Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Vain, vain was all Llewelyn's wo;

“ Best of thy kind adieu ! The frantic blow which laid thee low

This heart shall ever rue.”

And now a gallant tomb they raise,

With costly sculpture deck'd; And marbles storied with his praise

Poor Gelert's bones protect.

And now, as o'er the rocks and dells

The gallant chidings rise,
All Snowden's craggy chaos yells

The many-mingled cries !
That day Llewelyn little loved

The chase of hart and hare;
And scant and small the booty proved,

For Gelert was not there.
Unpleased Llewelyn homeward hied,

When, near the portal seat,
His truant Gelert he espied,

Bounding his lord to greet.
But, when he gain'd his castle-door,

Aghast the chieftain stood ;
The hound all o'er was smear'd with gore;

His lips, his fangs, ran blood.
Llewelyn gazed with fierce surprise ;

Unused such looks to meet,
His favourite check'd his joyful guise,

And crouch'd and lick'd his feet.

There, never could the spearman pass,

Or forester unmoved ; There, oft the tear-besprinkled grass

Llewelyn's sorrow proved.
And there he hung his horn and spear,

And there, as evening fell,
In fancy's ear he oft would hear

Poor Gelert's dying yell.

And, till great Snowden's rocks grow old,

And cease the storm to brave, The consecrated spot shall hold

The name of “ Gelert's Grave." Hon. W. R. Spencer.-Born 1770, Died 1834.

Onward, in haste, Llewelyn pass'd,

And on went Gêlert too;
And still, where'er his eyes he cast,

Fresh blood-gouts shock'd his view. O'erturn'd his infant's bed he found,

With blood-stain d covert rent; And all around the walls and ground

With recent blood besprent. He call’d his child—no voice replied

He search'd with terror wild ; Blood, blood he found on every side,

But nowhere found his child.

1396.-WIFE, CHILDREN, AND

FRIENDS.

When the black-letter'd list to the gods was

presented (The list of what fate for each mortal

intends), At the long string of ills a kind goddess

relented, And slipp'd in three blessings — wife,

children, and friends.

In vain surly Pluto maintain'd he was cheated, For justice divine could not compass its

ends ; The scheme of man's penance he swore was

defeated, For earth becomes heaven with — wife,

children, and friends.

“ Hell-hound ! my child's by thee devour'a,”

The frantic father cried ;
And to the hilt his vengeful sword

He plunged in Gelert's side.
His suppliant looks, as prone he fell,

No pity could impart;
But still his Gelert's dying yell

Pass'd heavy o'er his heart.
Aroused by Gelert's dying yell,

Some slumberer waken'd nigh :
What words the parent's joy could toll

To hear his infant's cry!
Conceal'd beneath a tumbled heap

His hurried search had miss'd,
All glowing from his rosy sleep,

The cherub boy he kiss'd.
Nor scathe had he, nor harm, nor dread,

But, the same couch beneath,
Lay a gaunt wolf, all torn and dead,

Tremenilous still in death.
Ah, what was then Llewelyn's pain!

For now the truth was clear;
His gallant hound the wolf had slain

To save Llewelyn's heir :

If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hands

vested, The fund ill secured, oft in bankruptcy

ends : But the heart issues bills which are never

protested, When drawn on the firm of-wife, children,

and friends.

Though valour still glows in his life's dying

embers, The death-wounded tar, who his colours

defends, Drops a tear of regret as he dying remembers How bless'd was his home with-wife,

children, and friends.

[blocks in formation]

Let us drink, for my song, growing graver and

graver, To subjects too solemn insensibly tends; Let us drink, pledge me high, love and virtue

shall flavour The glass which I fill to-wife, children,

and friends. Hon. W. R. Spencer.Born 1770, Died 1831.

Sorrows I've had severe ones,

I will not think of now; And calmly ’midst my dear ones, Have wasted with dry brow ;

But when thy fingers press And pat my stooping head, I cannot bear the gentleness,

The tears are in their bed.

