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COMPOSED DURING A STORM.
TO LADY BEAUMONT.
One who was suffering tumult in his soul
LADY! the songs of Spring were in the grove Went forth—his course surrendering to
While I was shaping beds for winter flowers; Of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings prowl : While I was planting green unfading bowers, Insidiously, untimely thunders growl;
And shrubs—to hang upon the warm alcove, While trees, dim-seen, in frenzied numbers, tear
And sheltering wall; and still, as Fancy wove The lingering remnant of their yellow hair,
The dream, to time and nature's blended powers And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness, howl I gave this paradise for winter hours, As if the sun were not. He raised his eye
A labyrinth, Lady! which your feet shall rove. Soul-smitten; for, that instant, did appear
Yes! when the sun of life more feebly shines, Large space (mid dreadful clouds) of purest sky, Becoming thoughts, I trust, of solemn gloom An azure disc-shield of Tranquillity;
Or of high gladness you shall hither bring; Invisible, unlooked-for, minister
And these perennial bowers and murmuring pines Of providential goodness ever nigh!
Be gracious as the music and the bloom
TO A SNOW-DROP.
Lone Flower,hemmed in with snows and white as
Which only Poets know ;—'t was rightly said ;
How oft the malice of one luckless word Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May Pursues the Enthusiast to the social board, Shall soon behold this border thickly set
Haunts him belated on the silent plains ! With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing Yet he repines not, if his thought stand clear, On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers; At last, of hindrance and obscurity, Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Fresh as the star that crowns the brow of morn;
The moment it has left the virgin's eye,
TO THE LADY MARY LOWTHER.
With a selection from the Poems of Anne, Conntees of Winchilsea;
and extracts of similar character from other Writers; transcribed
by a female friend. LADY! I rifled a Parnassian Cave
The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said, (But seldom trod) of mildly-gleaming ore; “ Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!" And culled, from sundry beds, a lucid store Forthwith, that little cloud, in ether spread Of genuine crystals, pure as those that pave And penetrated all with tender light, The azure brooks, where Dian joys to lave She cast away, and showed her fulgent head Her spotless limbs; and ventured to explore Uncovered; dazzling the Beholder's sight Dim shades—for reliques, upon Lethe's shore, As if to vindicate her beauty's right, Cast up at random by the sullen wave.
Her beauty thoughtlessly disparagèd. To female hands the treasures were resigned; Meanwhile that veil, removed or thrown aside, And lo this work !-a grotto bright and clear Went floating from her, darkening as it went; From stain or taint; in which thy blameless mind And a huge mass, to bury or to hide, May feed on thoughts though pensive not austere; Approached this glory of the firmament; Or, if thy deeper spirit be inclined
Who meekly yields, and is obscured-content To holy musing, it may enter here.
With one calm triumph of a modest pride.
When haughty expectations prostrate lie,
Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress
Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour!
The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand, But studious only to remove from sight
And, haply, there the spirits of the blest Day's mutable distinctions.—Ancient Power! Dwell, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest; Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower, Huge Ocean shows, within his yellow strand, To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest A habitation marvellously planned, Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest For life to occupy in love and rest ; On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower All that we seemis dome, or vault, or nest, Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen Or fortress, reared at Nature's sage command. The self-same Vision which we now behold, Glad thought for every season! but the Spring At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power! brought Gave it while cares were weighing on my heart, forth;
'Mid song of birds, and insects murmuring; These mighty barriers, and the gulf between ; And while the youthful year's prolific artThe flood, the stars,-a spectacle as old
Of bud, leaf, blade, and lower—was fashioning As the beginning of the heavens and earth! Abodes where self-disturbance hath no part.
With how sad steps, 0 Moon, thou climb'st the sky,
Fade and are shed, that from their timely fall Hurrying and sparkling through the clear blue (Misdeem it not a cankerous change) may grow heaven;
Rich mellow bearings, that for thanks shall call : But, Cynthia ! should to thee the palm be given, In all men, sinful is it to be slow Queen both for beauty and for majesty.
To hope_in Parents, sinful above all.
CAPTIVITY-MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.
Four fiery steeds impatient of the rein “ As the cold aspect of a sunless way
Whirled us o'er sunless ground beneath a sky Strikes through the Traveller's frame with deadlier As void of sunshine, when, from that wide plain, chill,
Clear tops of far-off mountains we descry, Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill,
Like a Sierra of cerulean Spain, Glistening with unparticipated ray,
All light and lustre. Did no heart reply? Or shining slope where he must never stray; Yes, there was One ;—for One, asunder fly So joys, remembered without wish or will,
The thousand links of that ethereal chain; Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,
And green vales open out, with grove and field, On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay.
And the fair front of many a happy Home; Just Heaven, contract the compass of my mind
Such tempting spots as into vision come To fit proportion with my altered state !
While Soldiers, weary of the arms they wield Quench those felicities whose light I find
And sick at heart of strifeful Christendom, Reflected in my bosom all too late!
Gaze on the moon by parting clouds revealed. O be my spirit, like my thraldom, strait; And, like mine eyes that stream with sorrow, blind!"
