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CAPTIVITY.

WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.

233

FROM AN ITALIAN SONNET.

LOVE, under Friendship’s vesture white,
Laughs, his little limbs concealing;
And oft in sport, and oft in spite,
Like Pity meets the dazzled sight,
Smiles through his tears revealing.

But now as Rage the god appears !
He frowns, and tempests shake his frame !
Frowning, or smiling, or in tears,
'T is Love; and Love is still the same.

CAPTIVITY.
CAGED in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake
When the hern screams along the distant lake,
Her little heart oft flutters to be free,
Oft sighs to turn the unrelenting key.
In vain! the nurse that rusted relic wear
Nor moved by gold — nor to be moved by tears ;
And terraced walls their black reflection throw
On the green-mantled moat that sleeps below.

WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.
While through the broken pane the tempest sighs,
And my step falters on the faithless floor,
Shades of departed joys around me rise,
With many a face that smiles on me no more;
With many a voice that thrills of transport gave,
Now silent as the grass that tufts their grave !

234

A CHARACTER. --- TO AV OLD OAK.

A CHARACTER.

As through the hedge-row shade the violet steals,
And the sweet air its modest leaf reveals ;
Her softer charms, but by their influence known,
Surprise all hearts, and mould them to her own.

TO AN OLD OAK.

Trunk of a giant now no more !
Once did thy limbs to heaven aspire ;
Once, by a track untried before,
Strike as resolving to explore

Realms of infernal fire. 20

Round thee, alas! no shadows move!
From thee no sacred murmurs breathe !
Yet within thee, thyself a grove,
Once did the eagle scream above,

And the wolf howl beneath.

There once the red-cross knight reclined,
His resting-place, a house of prayer;
And, when the death-bell smote the wind
From towers long fled by human kind,

He knelt and worshipped there !

Then Culture came, and days serene;
And village-sports, and garlands gay.
Full many a pathway crossed the green ;
And maids and shepherd-youths were seen

To celebrate the May.

TO THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF LADY * *. 235

Father of many a forest deep,
Whence many a navy thunder-fraught !
Erst in thy acorn-cells asleep,
Soon destined o'er the world to sweep,

Opening new spheres of thought !
Wont in the night of woods to dwell,
The holy Druid saw thee rise ;
And, planting there the guardian-spell,
Sung forth, the dreadful pomp to swell

Of human sacrifice !
Thy singed top and branches bare
Now straggle in the evening-sky;
And the wan moon wheels round to glare
On the long corse that shivers chere

Of him who came to die !

TO THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF LADY * *.

1800.

Au ! why with tell-tale tongue reveal a
What most her blushes would conceal ?
Why lift that modest veil to trace
The seraph-sweetness of her face?
Some fairer, better sport prefer;
And feel for us, if not for her.

For this presumption, soon or late,
Know thine shall be a kindred fate.
Another shall in vengeance rise —
Sing Harriet's cheeks, and Harriet's eyes :
And, echoing back her wood-notes wild,

- Trace all the mother in the child !

236

TO A VOICE THAT HAD BEEN LOST.

TO THE GNAT.

WHEN by the greenwood side, at summer eve,
Poetic visions charm my closing eye;
And fairy-scenes, that Fancy loves to weave,
Shift to wild notes of sweetest minstrelsy;
'Tis thine to range in busy quest of prey,
Thy feathery antlers quivering with delight,
Brush from my lids the hues of heaven away,
And all is solitude, and all is night!
- Ah! now thy barbéd shaft, relentless fly,
Unsheaths its terrors in the sultry air !
No guardian sylph, in golden panoply,
Lifts the broad shield, and points the glittering spear.
Now near and nearer rush thy whirring wings,
Thy dragon-scales still wet with human gore.
Hark, thy shrill horn its fearful larum flings !
- I wake in horror, and dare sleep no more !

TO A VOICE THAT HAD BEEN LOST.22

Vane, quid affectas faciem mihi ponere, pictor ?
Aeris et linguæ sum filia ;
Et, si vis similem pingere, pinge sonum. — AUSOXIUS.

ONCE more, Enchantress of the soul,
Once more we hail thy soft control.

– Yet whither, whither didst thou fly?
To what bright region of the sky ?
Say, in what distant star to dwell ?
(Of other worlds thou seem'st to tell)

Or trembling, fluttering here below,
Resolved and unresolved to go,
In secret didst thou still impart
Thy raptures to the pure in heart?

Perhaps to many a desert shore,
Thee, in his rage, the tempest bore;
Thy broken murmurs swept along,
Mid echoes yet untuned by song;
Arrested in the realms of frost,
Or in the wilds of ether lost.

Far happier thou ! 't was thine to soar,
Careering on the wingéd wind.
Thy triumphs who shall dare explore ?
Suns and their systems left behind.
No tract of space, no distant star,
No shock of elements at war,
Did thee detain. Thy wing of fire
Bore thee amid the cherub-choir;
And there a while to thee 't was given
Once more that voice 2 beloved to join,
Which taught thee first a flight divine,
And nursed thy infant years with many a strain from

Heaven !

TO THE BUTTERFLY.

CHILD of the sun ! pursue thy rapturous flight,
Mingling with her thou lov’st in fields of light;
And, where the flowers of Paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.

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