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Sinks, hardly conscious of the influence,
To the soft murmur of the vagrant Bee.
- A slender sound! yet hoary Time
Doth to the Soul exalt it with the chime
Of all his

years; a company
Of ages coming, ages gone;
(Nations from before them sweeping,
Regions in destruction steeping,)
But
every

awful note in unison With that faint utterance, which tells Of treasure sucked from buds and bells, For the pure keeping of those waxen cells; Where She, a statist prudent to confer Upon the public weal; a warrior bold, Radiant all over with unburnished gold, And armed with living spear for mortal fight;

A cunning forager That spreads no waste; - a social builder; one In whom all busy offices unite With all fine functions that afford delight, Safe through the winter storm in quiet dwells !

5.

And is She brought within the power
Of vision ? -- o'er this tempting flower

Hovering until the petals stay
Her flight, and take its voice away ! -
Observe each wing - a tiny van! -
The structure of her laden thigh,
How fragile ! - yet of ancestry
Mysteriously remote and high,
High as the imperial front of man,
The roseate bloom on woman's cheek;
The soaring eagle's curved beak;
The white plumes of the floating swan;
Old as the tiger's paw, the lion's mane
Ere shaken by that mood of stern disdain
At which the desert trembles. — Humming Bee!
Thy sting was needless then, perchance unknown;
The seeds of malice were not sown;
All creatures met in peace, from fierceness free,
And no pride blended with their dignity.

Tears had not broken from their source;
Nor anguish strayed from her Tartarian den ;
The golden years maintained a course
Not undiversified, though smooth and even ;
We were not mocked with glimpse and shadow, then
Bright Seraphs mixed familiarly with men ;
And earth and stars composed a universal heaven!

XXII.

ODE TO LYCORIS.

MAY, 1817.

1. AN age

hath been when Earth was proud Of lustre too intense To be sustained ; and Mortals bowed The front in self-defence. Who then, if Dian's crescent gleamed, Or Cupid's sparkling arrow streamed While on the wing the Urchin played, Could fearlessly approach the shade ? - Enough for one soft vernal day, If I, a Bard of ebbing time, And nurtured in a fickle clime, ‘May haunt this horned bay; Whose amorous water multiplies The flitting halcyon's vivid dyes ; And smooths her liquid breast to show These swan-like specks of mountain snow, White as the pair that slid along the plains Of Heaven, when Venus held the reins !

2.

In youth we love the darksome lawn
Brushed by the owlet's wing;
Then, Twilight is preferred to Dawn,
And Autumn to the Spring.
Sad fancies do we then affect,
In luxury of disrespect
To our own prodigal excess
Of too familiar happiness.
Lycoris (if such name befit
Thee, thee my life's celestial sign !)
When Nature marks the year's decline,
Be ours to welcome it;
Pleased with the harvest hope that runs
Before the path of milder suns,
Pleased while the sylvan world displays
Its ripeness to the feeding gaze;
Pleased when the sullen winds resound the knell
Of the resplendent miracle.

3.

But something whispers to my heart
That, as we downward tend,
Lycoris ! life requires an art
To which our souls must bend;
A skill — to balance and supply;
And, ere the flowing fount be dry,
As soon it must, a sense to sip,
Or drink, with no fastidious lip.
Frank greeting, then, to that blithe Guest
Diffusing smiles o'er land and sea
To aid the vernal Deity
Whose home is in the breast!
May pensive Autumn ne'er present
A claim to her disparagement !
While blossoms and the budding spray
Inspire us in our own decay;
Still, as we nearer draw to life's dark goal,
Be hopeful Spring the favourite of the Soul!

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