Ah! firstborn of thy mother,

When life and hope were new,
Kind playmate of thy brother,
Thy sister, father, too;

My light where'er I go,
My bird, when prison-bound,
My hand in hand companion—no,

My prayers shall hold thee round.
To say “He has departed”—

“His voice"_" his face"-"is gone;". To feel impatient-hearted, Yet feel we must bear on;

Ah, I could not endure To whisper of such wo, Unless I felt this sleep insure

That it will not be so.

1397.-ON THE BIRTH OF THE

PRINCESS ROYAL. Behold where thou dost lie, Heeding naught, remote on high ! Naught of all the news we sing Dost thou know, sweet ignorant thing ; Naught of planet's love nor people's; Nor dost hear the giddy steeples Carolling of thee and thine, As if heaven had rain'd them wine; Nor dost care for all the pains Of ushers and of chamberlains, Nor the doctor's learned looks, Nor the very bishop's books, Nor the lace that wraps thy chin, No, nor for thy rank a pin. E'en thy father's loving hand Nowise dost thou understand, When he makes thee feebly grasp His finger with a tiny clasp; Nor dost thou know thy very mother's Balmy bosom from another's,

ܐܐܙܙ

[blocks in formation]

1399.-TO THE GRASSHOPPER AND

THE CRICKET.
Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,

Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy

noon, When even the bees lag at the summoning

brass ; And you, warm little housekeeper, who class With those who think the candles come too

soon, Loving the fire, and with your tricksome

tune Nick the glad silent moments as they pass; Oh, sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,

One to the fields, the other to the hearth, Both have your sunshine; both, though small,

are strong At your clear hearts; and both were sent on

earth To sing in thoughtful ears this natural songIn-doors and out, summer and winter, mirth.

Leigh Hunt.- Born 1784, Died 1859.

See (and scorn all duller

Taste) how Heaven loves colour ;
How great Nature, clearly, joys in red and

green ;
What sweet thoughts she thinks

Of violets and pinks,
And a thousand flushing hues made solely to

be seen :
See her whitest lilies

Chill the silver showers,
And what a red mouth is her rose, the woman

of her flowers. Uselessness divinest,

Of a use the finest, Painteth us, the teachers of the end of use;

Travellers, weary-eyed,

Bless us, far and wide;
Unto sick and prison'd thoughts we give sud.

den truce :
Not a poor town window

Loves its sickliest planting,
But its wall speaks loftier truth than Babylo-

nian vaunting. Sagest yet the uses

Mix'd with our sweet juices, Whether man or May-fly profit of the balm ;

As fair fingers heal'd

Knights from the olden field,
We hold cups of mightiest force to give the

wildest calm.
Even the terror, poison,

Hath its plea for blooming;
Life it gives to reverent lips, though death to

the presuming.
And oh! our sweet soul-taker,

That thief, the honey-maker,
What a house hath he, by the thymy glen!

In his talking rooms

How the feasting fumes,
Till the gold cups overflow to the mouths of

men !
The butterflies come aping

Those fine thieves of ours,
And flutter round our rified tops, like tickled

flowers with flowers.

1400.-CHORUS OF FLOWERS.

We are the sweet flowers,

Born of sunny showers, (Think, whene'er you see us, what our beauty

saith ;)
Utterance, mute and bright,

Of some unknown delight,
We fill the air with pleasure, by our simple

breath :
All who see us love us-

We befit all places ;
Unto sorrow we give smiles—and unto graces,

graces.
Mark our ways, how noiseless

All, and sweetly voiceless,
Though the March-winds pipe to make our

passage clear; Not a whisper tells

Where our small seed dwells,
Nor is known the moment green when our

tips appear.
We thread the earth in silence,

In silence build our bowers-
And leaf by leaf in silence show, till we laugh

a-top, sweet flowers. The dear lumpish baby,

Humming with the May-bee, Hails us

with his bright star, stumbling

through the grass ; The honey-dropping moon,

On a night in June,
Kisses our pale pathway leaves, that felt the

bridegroom pass.
Age, the wither'd clinger,

On us mutely gazes,
And wraps the thought of his last bed in !

is childhood's daisies.

