win We shall have a deadly storm.

The passion and the life, whose fountains Ballad of Sir PATRICK SPENCE.

are within. WELL! If the Bard was weather-wise, who

made The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, And in our life alone does nature live:

O Lady! we receive but what we give, This night, so tranquil now, will not go Ours is her wedding - garment, ours her hence

shroud! Unrous'd by winds, that ply a busier trade Than those which mould yon clouds in lazy Than that inanimate cold world allow'd

And would we aught behold of higher worth,

flakes, Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and Ab ! from the soul itself must issue forth

To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd, rakes

A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud Upon the strings of this Æolian lute,

Enveloping the EarthWhich better far were mute.

And from the soul itself must there be sent For lo! the New-moon winter-bright, And overspread with phantom-light,

A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,

Of all sweet sounds the life and element! (With swimming phantom-light o'erspread But rimm'd and circled by a silver thread) I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling The coming on of rain and squally blast.

O pure of heart! thou needst not ask of me And oh! that even now the gust were swelling, What this strong music in the soul may be! And the slant night-shower driving loud and What, and wherein it doth exist,


This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist, Those sounds which oft have raised me,

This beautiful and beauty-making power.

whilst they awed,' Joy, virtuous Lady!Joy that ne'er was given, And sent my soul abroad,

Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, Might now perhaps their wonted impulse Life, and life's effluence, clond at once and give,

shower, Might startle this dull pain, and make it Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power,

move and live! Which wedding Nature to us gives in dow's

A new Earth and new Heaven,

Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud A grief without a pang, void, dark, and Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous drear,

cloud A stifled, drowsy, unimpassion'd grief,

We in ourselves rejoice! Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,

And thence flows all that charms or car er In word, or sigh, or tear

sight, O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,

All melodies the echoes of that voice, To other thoughts by yonder throstle wood, All colours a suffusion from that light. All this long eve, so balmy and serene, llave I been gazing on the western sky, And its peculiar tint of yellow green: There was a time when, though my path And still I gaze - and with how blank an

was rough, This joy within me dallied with distress


And all misfortunes were but as the stuff 'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness:

of sleep: For hope grew round me, like the twining Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep!


Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seem'd

healing, mine.

And may this storm be but a mountainBut now afflictions bow me down to earth :

birth, Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth, May all the stars hang bright above her But oh! each visitation

dwelling, Suspends what nature gave me at my birth, Silent as though they watch'd the sleeping My shaping spirit of Imagination.

Earth! For not to think of what I needs must feel, With light heart may she rise, But to be still and patient, all I can; Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, And haply by abstruse research to steal Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice : From my own nature all the natural Man-To her may all things live, from pole to This was my sole resource, my only plan: Till that which suits a part infects the Their life the eddying of her living soul!


O simple spirit, guided from above, And now is almost grown the habit of my Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice,


Thus mayst thou ever, evermore rejoice.



Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my

mind, Reality's dark dream!

ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF I turn from you, and listen to the wind,

DEVONSHIRE. Which long has rav'd unnotic’d. What a

ON THE 24th STANZA IN HER “PASSAGE OVER Of agony by torture lengthen’d out

MOUNT GOTHARD." That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that

rav'st without,

And hail the Chapel! hail the Platform wild! Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted tree, With well strung arm, that first preserv'd his Child,

Where Tell directed the avenging Dart, Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,

Then aimed the arrow at the Tyrant's heart. Or lonely house, long held the witches'


SPLENDOR's fondly fostered child !
Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, And did you hail the Platform wild,
Mad Lutanist! who in this month of show'rs, Where once the Austrian fell
Of dark brown gardens and of peeping flow'rs, Beneath the shaft of Tell?
Mak’st Devils' yule, with worse than wint’ry O Lady, nurs’d in pomp and pleasure !


Whence learnt you that heroic measure ? The blossoms, buds, and tim'rous leaves

among Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds! Light as a dream your days their circlets Thou mighty Poet, e'en to Frenzy bold !

ran, What tellst thou now about?

