Page images
PDF
EPUB

A Power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature's dark abyss;
But when the Mighty pass away
What is it more than this,

That Man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return ?
Such ebb and flow must ever be ;
Then wherefore should we mourn ?

VIII.

LINES WRITTEN, NOVEMBER 13, 1814, ON A BLANK LEAF IN A COPY OF

THE AUTHOR'S POEM THE EXCURSION," UPON HEARING or THE DEATH OF THE LATE VICAR OF KENDAL,

To public notice, with reluctance strong,
Did I deliver this unfinished Song;
Yet for one happy issue ; — and I look
With self-congratulation on the Book
Which pious, learned Murfitt saw and read ;-
Upon my thoughts his saintly Spirit fed ;
He conned the new-born Lay with grateful heart –
Foreboding not how soon he must depart;
Unweeting that to him the joy was given
Which good Men take with them from Earth to Heaven.

IX.

ELEGIAC STANZAS,

SUGGESTED BY A

TURE OF PEELE CASTLE, IN A STORM,

PAINTED BY SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT.

I was thy Neighbour once, thou rugged Pile !
Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee:
I saw thee every day; and all the while
Thy Form was sleeping on a glassy sea.

So

pure the sky, so quiet was the air !
So like, so very like, was day to day!
Whene'er I looked, thy Image still was there;
It trembled, but it never passed away.

How perfect was the calm ! it seemed no sleep;
No mood, which season takes away, or brings:
I could have fancied that the mighty Deep
Was even the gentlest of all gentle Things.

Ah! Then, if mine had been the Painter's hand,
To express what then I saw; and add the gleam,
The lustre, known to neither sea nor land,
But borrowed from the youthful Poet's dream;

I would have planted thee, thou hoary Pile !
Amid a world how different from this !
Beside a sea that could not cease to smile ;
On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss.

A Picture had it been of lasting ease,
Elysian quiet, without toil or strife;
No motion but the moving tide, a breeze,
Or merely silent Nature's breathing life.

Such, in the fond illusion of my heart,
Such Picture would I at that time have made :
And seen the soul of truth in every part;
A faith, a trust, that could not be betrayed.

So once it would have been, — 'tis so no more; I have submitted to a new control :

power is gone, which nothing can restore ; A deep distress hath humanized my Soul.

Not for a moment could I now behold
A smiling sea, and be what I have been :
The feeling of my

loss will ne'er be old; This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.

Then, Beaumont, Friend! who would have been the Friend,
If he had lived, of Him whom I deplore,
This Work of thine I blame not, but commend;
This sea in anger, and that dismal shore.

O 'tis a passionate Work! - yet wise and well ;
Well chosen is the spirit that is here;
That Hulk which labours in the deadly swell,
This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear !

And this huge Castle, standing here sublime,
I love to see the look with which it braves,
Cased in the unfeeling armour of old time,
The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves.

Farewell, farewell the heart that lives alone,
Housed in a dream, at distance from the Kind!
Such happiness, wherever it be known,
Is to be pitied; for 'tis surely blind.

But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer,
And frequent sights of what is to be borne!
Such sights, or worse, as are before me here.-
Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.

X.

TO THE DAISY.

Sweet Flower ! belike one day to have
A place upon thy Poet's grave,
I welcome thee once more :
But He, who was on land, at sea,
My Brother, too, in loving thee,
Although he loved more silently,
Sleeps by his native shore.

Ah! hopeful, hopeful was the day
When to that Ship he bent his way,
To govern and to guide:
His wish was gained: a little time
Would bring him back in manhood's prime,
And free for life, these hills to climb,
With all his wants supplied.

« PreviousContinue »