See those tops, how beauteous !

What fair service duteous
Round some idol waits, as on their lord the

Nine.
Elfin court 't would seem,

And taught, perchance, that dream Which the old Greek mountain dreamt, upon

nights divine.
To expGund such wonder

Hunian speech avails not, Yet the ere dies no poorest weed, that such a

glory exhales not.

Think of all these treasures,

Matchless works and pleasures,
Every one a marvel, more than thought can

say ;
Then think in what bright showers
We thicken fields and bowers,

In any cell you run, dear,

Pray look behind for me.
The roses all turn pale, too;
The doves all take the veil, too ;

The blind will see the show : What! you become a nun, my dear?

I'll not believe it, no!

II.

And with what heaps of sweetness half stifle

wanton May ;
Think of the mossy forests

By the bee-birds haunted,
And all those Amazonian plains, lone lying

as enchanted.
Trees themselves are ours;

Fruits are born of flowers;
Peach, and roughest nut, were blossoms in

the Spring ;
The lusty bee knows well

The news, and comes pell-mell,
And dances in the gloomy thicks with dark-

some antheming ; Beneath the very burden

Of planet-pressing ocean, We wash our smiling cheeks in peace-a

thought for meek devotion. Tears of Phæbus—missings

Of Cytherea's kissings, Have in us been found, and wise men find

them still; Drooping grace unfurls

Still Hyacinthus' curls, And Narcissus loves himself in the selfish

If you become a nun, dear,

The bishop Love will be ;
The Cupids every one, dear,

Will chant, “ We trust in thee!”
The incense will go sighing,
The candles fall a dying,

The water turn to wine :
What! you go take the vows, my dear ?
You may—but they'll be mine.

Leigh Hunt.-Born 1784, Died 1859.

rill ;

Thy red lip, Adonis,

Still is wet with morning ;
And the step that bled for thee the rosy brier

adorning.
0! true things are fables,

Fit for sagest tables,
And the flowers are true things-yet no

fables they ; Fables were not more

Bright, nor loved of yore-
Yet they grew not, like the flowers, by every

old pathway;
Grossest hand can test us-

Fools may prize us never-
Yet we rise, and rise, and rise-marvels sweet

for ever.

1402.-ABOU BEN ADHEM. Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase !) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich and like a lily in bloom, An angel writing in a book of gold : Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the Presence in the room he said, “What writest thou ?”—The vision raised its

head, And, with a look made of all sweet accord, Answer'd_" The names of those who love

the Lord.” “And is mine one ?” said Abou; “Nay, not

so,” Replied the angel.—Abou spoke more low, But cheerly still; and said, “ I pray thce,

then, Write me as one that loves his fellow-men."

The angel wrote, and vanish’d. The next

night It came again, with a great wakening light, And show'd the names whom love of God had

bless'dAnd, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

Leigh Hunt.-Born 1784, Died 1859.

Who shall say that flowers

Dress not heaven's own bowers ?
Who its love, without us, can fancy-or sweet

floor?
Who shall even dare

To say we sprang not there-
And came not down, that Love might bring

one piece of heaven the more ? O! pray believe that angels

From those blue dominions Brought us in their .white laps down, 'twixt

their golden pinions. Leigh Hunt.-Born 1784, Died 1839.

1403.—JAFFAR. Jaffar, the Barmecide, the good Vizier, The poor man's hope, the friend without a

peer. Jaffar was dead, slain by a doom unjust; And guilty Haroun, sullen with mistrust Of what the good, and e'en the bad might say, Ordain'd that no man living from that day Should dare to speak his name on pain of

death. AU Aruby and Persia held their breath.

1401.-THE NUN.

I.

If you become a nun, dear,

A friar I will be ;

« PreviousContinue »