Imágenes de páginas

And friends too rarely prop the languid head.
Yet, helped by Genius, untired comforter,
The presence even of a stuffed Owl for her
Can cheat the time; sending her fancy out
To ivied castles and to moonlight skies,
Though he can neither stir a plume, nor shout,
Nor veil, with restless film, his staring eyes.



Nor the whole warbling grove in concert heard,
When sunshine follows shower, the breast can thrill
Like the first summons, Cuckoo! of thy bill,
With its twin notes inseparably paired,

The captive 'mid damp vaults unsunned, unaired,
Measuring the periods of his lonely doom,
That cry can reach; and to the sick man's room
Sends gladness, by no languid smile declared.
The lordly eagle-race through hostile search
May perish; time may come when never more
The wilderness shall hear the lion roar;
But, long as cock shall crow from household perch
To rouse the dawn, soft gales shall speed thy wing,
And thy erratic voice be faithful to the Spring!



[Miss not the occasion: by the forelock take
That subtle Power, the never-halting Time,
Lest a mere moment's putting-off should make
Mischance almost as heavy as a crime.]

WAIT, prithee, wait!" this answer Lesbia threw
Forth to her Dove, and took no further heed.
Her eye was busy, while her fingers flew
Across the harp, with soul-engrossing speed;
But from that bondage when her thoughts were


She rose, and toward the close-shut casement drew,
Whence the poor, unregarded Favorite, true
To old affections, had been heard to plead

With flapping wing for entrance. What a shriek
Forced from that voice so lately tuned to a strain
Of harmony! a shriek of terror, pain,

And self-reproach! for, from aloft, a Kite

Pounced, and the Dove, which from its ruthless

[ocr errors]


She could not rescue, perished in her sight!

[blocks in formation]

UNQUIET Childhood here by special grace
Forgets her nature, opening like a flower

That neither feeds nor wastes its vital power
In painful struggles. Months each other chase,
And naught untunes that Infant's voice; no trace
Of fretful temper sullies her pure cheek;
Prompt, lively, self-sufficing, yet so meek
That one enrapt with gazing on her face
(Which even the placid innocence of death
Could scarcely make more placid, heaven more

Might learn to picture, for the eye of faith,
The Virgin, as she shone with kindred light;
A nursling couched upon her mother's knee,
Beneath some shady palm of Galilee.




SUCH age how beautiful! O Lady bright,

Whose mortal lineaments seem all refined
By favoring Nature and a saintly Mind
To something purer and more exquisite

Than flesh and blood! whene'er thou meet'st my sight,

When I behold thy blanched, unwithered cheek, Thy temples fringed with locks of gleaming white, And head that droops because the soul is meek, Thee with the welcome Snowdrop I compare; That child of winter, prompting thoughts that climb From desolation toward the genial prime;

Or with the Moon conquering earth's misty air,
And filling more and more with crystal light
As pensive Evening deepens into night.



ROTHA, my Spiritual Child! this head was gray
When at the sacred font for thee I stood;
Pledged till thou reach the verge of womanhood,
And shalt become thy own sufficient stay:
Too late, I feel, sweet Orphan! was the day
For steadfast hope the contract to fulfil;
Yet shall my blessing hover o'er thee still,
Embodied in the music of this Lay,

Breathed forth beside the peaceful mountain
Stream *

Whose murmur soothed thy languid Mother's ear

After her throes, this Stream of name more dear
Since thou dost bear it, a memorial theme
For others; for thy future self, a spell
To summon fancies out of Time's dark cell.



"MISERRIMUS!" and neither name nor date, Prayer, text, or symbol, graven upon the stone;

The river Rotha, that flows into Windermere from the Lakes of Grasmere and Rydal.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

From all, and cast a cloud around the fate

Of him who lies beneath. Most wretched one, Who chose his epitaph? — Himself alone

Could thus have dared the grave to agitate,
And claim, among the dead, this awful crown;
Nor doubt that He marked also for his own
Close to these cloistral steps a burial-place,
That every foot might fall with heavier tread,
Trampling upon his vileness. Stranger, pass
Softly! To save the contrite, Jesus bled.



WHILE poring Antiquarians search the ground
Upturned with curious pains, the Bard, a Seer,
Takes fire: The men that have been reappear;
Romans for travel girt, for business gowned;
And some recline on couches, myrtle-crowned,
In festal glee: why not? For fresh and clear,
As if its hues were of the passing year,
Dawns this time-buried pavement. From that

Hoards may come forth of Trajans, Maximins,
Shrunk into coins with all their warlike toil:
Or a fierce impress issues with its foil

« AnteriorContinuar »