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Why sighs !—why creeping tears ?—why clasped hands ?-
Is it to count the boy's expended dower ?
That fairies since have broke their gifted wands?
That young Delight, like any o'erblown flow'r,
Gave, one by one, its sweet leaves to the ground ?-
Why then, fair Moon, for all thou mark’st no hour,
Thou art a sadder dial to old Time
Than ever I have found
On sunny garden-plot, or moss-grown tow'r,
Motto'd with stern and melancholy rhyme.
Why should I grieve for this ?–0 I must yearn,
Whilst Time, conspirator with Memory,
Keeps his cold ashes in an ancient urn,
Richly emboss'd with childhood's revelry,
With leaves and cluster'd fruits, and flow’rs eterne,
(Eternal to the world, though not to me),
Aye there will those brave sports and blossoms be,
The deathless wreath, and undecay'd festoon,
When I am hears'd within,-
Less than the pallid primrose to the Moon,
That now she watches through a vapor thin.
So let it be :- -Before I liv'd to sigh,
Thou wert in Avon, and a thousand rills,
Beautiful Orb! and so, whene'er I lie
Trodden, thou wilt be gazing from thy hills.
Blest be thy loving light, where'er it spills,
And blessed thy fair face, O Mother mild !
Still shine, the soul of rivers as they run,
Still lend thy lonely lamp to lovers fond,
And blend their plighted shadows into one :-
Still smile at even on the bedded child,
And close his eyelids with thy silver wand !-
WELCOME, dear Heart, and a most kind good-morrow;
The day is gloomy, but our looks shall shine :-
Flow’rs I have none to give thee, but I borrow
Their sweetness in a verse to speak for thine.
Here are red roses, gather'd at thy cheeks,
The white were all too happy to look white:
For love the rose, for faith the lily speaks;
It withers in false hands, but here 'tis bright!
Dost love sweet Hyacinth? Its scented leaf
Curls manifold, -all love's delights blow double :
'Tis said this flow'ret is inscribed with grief, —
But let that hint of a forgotten trouble.
I pluck’d the Primrose at night's dewy noon ;
Like Hope, it show'd its blossoms in the night ;-
'Twas, like Endymion, watching for the Moon !
And here are Sun-flowers, amorous of light!
These golden Buttercups are April's seal,-
The Daisy stars her constellations be:
These grew so lowly, I was forced to kneel,
Therefore I pluck no Daisies but for thee!
Here's Daisies for the morn, Primrose for gloom,
Pansies and Roses for the noontide hours :-
A wight once made a dial of their bloom,-
So may thy life be measur'd out by flow're !
The dead are in their silent graves,
And the dew is cold above,
And the living weep and sigh,
Over dust that once was love.
Once I only wept the dead,
But now the living cause my pain :
How couldst thou steal me from my tears,
To leave me to my tears again ?
My Mother rests beneath the sod,-
Her rest is calm and very deep:
I wish'd that she could see our loves, -
But now I gladden in her sleep.
Last night unbound my raven locks, The morning saw them turn'd to grey, Once they were black and well belov’d, But thou art chang’d,—and so are they!
The useless lock I gave thee once,
To gaze upon and think of me,
Was ta’en with smiles,—but this was torn
In sorrow that I send to thee!
WRITTEN IN A VOLUME OF SHAKSPEARE.
How bravely Autumn paints upon the sky
gorgeous fame of Summer which is fled !
Hues of all flow'rs that in their ashes lie,
Trophied in that fair light whereon they fed,
Tulip, and hyacinth, and sweet rose red,-
Like exhalations from the leafy mould,
Look here how honor glorifies the dead,
And warms their scutcheons with a glance of gold !--
Such is the memory of poets old,
Who on Parnassus' hill have bloom'd elate;
Now they are laid under their marbles cold,
And turn’d to clay, whereof they were create ;
But God A pollo hath them all enroll’d,
And blazon'd on the very clouds of fate !