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Ten years have beld their course; thus late
I learn the tidings of thy fate;
A Husband and a Father now,
Of thee, a Wife and Mother thou.
And, Mary, as for thee I frame
A prayer which hath no selfish aim,
No happier lot can I wish thee
Than such as Heaven hath granted me.
The Spirit is not there
Which kindled that dead eye,
Which throbb'd in that cold heart,
Which in that motionless hand
Hath met thy friendly grasp.
The Spirit is not there!
It is but lifeless, perishable flesh
That moulders in the grave;
Earth, air, and water's ministering particles
Now to the clements
Resolved, their uses done. Not to the grave, not to the grave, my Soul,
Follow thy friend beloved,
The Spirit is not there!
Often together have we talk'd of death;
How sweet it were to see
All doubtful things made clear;
Ilow sweet it were with powers
Such as the Cherubim,
To view the depıh of Heaven!
O Edmund! thou hast first
Begun ilte travel of Eternity!
gaze amid the stars, And think that thou art there, Unfetter'd as the thought that follows thee.
TO A FRIEND,
ENQUIRING IF I WOULD LIVE OVER MY YOUTH AGAIN.
Do I regret the past ?
Would I again live o'er
Tlie morning hours of life?
Nay, William ! nay, not so!
In the warm joyance of the summer sun
I do not wish again
The changeful April day.
nay, not so!
Safe haven'd from the sea
I would not tempt again
The uncertain ocean's wrath.
Praise be to Him who made me what I am,
Other I would not be.
Why is it pleasant then to sit and talk
Of days that are no more?
When in his own dear home
The traveller rests at last,
And tells how often in his wanderings
The thought of those far off
Hath made his
o'erflow With no unmanly tears;
Delighted he recalls Through what fair scenes his lingering feel have trod :
But ever when he tells of perils past,
And troubles now po more,
His eyes most sparkle, and a readier joy
Flows thankful from his heart.
And we have often said how sweet it were
With unseen ministry of angel power
To watch the friends we loved.
Edmund! we did not err!
Sure I have felt thy presence! Thou hast given
A birth to holy thought, Has kept me from the world unstain'd and pure.
Edmund! we did not err!
Our best affections here
They are not like the toys of infancy;
The Soul outgrows them noi;
We do not cast them off ;
Oh if it could be so,
It were indeed a dreadful thing to die !
Not to the grave, not to the grave, my Soul,
Follow thy friend beloved !
But in the lonely hour,
But in the eveving walk,
Think that he companies thy solitude ;
Think that he holds with thee
And though Remembrance wake a tear,
There will be joy in grief.
No, William, no, I would not live again
The morning hours of life;
I would not be again
The slave of hope and fear;
I would not learn again
The wisdom by Experience hardly taught.
To me the past presents
No object for regret;
To me the present gives
All cause for full content.
The future,- it is now the cheerful noon,
And on the sunny-smiling fields I gaze
alive to joy;
When the dark night descends,
I willingly shall close my weary lids,
Secure to wake again,
THE RETROSPECT. As on I journey through the vale of years, By hopes enliven'd, or deprest by fears, Allow me, Memory, in thy treasured store, To view the days that will retura no more. And yes! before thive intellectual ray, The clouds of mental darkness melt away! As when, at earliest day's awakening dawn The hovering mists obscure the dewy lawn, O'er all the landscape spread their influence chill, Hang o'er the vale, and wood, and hide the hill; Anon, slow-rising comes the orb of day, Slow fade the shadowy mists and roll away,
Not to the grave, not to the grave, my Soul,
Descend to contemplate
The form that once was dear! Feed not on thoughts so loathly horrible!
The prospect opens on the traveller's sight, And hills and vales and woods reflect the living light.
O thou, the mistress of my future days,
Accept thy minstrel's retrospective lays :
To whom the minstrel and the lyre belong,
Accept, my Edita, Memory's pensive song.
Of long-past days I sing, ere yet I knew
Or thought and grief, or happiness and you;
Ere yet my infant heart had learnt to prove
The cares of life, the hopes and fears of love.
Corston, twelve years in various fortunes fled
Have past with restless progress o'er my lead,
Since in thy vale beneath the master's rule
I dwelt an inmate of the village school.
Yet still will Memory's busy eye retrace
Each little vestige of the well-known place;
Each wonted haunt and scene of youthful joy,
Where merriment has cheer'd the careless boy;
Well-pleased will fancy still the spot survey
Where once he triumph'd in the childish play,
Without one care where every morn he rose,
Where every evening sunk to calm repose.
Large was the house, though fallen by varying fate
From its old grandeur and manorial state.
