« PreviousContinue »
For that from turbulence and heat
Proceeds, from some uneasy seat
In Nature's struggling frame,
Some region of impatient life;
And jealousy, and quivering strife,
Therein a portion claim.
This, this is holy; — while I hear
of another year,
This hymn of thanks and praise,
My spirit seems to mount above
The anxieties of human love,
And earth's precarious days.
But list! though winter storms be nigh,
Unchecked is that soft harmony:
There lives Who can provide
For all his creatures ; and in Him,
Even like the radiant Seraphim,
These Choristers confide.
DEPARTING Summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of Spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely caroling.
No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to Winter chill
The lonely redbreast pays !
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
From social warblers gathering in
Their harvest of sweet lays.
Nor doth the example fail to cheer
Me, conscious that
And yellow on the bough:-
Fall, rosy garlands, from my head !
Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed
Around a younger brow!
Yet will I temperately rejoice ;
Wide is the range, and free the choice
Of undiscordant themes ;
Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
Not less than vernal ecstasies,
And passion's feverish dreams.
For deathless powers to verse belong,
And they like Demi-gods are strong
On whom the Muses smile;
But some their function have disclaimed,
Best pleased with what is aptliest framed
To enervate and defile.
Not such the initiatory strains
Committed to the silent plains
In Britain's earliest dawn:
Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale,
While all-too-daringly the veil
Of Nature was withdrawn!
Nor such the spirit-stirring note
When the live chords Alcæus smote,
Inflamed by sense of wrong;
Woe! woe to Tyrants ! from the lyre
Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
Of fierce vindictive song.
And not unhallowed was the
page By winged Love inscribed, to assuage The pangs of vain pursuit ; Love listening while the Lesbian Maid With finest touch of passion swayed Her own Æolian lute.
O ye who patiently explore
The wreck of Herculanean lore,
What rapture! could ye seize
Some Theban fragment, or unroll
One precious, tender-hearted scroll
Of pure Simonides.
That were, indeed, a genuine birth
Of poesy; a bursting forth
Of Genius from the dust:
What Horace gloried to behold,
What Maro loved, shall we enfold ?
Can haughty Time be just!
WHERE Towers are crushed, and unforbidden weeds
O'er mutilated arches shed their seeds ;
And Temples, doomed to milder change, unfold
A new magnificence that vies with old;
Firm in its pristine majesty hath stood
A votive column, spared by fire and flood; —
And, though the passions of Man's fretful race
Have never ceased to eddy round its base,
Not injured more by touch of meddling hands
Than a lone Obelisk, 'mid Nubian sands,
Or aught in Syrian deserts left to save,
From death the memory of the Good and Brave.
Historic figures round the shaft embost
Ascend, with lineaments in air not lost :
Still as he turns, the charmed Spectator sees
Group winding after group with dream-like ease;
Triumphs in sunbright gratitude displayed,
Or softly stealing into modest shade.
- So, pleased with purple clusters to entwine
Some lofty elm-tree, mounts the daring vine ;