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Began the pencil's strife,

O'erweening Art was caught as in a snare.

A sense of seemingly presumptuous wrong Gave the first impulse to the Poet's song; But, of his scorn repenting soon, he drew A juster judgment from a calmer view; And, with a spirit freed from discontent, Thankfully took an effort that was meant Not with God's bounty, Nature's love, to vie, Or made with hope to please that inward eye Which ever strives in vain itself to satisfy, But to recall the truth by some faint trace Of power ethereal and celestial grace, That in the living Creature find on earth a place.




GENIUS of Raphael! if thy wings

Might bear thee to this glen,
With faithful memory left of things

To pencil dear and pen,

Thou wouldst forego the neighboring Rhine,

And all his majesty,

A studious forehead to incline

O'er this poor family.

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In spirit, ere she came

To dwell these rifted rocks between,

Or found on earth a name;

An image, too, of that sweet Boy,
Thy inspirations give,-
Of playfulness, and love, and joy,
Predestined here to live.

Downcast, or shooting glances far,
How beautiful his eyes,
That blend the nature of the star
With that of summer skies!
I speak as if of sense beguiled;
Uncounted months are gone,
Yet am I with the Jewish Child,
That exquisite Saint John.

I see the dark-brown curls, the brow,
The smooth, transparent skin,
Refined, as with intent to show

The holiness within ;

The grace of parting Infancy

By blushes yet untamed;
Age faithful to the mother's knee,
Nor of her arms ashamed.

Two lovely Sisters, still and sweet
As flowers, stand side by side;
Their soul-subduing looks might cheat
The Christian of his pride:

Such beauty hath the Eternal poured
Upon them not forlorn,

Though of a lineage once abhorred,
Nor yet redeemed from scorn.

Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite
Of poverty and wrong,

Doth here preserve a living light,
From Hebrew fountains sprung;
That gives this ragged group to cast
Around the dell a gleam

Of Palestine, of glory past,

And proud Jerusalem!






The Ear addressed, as occupied by a spiritual functionary, in communion with sounds, individual, or combined in studied harmony. Sources and effects of those sounds (to the close of 6th Stanza).- The power of music, whence proceeding, exemplified in the idiot. Origin of music, and its effect in early ages, how produced (to the middle of 10th Stanza). The mind recalled to sounds acting casually and severally. - Wish uttered (11th Stanza) that these could be united into a scheme or system for moral interests and intellectual contemplation. (Stanza 12th.) The Pythagoreau

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theory of numbers and music, with their supposed power over the motions of the universe; - imaginations consonant with such a theory. -- Wish expressed (in 11th Stanza) realized, in some degree, by the representation of all sounds under the form of thanksgiving to the Creator. (Last Stan

za.) The destruction of earth and the planetary system, the survival of audible harmony, and its support in the Divine Nature, as revealed in Holy Writ


THY functions are ethereal,

As if within thee dwelt a glancing mind.
Organ of vision! And a Spirit aërial
Informs the cell of Hearing, dark and blind;
Intricate labyrinth, more dread for thought
To enter than oracular cave;

Strict passage, through which sighs are brought.
And whispers for the heart, their slave:

And shrieks, that revel in abuse

Of shivering flesh; and warbled air,
Whose piercing sweetness can unloose

The chains of frenzy, or entice a smile
Into the ambush of despair;

Hosannas pealing down the long-drawn aisle,
And requiems answered by the pulse that beats
Devoutly, in life's last retreats!


The headlong streams and fountains

Serve Thee, invisible Spirit, with untired powers; Cheering the wakeful tent on Syrian mountains, They lull perchance ten thousand thousand flowers.

That roar, the prowling lion's Here I am,

How fearful to the desert wide!

That bleat, how tender! of the dam
Calling a straggler to her side.

Shout, cuckoo ! — let the vernal soul

Go with thee to the frozen zone;

Toll from thy loftiest perch, lone bell-bird, toll
At the still hour to Mercy dear,

Mercy from her twilight throne

Listening to nun's faint throb of holy fear,
To sailor's prayer breathed from a darkening sea,
Or widow's cottage-lullaby.


Ye Voices, and ye Shadows

And Images of voice, to hound and horn
From rocky steep and rock-bestudded meadows
Flung back, and, in the sky's blue caves, reborn,-
On with your pastime! till the church-tower bells
A greeting give of measured glee;
And milder echoes from their cells
Repeat the bridal symphony.

Then, or far earlier, let us rove
Where mists are breaking up or gone,
And from aloft look down into a cove
Besprinkled with a careless choir,
Happy milkmaids, one by one
Scattering a ditty each to her desire,
A liquid concert matchless by nice Art,
A stream as if from one full heart.

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