Lord of the manor, here the jovial Squire
Once call'd his tenants round the crackling fire;
Here while the glow of joy suffused his face,
He told his ancient exploits in the chase,
And, proud his rival sportsmen to surpass,
He lit again the pipe, and filld again the class.
But now no more was heard at early morn
The echoing clangor of the huntsman's horo;
No more the cager hounds with deep'ning cry
Leapt round him as they knew their pastime nigh ;
The Squire no more obey'd the morning call,
Nor favourite spaniels fill'd the sportsman's ball;
For he, the last descendant of his race,
Slept with his fathers, and forgot the chase.
There now in petty empire o'er the school
The mighty master held despotic rule ;
Trembling in silence all his deeds we saw,
His look a maodate, and his word a law;
Severe his voice, severe and stern his mien,
And wonderous strict he was, and wonderous wise I ween.
Methinks even now the interview I see,
The Mistress's glad smile, the Master's glee;
Much of my future happiness they said,
Much of the easy life the scholars led,
Of spacious play-ground and of wholesome air,
The best instruction and the tenderest care ;
And when I followed to the garden-door
My father, till through tears I saw no more, -
How civilly they soothed my parting pain,
And how they never spake so civilly again.
Why loves the soul on earlier years to dwell,
When memory spreads around her saddening spell,
Wheu discontent, with sullen gloom o'ercast,
Turns from the present and prefers the past?
Why calls reflection to my pensive view
Each trifling act of infancy ancw,
Each trifling act with pleasure pondering o'er,
Even al the time when trifles please no more?
Yet is remembrance sweet, though well I know
The days of childhood are but days of woe;
Some rude restraint, some petty tyrant sours
The tranquil calm of childhood's easy
Yet is it sweet to call those hours to mind, -
Those easy hours for ever left behind ;
Ere care began the spirit to oppress,
When ignorance itself was happiness.
Such was my state in those remember'd years
When one small acre bounded all my fears;
And therefore still with pleasure I recall
The tapestried school, the bright-brown boarded hall,
The murmuring brook, that every morning saw
The due observance of the cleanly law,
The walnuts, where, when favour would allow,
Full oft I wont to search cach well-stript bough;
The crab-tree, whence we hid the secret hoord
With roasted crabs to deck the wintry board,
These tritling objects then my heart possest,
These tritling objects still remain imprest ;
So when with unskill'd hand the idle hind
Carves his rude name within the sapling's rind,
In after years the peasant lives to see
The expanding letters grow as grows the tree;
Though every winter's desolating sway
Shake the hoarse grove and sweep the leaves away,
That rude inscription uneffaced will last,
Unalter'd by the storm or wintry blast.
Oh while well pleased the letter'd traveller roams
Among old temples, palaces, and domes,
Strays with the Arab o'er the wreck of time
Where erst Palmyra's towers arosc sublime,
Or marks the lazy Turk's lethargic pride
And Grecian slavery on llyssus' side,
Oh be it mine aloof from public strife
To mark the changes of domestic life,
The alter'd scenes where once I bore a part,
Where every change of fortune strikes the heart.
As when the merry bells with echoing sound
Proclaim the news of victory around,
Rejoicing patriots run the news to spread
Of glorious conquest and of thousands dead,
All join the loud huzza with eager breath,
And triumph in the tale of blood and death;
But if extended on the battle-plain,
Cut off in conquest some dear friend be slain,
Even now through many a long, long year / trace
The hour when first with awe I view'd his face ;
Even now recall my entrance at the dome, -
"T was the first day I ever left my home!
Years interveping have not worn away
The deep remembrance of that wretched day,
Nor taught me to forget my earliest fears,
A mother's fondness, and a mother's tears;
When close she prest me to her sorrowing heart,
As loth as even I myself to part;
And I, as I beheld her sorrows flow,
With painful effort hid my inward woe.
But time to youthful troubles brings relief,
And each new object weans the child from grief.
Like April showers the tears of youth descend,
Sudden they fall, and suddenly they end;
A fresher pleasure cheers the following hour As brighter shines the sun after the April shower.
Affection then will fill the sorrowing eye,
Poor Outcast, sleep in peace! the wintry storm And suffering Nature grieve that one should die. Blows bleak no more on thine unshelter'd form ;
Thy woes are past; thou restest in the tomb;Cold was the morn, and bleak the wintry blast
I pause—and ponder on the days to come.
Blew o'er the meadow, when I saw thee last.
My bosom bounded as I wander'd round
With silent step the long-remember'd ground,
Where I had loiter'd out so many an hour,
ON MY OWN
Chased the gay butterfly, and culld the flower,
Sought the swift arrow's erring course to trace,
Or with mine equals vied amid the chase.