From all that teaches brotherhood to man 'Tis of the rushing of an host in rout, Far,far removed! from want, from hope, from With groans of trampled men, with smarting

fear! wounds

Enchanting music lull’d your infant ear, At once they groan with pain, and shudder Obeisant praises sooth'd your infant heart:

with the cold ! Emblazonments and old ancestral crests, But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence! With many a bright obstrusive form of art And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd, Detain'd your eye from nature: stately With groans, and tremulous shudderings

vests, all is over

That veiling strove to deck your charms It tells another tale, with sounds less deep

divine, and loud!

Rich viands, and the pleasurable wine, A tale of less affright,

Were your's unearn'd by toil; nor could And temper'd with delight, As Otway's self had fram'd the tender lay- The unenjoying toiler’s misery. 'Tis of a little child

And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child, Upon a lonesome wild,

You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform Not far from home, but she hath lost her

way :

Where once the Austrian fell
And now moans low in bitter grief and fear, Beneath the shaft of Tell!
And now screams loud, and hopes to make O Lady, nurs’d in pomp and pleasure!

her mother hear. Whence learnt you that heroic measure?

you see

There crowd your finely-fibred frame,

All living faculties of bliss:
And Genius to your cradle came,

TRANQUILLITY! thou better name
His forehead wreath'd with lambent flame, Than all the family of Fame !
And bending low, with godlike kiss Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age.
Breath'd in a more celestial life!

To low intrigue, or factious rage:
But boasts not many a fair compeer

For oh! dear child of thoughtful Truth, A heart as sensitive to joy and fear? To thee I gave my early youth, And some, perchance, might wage an equal And left the bark, and blest the stedfast strife,

shore, Some few, to nobler being wrought, Ere yet the Tempest rose and scar'd me with Co-rivals in the nobler gift of thought.

its roar.
Yet these delight to celebrate
Laurelld war and plumy state;
Or in verse and music dress

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine, Tales of rustic happiness

On him but seldom, power divine, Pernicious tales ! insidious strains !

Thy spirit rests! Satiety That steel the rich man's breast,

And sloth, poor counterfeits of thee, And mock the lot unblest,

Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope The sordid vices and the abject pains, And dire Remembrance interlope, Which evermore must be

To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind : The doom of ignorance and penury! The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child,

You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell!

But me thy gentle hand will lead
O Lady, nurs'd 'in pomp and pleasure ! At morning through the accustom'd mead;
Where learnt you that heroic measure? And in the sultry summer's heat

Will build me up a mossy seat !

And when the gust of Autumn crowds - You were a Mother! That most holy And breaks the busy moonlight-clouds,


Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart Which Heaven and Nature bless,

attune, I may not vilely prostitute to those Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding Whose Infants owe them less

Than the poor caterpillar owes
Its gaudy parent-fly.
You were a Mother! at your bosom fed The feeling heart, the searching soul,
The Babes that lov'd you. You, with laugh- To thee I dedicate the whole!

ing eye,

And while within myself I trace Each twilight-thought, cach nascent feeling The greatness of some future race,


Aloof with hermit-eye I scan Which you yourself created. O delight! The present works of present man A second time to be a Mother,

A wild and dream-like trade of blood and Without the Mother's bitter groans :

guile, Another thought, and yet another, Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a staile. By touch, or taste, by looks or tones O’er the growing sense to roll, The Mother of your Infant's Soul! The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides His chariot-planet round the goal of day,

TO A YOUNG FRIEND, All trembling gazes on the Eye of God, A moment turn'd his awful face away; ON HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE And as he view'd you, from his aspect sweet New influences in your being rose, Blest intuitions and communions fleet A mount, not wearisome and bare and steep, With living Nature, in her joys and woes! But a green mountain variously up-piled, Thenceforth your soul rejoic'd to see Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses The shrine of social Liberty!

creep, O beautiful! 0 Nature's child!

Or color'd lichens with slow oosing weep: 'Twas thence you hail'd the Platform wild, Where cypress and the darker yew start wild; Where once the Austrian fell

And 'mid the sunimer-torrent's gentle dash Beneath the shaft of Tell!

Dance brightend the red clusters of the ash; O Lady, nurs’d in pomp and pleasure ! Beneath whose boughs, by those still sounds Thence learnt you that heroic measure.

beguilid, Calm Pensiveness inight muse herself to sleep;


« PrécédentContinuer »