Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

And wild notes warbled among leafy bowers;
Two burning months let Summer overleap,
And, coming back with her who will be ours,
Into thy bosom we again shall creep.

1802

STANZAS

WRITTEN IN MY POCKET-COPY OF THOMSON'S "CASTLE OF
INDOLENCE."

WITHIN our happy Castle there dwelt one
Whom without blame I may not overlook;
For never sun on living creature shone
Who more devout enjoyment with us took:
Here on his hours he hung as on a book;
On his own time here would he float away,
As doth a fly upon a summer brook;

But go to-morrow-or belike to-day

Seek for him, he is fled; and whither none can say.

Thus often would he leave our peaceful home,
And find elsewhere his business or delight;

Out of our valley's limits did he roam:
Full many a time, upon a stormy night,

His voice came to us from the neighbouring height:
Oft did we see him driving full in view

At mid-day when the sun was shining bright;
What ill was on him, what he had to do,

A mighty wonder bred among our quiet crew.

Ah! piteous sight it was to see this man
When he came back to us, a withered flower,—
Or, like a sinful creature, pale and wan.

Down would he sit; and without strength or power
Look at the common grass from hour to hour:

And oftentimes, how long I fear to say,

Where apple-trees in blossom made a bower,
Retired in that sunshiny shade he lay;

And, like a naked Indian, slept himself away.

Great wonder to our gentle tribe it was
Whenever from our valley he withdrew;
For happier soul no living creature has

Than he had, being here the long day through.

Some thought he was a lover, and did woo:

Some thought far worse of him, and judged him wrong:

But verse was what he had been wedded to;

And his own mind did like a tempest strong

Come to him thus, and drove the weary wight along.

With him there often walked in friendly guise,

Or lay upon the moss by brook or tree,

A noticeable man with large gray eyes,
And a pale face that seemed undoubtedly
As if a blooming face it ought to be:

Heavy his low-hung lip did oft appear,

Deprest by weight of musing phantasy;

Profound his forehead was, though not severe;

Yet some did think that he had little business here:

Sweet heaven forefend! his was a lawful right;
Noisy he was, and gamesome as a boy;
His limbs would toss about him with delight
Like branches when strong winds the trees annoy.
Nor lacked his calmer hours device or toy
To banish listlessness and irksome care;
He would have taught you how you might employ
Yourself; and many did to him repair,-

And, certes, not in vain; he had inventions rare.
Expedients, too, of simplest sort he tried:

Long blades of grass, plucked round him as he lay,
Made-to his ear attentively applied-

A pipe on which the wind would deftly play;
Glasses he had, that little things display,-
The beetle with his radiance manifold,

A mailed angel on a battle-day;

And cups of flowers, and herbage green and gold; And all the gorgeous sights which fairies do behold

He would entice that other man to hear

His music, and to view his imagery:

And, sooth, these two did love each other dear,

As far as love in such a place could be;

There did they dwell-from earthly labour free,
As happy spirits as were ever seen:

If but a bird, to keep them company,

Or butterfly sate down, they were, I ween,

As pleased as if the same had been a maiden queen.

LOUISA.

I MET Louisa in the shade;

And, having seen that lovely maid,

Why should I fear to say

That she is ruddy, fleet, and strong;

And down the rocks can leap along,

Like rivulets in May?

And she hath smiles to earth unknown;

Smiles, that with motion of their own

Do spread, and sink, and rise;

That come and go with endless play,
And ever, as they pass away,
Are hidden in her eyes.

She loves her fire, her cottage home;
Yet o'er the moorland will she roam

In weather rough and bleak;

And, when against the wind she strains,
Oh! might I kiss the mountain rains
That sparkle on her cheek.

Take all that's mine "beneath the moon,"
If I with her but half a noon

May sit beneath the walls

Of some old cave, or mossy nook,

When up she winds along the brook,

To hunt the waterfalls.

STRANGE fits of passion I have known:
And I will dare to tell,

But in the lover's ear alone,

What once to me befel.

When she I loved was strong and gay,

And like a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,
Beneath the evening moon.

Upon the moon I fixed my eye,
All over the wide lea:

My horse trudged on-and we drew nigh
Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reached the orchard plot;
And, as we climbed the hill,

Towards the roof of Lucy's cot

The moon descended still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,

Kind Nature's gentlest boon!

And, all the while, my eyes I kept
On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof

He raised, and never stopped:

When down behind the cottage roof,

At once, the bright moon dropp'd.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide
Into a lover's head!-

"O mercy!" to myself I cried,

"If Lucy should be dead!"

SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways

Beside the springs of Dove,

A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone

Half-hidden from the eye!

[ocr errors]

-Fair as a star, when only one

Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;

But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

I TRAVELL'D among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea;

Nor, England! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.

'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;

And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed
The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine is too the last green field
That Lucy's eyes surveyed.

TIs said, that some have died for love:

And here and there a churchyard grave is found
In the cold North's unhallowed ground,-

Because the wretched man himself had slain,

His love was such a grievous pain.

And there is one whom I five years have known;
He dwells alone

Upon Helvellyn's side:

He loved the pretty Barbara died,

And thus he makes his moan:

Three years had Barbara in her grave been laid

When thus his moan he made;

"Oh, move, thou cottage, from behind that oak! Or let the aged tree uprooted lie,

That in some other way yon smoke

May mount into the sky!

The clouds pass on; they from the heavens depart :

I look-the sky is empty space;

I know not what I trace;

But, when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart

"O! what a weight is in these shades! Ye leaves, When will that dying murmur he supprest?

X

Your sound my heart of peace bereaves,

It robs my heart of rest.

Thou thrush, that singest loud-and loud and free,
Into yon row of willows flit,

Upon that alder sit;

Or sing another song, or choose another tree.

"Roll back, sweet rill! back to thy mountain bounds, And there for ever be thy waters chained!

For thou dost haunt the air with sounds

That cannot be sustained;

If still beneath that pine-tree's ragged bough
Headlong yon waterfall must come,

Oh let it then be dumb!

Be any thing, sweet rill, but that which thou art now.

"Thou Eglantine, whose arch so proudly towers,

(Even like a rainbow spanning half the vale)

Thou one fair shrub, oh! shed thy flowers,

And stir not in the gale.

For thus to see thee nodding in the air,

To see thy arch thus stretch and bend,

Thus rise and thus descend,

Disturbs me, till the sight is more than I can bear."

The man who makes this feverish complaint
Is one of giant stature, who could dance
Equipped from head to foot in iron mail.
Ah gentle love! if ever thought was thine
To store up kindred hours for me, thy face
Turn from me, gentle love! nor let me walk
Within the sound of Emma's voice, or know
Such happiness as I have known to-day.

THE COMPLAINT OF A FORSAKEN INDIAN WOMAN.

(When a Northern Indian, from sickness, is unable to continue his journey with his companions, he is left behind, covered over with deer-skins, and is supplied with water, food, and fuel, if the situation of the place will afford it. He is informed of the track which his companions intend to pursue, and if he is unable to follow or overtake them, he perishes alone in the desert; unless he should have the good fortune to fall in with some other tribes of Indians. The females are equally, or still more, exposed to the same fate. See that very interesting work, Hearne's Journey from Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean. In the high Northern latitudes, as the same writer informs us, when the Northern lights vary their position in the air, they make a rustling and a crackling noise. This circumstance is alluded to in the first stanzas of the following Poem.)

BEFORE I see another day,

Oh let my body die away!

In sleep I heard the Northern gleams;

The stars were mingled with my dreams;

In sleep did I behold the skies,

I saw the crackling flashes drive:

« AnteriorContinuar »