Taken at Two Years of Age.
I saw the church where I had slept away
The tedious service of the summer day;
And I was once like this ? that glowing cheek
Or, listening sad to all the preacher told,
Was mine, those pleasure-sparkling eyes; that brow
Smooth as the level lake, when not a breeze Jn winter waked and shiverd with the cold.
Dies o'er the sleeping surface!-Twenty years Oft have my footsteps roam'd the sacred ground
Have wrought strange alteration! Of the friends Where heroes, kings, and poets sleep around,
Who once so dearly prized this miniature, Oft traced the mouldering castle's ivied wall,
And loved it for its likeness, some are gone Or aged convent toltering to its fall,
To their last home; and some, estranged in heart,
Yet never had
bosom felt such pain,
Beholding me, with quick-averted glance
As, Corsion, when I saw thy scenes again ;
Pass on the other side! But still these hues
For many a long-lost pleasure came to view,
Remain unalter'd, and these features wear
For many a long-past sorrow rose anew;
Where whilom all were friends I stood alone,
The look of Infancy and Innocence.
Unknowing all I saw, of all I saw unknown.
I search myself in vain, and find no trace
Of what I was: those lightly arching lines
little hands were wont to rear
Dark and o'erhanging now; and that sweet face
With pride the earliest sallad of the year;
Settled in these strong lineaments !-- There were Where never idle weed to spring was seen,
Who formed high hopes and flattering ones of thee, Rank thorns and nettles reard their heads obscene :
Young Robert! for thine eye was quick to speak Still all around and sad, I saw no more
Each opening feeling: should they not liave kaown, The playful group, nor heard the playful roar;
If the rich rainbow on the morning cloud There echoed round no shout of mirth and glee,
Reflects its radiant dyes, the husbandmın seem'd as though the world were changed like me! Beholds the ominous glory, and foresees Enough! it boots not on the past to dwell,
Impending storms!—They augur'd happily,
That thou didst love each wild and wond'rous tale
Fair scene of other years, a long farewell!
Rouse up, my soul! it boots pot to repine,
Of faery fiction, and thine infant longue
Rouse up! for worthier feelings should be thine ; Lisp'd with delight the godlike deeds of Greece
Thy path is plain and straight, -that light is given, - And rising Rome; therefore they deem'd forsooth,
Onward in faith-and leave the rest to Heaven.
That thou shouldst tread PREFERMENT's pleasant path.
III-judging ones! they let thy little feet
Stray in the pleasant paths of Poesy,
And when thou shouldst have prest amid the crowd,
THE PAUPER'S FUNERAL.
There didst thou love to linger out the day,
Loitering beneath the laurel's barren shade. What! and not one to heave the pious sigli!
SPIRIT OF SPENSER! was the wanderer wrong? Not one whose sorrow-swoln and aching eye,
1796. For social scenes,
for life's endearments fled,
Shall drop a tear aud dwell upon the dead!
Poor wretched Outcast! I will weep for thee,
And sorrow for forlorn humanity.
A FAVOURITE OLD SPANIEL.
Yes, I will weep; but not that thou art come
To the stern sabbath of ihe silent tomb:
And they have drown'd thee then at last! poor Phillis!
For squalid Want, and the black scorpion Care, The burden of old age was heavy on thee,
Heart-withering fiends! shall never enter there.
And yet thou shouldst have lived! What though thine
I sorrow for the ills thy life has known,
As through the world's long pilgrimage, alope, Was dim, and watchi'd no more with eager joy
Haunted by Poverty and woc-begone,
The wonted call that on thy dull sense sunk
Unloved, unfriended, thou didsi journey on :
With fruitless repetition, the warm Sun Thy youth in ignorance and labour past,
Might still have cheerd thy slumber: thou didst love And thine old age all barrenness and blast!
To lick the land that fed thee, and though past Hard was thy Fate, which, while it doom'd to woe
Youth's active scason, even Life itself Denied the wisdom to support the blow ;
Was comfort, Poor old friend! how earnestly And robb'd of all its energy thy mind,
Would I have pleaded for thee! thou hadst been Ere yet it cast thee on thy fellow-kind,
Still the companion of my childish sports; Abject of thought, the victim of jistress,
And as I roam'd o'er Avon's woody cliffs, To wander in the world's wide wilderness.
From many a day-dream has thy short quick bark
Recall'd my wandering soul. I have beguiled
Often the melancholy hours at school,
Sour'd by some little tyrant, with the thought
Of distant home, and I remember'd then
Thy faithful fondoess: for not mean the joy,
Returning at the pleasant holidays,
I felt from thy dumb welcome. Pensively
Sometimes have I remark'd thy slow decay,
Feeling myself changed too, and musing much
On many a sad vicissitude of Life!
