« PreviousContinue »
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.
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 there
Of him who came to die!
Well may you sit within, and, fond of grief,
Look in each other's face, and melt in tears ;
Well may you shun all counsel, all relief-
Oh she was great in mind, tho' young
Changed is that lovely countenance, which shed Light when she spoke ; and kindled sweet surprise, As o'er her frame each warm emotion spread, Played round her lips, and sparkled in her eyes.
Those lips so pure, that moved but to persuade,
Still to the last enlivened and endeared ;
Those eyes at once her secret soul conveyed,
And ever beamed delight when you appeared.
Yet has she fled the life of bliss below,
That youthful Hope in bright perspective drew ?
False were the tints ! false as the feverish glow
That o'er her burning cheek Distemper threw!
* On the death of a younger sister.
And now in joy she dwells, in glory moves !
(Glory and joy reserved for you to share ;)
Far, far more blest in blessing those she loves,
Than they, alas! unconscious of her care.
Oh! that the Chemist's magic art
Could crystallize this sacred treasure !
Long should it glitter near my heart,
A secret source of pensive pleasure.
The little brilliant, ere it fell,
Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye ;
Then, trembling, left its coral cell-
The spring of Sensibility!
Sweet drop of pure and pearly light!
In thee the rays of Virtue shine ;
More calmly clear, more mildly bright,
Than any gem that gilds the mine.
Benign restorer of the soul!
Who ever fly'st to bring relief,
When first we feel the rude control
Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief.
The sage's and the poet's theme,
In every clime, in every age;
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream,
In Reason's philosophic page.
That very law* which moulds a tear,
And bids it trickle from its source,
That law preserves the earth a sphere,
And guides the planets in their course.
TO A VOICE THAT HAD BEEN LOST.
Vane, quid affectas faciem mihi ponere, pictor ?
Aëris et linguæ sum filia ;
Et, si vis similem pingere, pinge sonum.-Ausonius.
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! 'twas thine to soar, Careering on the winged 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 awhile to thee 'twas given Once more that Voice* beloved to join, Which taught thee first a flight divine, And nursed thy infant years with many a strain