« AnteriorContinuar »
What favours do attend me here,
When this in modest guise was said,
Fire raged: and, when the spangled floor
This knowledge, from an Angel's voice
THE POET AND THE CAGED TURTLEDOVE.
[WRITTEN at Rydal Mount. This dove was one of a pair that had
been given to my daughter by our excellent friend, Miss Jewsbury, who went to India with her husband, Mr. Fletcher, where she died of cholera. The dove survived its mate many years, and was killed to our great sorrow by a neighbour's cat that got in at the window and dragged it partly out of the cage. These verses were composed extempore, to the letter, in the Terrace Summer-house before spoken of. It was the babit of the bird to begin cooing and murmuring whenever it heard me making my verses.]
As often as I murmur here
My half-formed melodies,
The Turtledove replies :
The captive promptly coos;
Or second my weak Muse ?
I rather think, the gentle Dove
Is murmuring a reproof,
Have dared to keep aloof;
Have caroll'd, fancy free,
Had heart or voice for me.
If such thy meaning, O forbear,
Sweet Bird! to do me wrong ;
The spirit of my song:
Love animates my lyre-
I feel, but to inspire.
A WREN'S NEST.
[WRITTEN at Rydal Mount. This nest was built, as described, in
a tree that grows near the pool in Dora's field next the Rydal
In field or forest with nice care,
In snugness may compare.
No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Impervious, and storm-proof.
So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
Their instinct surely came.
And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess, The hermit has no finer
eye For shadowy quietness.
These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,
canopy in some still nook; Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.
There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song ; And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long.
Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting bird's return, Her eggs
within the nest repose, Like relics in an urn.
But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best; And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest;
This, one of those small builders proved
In a green covert, where, from out The forehead of a pollard oak,
The leafy antlers sprout;
For She who planned the mossy lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill, Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfil.
High on the trunk's projecting brow,
above The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest
The prettiest of the grove!
The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things; but once Looked
for it in vain :
'Tis gone-a ruthless spoiler's prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, 'Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
Indignant at the wrong.
Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light the moss-built cell I saw, espied its shaded mouth;
And felt that all was well.
The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves; And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives. Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent, Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,
Rest, Mother-bird! and when thy young
Take flight, and thou art free to roam, When withered is the guardian Flower,
And empty thy late home,