Ah, poor companion! when thou followedst last
Thy master's parting footsteps to the gate
Which closed for ever on him, thou didst lose
Thy truest friend, and none was left to plead
For the old age of brute fidelity!
But fare thee well! Mine is no narrow creed;
And He who gave thee being did not frame
The mystery of life to be the sport
Of merciless Man! There is another world
For all that live and move-a better one!
Where the proud bipeds, who would fain confine
INFINITE GOODNESS to the little bounds
Of their own charity, may envy thee.
Pleasant it were upon some broad smooth rock
To sit and sun myself, and look below,
And watch the goatherd down yon high-bank'd path
Urging his flock grotesque; and bidding now
His lean rough dog from some near cliff Co
The straggler; while his barkings loud and quick
Amid their trembling bleat arising oft,
Fainter and fainter from the hollow road
Send their far echoes, till the waterfall,
Hoarse bursting from the cavern'd cliff beneath,
Their dying murmurs drown. A little yet
Onward, and I have gain’d the upmost height.
Fair spreads the vale below: I see the stream
Stream radiant on beneath the noontide sky.
A passing cloud darkens the bordering steep,
Where the town-spires behind the castle towers
Rise graceful; brown the mountain in its shade,
Whose circling grandeur, part by mists conceald,
Part with white rocks resplendent in the sun
Should bound mine eyes,-aye, and my wishes 100,
For I would have no hope or fear beyond.
The empty turmoil of the worthless world,
Its vanities and vices, would not vex
My quiet heart. The traveller, who beheld
The low tower of the little pile, might deem
It were the house of God; nor would he err
So deeming, for that home would be the home
Of Peace and Love, and they would hallow it
To Him. Oh, life of blessedness! to reap
The fruit of honourable toil, and bound
Our wishes with our wants! Delightful thoughts,
That soothe the solitude of maniac Hope,
Ye leave her to reality awaked,
Like the poor captive, from some tleeting dream
Of friends and liberty and home restored,
Startled, and listening as the midnight storm
Beats hard and heavy through his dungeon bars.
Poussin! how pleasantly thy pictured scenes
Beguile the lonely hour! I sit and gaze
With lingering eye, till charmed Fancy Makes
The lovely landscape live, and the rapt soul
From the foul haunts of herded human-kind
Flies far away with spirit speed, and tastes
The untainted air, that with the lively hue
Of health and happiness illumes the cheek
Of mountain LIBERTY. My willing soul
All eager follows on thy faery flights,
FANCY! best friend; whose blessed witcheries
With loveliest prospects cheat the traveller
O'er the long wearying desert of the world.
Nor dost thou, Fancy! with such magic mock
My heart, as, demon born, old Merlin know,
Or Alquif, or Zarzafiel's sister
Whose vengeful anguish for so many a year
Held in the jacinth sepulchre entranced
Lisuart the Grecian, pride of chivalry.
Friend of my lonely hours! thou leadest me
To such calm joys as Nature, wise and good,
Proffers in vain to all her wretched sons;
Her wretched sons who pine with want amid
The abundant earth, and blindly bow them down
Before the Moloch shrines of WEALTH and Power,
AUTHORS of Evil. Oh, it is most sweet
To medicine with thy wiles the wearied heart,
Sick of reality. The little pile
That tops the summit of that
cracey Shall be my dwelling: craggy is the hill And steep; yet through yon hazels upward leads The easy path, along wliose winding way Now close embower'd I hear the unseen stream Dash down, anon behold its sparkling foam Gleam through the thicket; and ascending on Now pause me to survey the goodly vale That opens on my vision. Ilalf way up
Nay, William, nay, pot so! the changeful year
In all its due successions to my sight
Presents but varied beauties, transient all,
All in their season good.
These fading leaves,
That with their rich variety of hues
Make yonder forest in the slanting sun
So beautiful, in you awake the thought
Of winter,-cold, drear winter, when these trees
Each like a fleshless skeleton shall stretch
Its bare brown boughs; when not a flower shall spread
Its colours to the day, and not a bird
Carol its joyaunce,-but all nature wear
One sullen aspect, bleak and desolate,
To eye, ear, feeling, comfortless alike.
To me their many-colour'd beauties speak
Of times of merriment and festival,
The year's best holiday: I call to miod
The school-boy days, when in the falling leaves
I saw with eager hope the pleasant sign
Of coming Christmas; when at morn I took
My wooden kalendar, and counting up
Once more its often-told account, smooth'd off
Each day with more delight the daily notch.
the beauties of the autumnal year