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WRITTEN OPPOSITE A DRAWING OF A PARROT AND BUTTERFLY.
BRIGHT creatures are ye, bird and butterfly,
The joyous progeny of the breeding sun,
Who worked below, his “ 'prentice hand to try,”
On topaz, ruby, and carnelian.
Then, breathing upwards, first essayed the rose,
Sweet emanation of the soul of earth ;
Then would the gilded fly its wings disclose,
Proud of the beauty of its gorgeous birth.
But brightest gems would murmur, if they might,
Because for woman, not themselves, they glow.
Blest are the insects, brood of warmth and light,
Who feel their life, how brief they cannot know;
But happier far the bird that can repeat
Sweet words, by sweeter lips made doubly sweet.
" When Messrs. Hawes and Fellowes ascended Mont Blanc in July,
1827, they observed a butterfly near the summit. Mr. C. Shewell saw two crimson moths at nearly the same elevation.”
Who would have thought, upon this icy cliff,
Where never ibex bounded,
Nor foot of chamois sounded, Where scarce the soaring hippogriff
Would venture, unless truly,
To this exalted Thule,
He carried the thought of a metaphysician,
Or theory of an electrician ;-
Who would have dream'd of seeing thee,
Softest of summer's progeny ?
What art thou seeking? What hast thou lost ?
That before the throne of eternal frost
Thou comest to spread the crimson wing,
Thou pretty fluttering thing?
Art thou too fine for the world below?
Or hast thou lived out thy joy and thy spring ?
And hast thou sworn
To live forlorn
An anchorite in a cave of snow,
Or Palmer lonely wandering ?
Or dost thou fancy, as many have done,
That, because the hill-top is nearest the sun,
The sun loves better the unthawed ice,
That does nothing but say that he is bright,
And dissect, like a prism, his braided light-
Than the gardens of bloom and the fields of spice ? Didst thou think that the bright orb his mystery shrouds In a comfortless mantle of sleet-driving clouds ?
Alas! he never loved this place ;
It bears no token of his grace ;
But many a mark of the tempest's lash,
And many a brand of the sulphurous flash.
'Tis better to dwell among corn-fields and flowers,
Or even the weeds of this world of ours,
Than to leave the green vale and the sunny slope, .
To seek the cold cliff with a desperate hope.
Flutter he, flutter he, high as he will,
A butterfly is but a butterfly still.
And 'tis better for us to remain where we are,
In the lowly valley of duty and care,
Than lonely to stray to the heights above,
Where there's nothing to do, and nothing to love.
A MIGHTY bard there was, in joy of youth,
That wont to rove the vernal groves among,
When the green oak puts forth its scallop'd tooth,
And daisies thick the darkening fallows throng;
He listen'd oft, whene’er he sought to soothe
A fancied sorrow with a fancied song,
For Philomela's ancient tale of ruth,
And never heard it, all the long night long ;
But heard, instead, so glad a strain of sound,
So many changes of continuous glee,
From lowest twitter, such a quick rebound,
To billowy height of troubled ecstasy-
Rejoice! he said, for joyfully had he found
That mighty poets may mistaken be.*