ST. CATHERINE OF LEDBURY.
BROOK! whose society the Poet seeks, When human touch (as monkish books attest)
Intent his wasted spirits to renew; Nor was applied nor could be, Ledbury bells
And whom the curious Painter doth pursue Broke forth in concert flung adown the dells,
Through rocky passes, among flowery creeks, And upward, high as Malvern's cloudy crest;
And tracks thee dancing down thy water-breaks; Sweet tones, and caught by a noble Lady blest
If wish were mine some type of thee to view, To rapture ! Mabel listened at the side
Thee, and not thee thyself, I would not do Of her loved mistress : soon the music died,
Like Grecian Artists, give thee human cheeks, And Catherine said, Were & set up my rest.
Channels for tears; no Naiad should'st thou be, Warned in a dream, the Wanderer long had sought Have neither limbs, feet, feathers, joints nor hairs : A home that by such miracle of sound
It seems the Eternal Soul is clothed in thee Must be revealed :-she heard it now, or felt
With purer robes than those of flesh and blood, The deep, deep joy of a confiding thought;
And hath bestowed on thee a safer good; And there, a saintly Anchoress, she dwelt
Unwearied joy, and life without its cares. Till she exchanged for heaven that happy ground.
gives to airy nothing
COMPOSED ON THE BANKS OF A ROCKY STREAM.
Though narrow be that old Man's cares, and near, Dogmatic Teachers, of the snow-white fur!
Press the point home, or falter and demur,
These natural council-seats your acrid blood With vital sounds and monitory gleams
Might cool;-and, as the Genius of the flood Of high astonishment and pleasing fear.
Stoops willingly to animate and spur He the seven birds hath seen, that never part, Each lighter function slumbering in the brain, Seen the Seven Whistlers in their nightly rounds, Yon eddying balls of foam, these arrowy gleams And counted them: and oftentimes will start- That o'er the pavement of the surging streams For overhead are sweeping GABRIEL'S HOUNDS Welter and flash, a synod might detain Doomed, with their impious Lord, the Aying Hart With subtle speculations, haply vain, To chase for ever, on aërial grounds !
But surely less so than your far-fetched themes !
Of the propitious hour, thou may'st perceive
The local Deity, with oozy hair THIS, AND THE TWO FOLLOWING, WERE SUGGESTED And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn, BY MR. W. WESTALL'S VIEWS OF THE CAVES, ETC. Recumbent: Him thou may'st behold, who hides
His lineaments by day, yet there presides, PURE element of waters! wheresoe'er
Teaching the docile waters how to turn,
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1802.
Earth has not any thing to show more fair : In man's perturbed soul thy sway benign ;
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by And, haply, far within the marble belt
A sight so touching in its majesty: Of central earth, where tortured Spirits pine
This City now doth, like a garment, wear For grace and goodness lost, thy murmurs melt
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Their anguish,—and they blend sweet songs with
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie thine.*
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
That animates the scenes of public life *
And if these Transcripts of the private heart
Is but a glimmering spoke in the swift wheel At early dawn, or rather when the air
Of the revolving week. Away, away,
So timely Grace the immortal wing may heal, Then, pensive Votary! let thy feet repair
And honour rest upon the senseless clay,
young lions couch ; for so, by leave * This line alludes to Sonnets which will be found in
* Waters (as Mr. Westall informs us in the letter-press prefixed to his admirable views) are invariably found to flow through these caverns.
RECOLLECTION OF THE PORTRAIT OF KING HENRY
EIGHTH, TRINITY LODGE, CAMBRIDGE. Though the bold wings of Poesy affect
The imperial Stature, the colossal stride, The clouds, and wheel around the mountain tops Are yet before me; yet do I behold Rejoicing, from her loftiest height she drops The broad full visage, chest of amplest mould, Well pleased to skim the plain with wild flowers The vestments 'broidered with barbaric pride : deckt,
And lo! a poniard, at the Monarch's side, Or muse in solemn grove whose shades protect Hangs ready to be grasped in sympathy The lingering dew—there steals along, or stops With the keen threatenings of that fulgent eye, Watching the least small bird that round her hops, Below the white-rimmed bonnet, far-descried. Or creeping worm, with sensitive respect.
Who trembles now at thy capricious mood ? Her functions are they therefore less divine, 'Mid those surrounding Worthies, haughty King, Her thoughts less deep, or void of grave intent We rather think, with grateful mind sedate, Her simplest fancies ? Should that fear be thine, How Providence educeth, from the spring Aspiring Votary, ere thy hand present
Of lawless will, unlooked-for streams of good, One offering, kneel before her modest shrine, Which neither force shall check nor time abate ! With brow in penitential sorrow bent !
OXFORD, MAY 30, 1820.
Novice robed in fluttering gown!
ON THE DEATH OF HIS MAJESTY (GEORGE THE THIRD).
OXFORD, MAY 30, 1820.
Fame tells of groves—from England far away-
* Wallachia is the country alluded to.