Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

What favours do attend me here,
Till, like thyself, I disappear
Before the purple dawn.”

When this in modest guise was said,
Across the welkin seemed to spread
A boding sound—for aught but sleep unfit!
Hills quaked, the rivers backward ran ;
That Star, so proud of late, looked wan;
And reeled with visionary stir
In the blue depth, like Lucifer
Cast headlong to the pit!

Fire raged: and, when the spangled floor
Of ancient ether was no more,
New heavens succeeded, by the dream brought forth :
And all the happy Souls that rode
Transfigured through that fresh abode,
Had heretofore, in humble trust,
Shone meekly mid their native dust,
The Glow-worms of the earth!

This knowledge, from an Angel's voice
Proceeding, made the heart rejoice
Of Him who slept upon

lea:
Waking at morn he murmured not;
And, till life's journey closed, the spot
Was to the Pilgrim's soul endeared,
Where by that dream he had been cheered
Beneath the shady tree.

the open

1818.

XXVI.

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,
Straight from her osier mansion near,

The Turtledove replies :
Though silent as a leaf before,

The captive promptly coos;
Is it to teach her own soft lore,

Or second my weak Muse ?

I rather think, the gentle Dove

Is murmuring a reproof,
Displeased that I from lays of love

Have dared to keep aloof;
That I, a Bard of hill and dale,

Have caroll'd, fancy free,
As if nor dove nor nightingale,

Had heart or voice for me.

If such thy meaning, O forbear,

Sweet Bird! to do me wrong ;
Love, blessèd Love, is every where

The spirit of my song:
•Mid grove, and by the calm fireside,

Love animates my lyre-
That coo again!—'tis not to chide,

I feel, but to inspire.

1830.

XXVII.

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
Mount garden.)
AMONG the dwellings framed by birds

In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren's

In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,

And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun

Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,

In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the kind by special grace

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,
A

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,
And fixed an infant's

span

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

up

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,

« AnteriorContinuar »