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Tufted moss and ivy-twine,
Deck my love, my Valentine !
Few and simple flowerets these,
Yet to me less glorious
Garden buds and orchard trees,
Since this wreath victorious
Binds thee now for ever mine,
O my love, my Valentine !
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY,
A STAR would be a flower;
So down from heaven it came,
And in a Honeysuckle bower
Lit up its little flame:
There on a bank, beneath the shade
By sprays, and leaves, and blossoms made,
It overlooked the garden-ground, -
A landscape stretching ten yards round:
Oh! what a change of place
From gazing through th' eternity of space!
Gay plants on every side
Únclosed their lovely blooms,
And scattered far and wide
Their ravishing perfumes:
The butterfly, the bee,
And many an insect on the wing,
Full of the spirit of the spring,
Flew round and round in endless glee,
Alighting here, ascending there,
Ranging and revelling everywhere.
Now all the flowers were up and drest
In robes of many-coloured light;
The pale Primroses looked their best,
Peonies blushed with all their might;
Dutch Tulips from their beds
Flaunted their stately heads;
Auriculas, like belles and beaux,
Glittering with birthnight splendour rose,
And Polyanthuses displayed
The brilliance of their gold brocade.
Here Hyacinths of heavenly blue
Shook their rich tresses to the morn,
While Rosebuds scarcely showed their hue,
But coyly lingered on the thorn,
Till their own nightingale, who tarried long,
Should wake them into beauty with his song.
The Violets were past their prime,
And yet their failing breath
Was sweeter in the hour of death
Than all the lavish fragrance of the time,
Amid this gorgeous train
Our Star shone forth in vain;
Though in a wreath of Periwinkle,
Through whose fine gloom it strove to twinkle,
It seemed no bigger to the view
Than the bright spangle in a drop of dew:
Where all was jollity around,
No fellowship the stranger found.
These lowliest children of the earth,
That never leave their mother's lap,
Companions in their harmless mirth,
Were smiling, blushing, dancing there,
Feasting on dew, and light, and air,
And fearing no mishap,
Save from the hand of lady fair,'
Who, on her wonted walk,
Plucked one and then another,
A sister or a brother,
From its elastic stalk,
Happy, no doubt, for one sharp pang, to die
On her sweet bosom, withering in her eye.
Thus all day long that Star's hard lot,
While bliss and beauty ran to waste,
Was but to witness on the spot
Beauty and bliss it could not taste.
At length the sun went down, and then
Its faded glory came again,
With brighter, bolder, purer light
It kindled through the deepening night,
Till the green bower, so dim by day,
Glowed like a fairy palace with its beams;
In vain;—for sleep on all the borders lay,
The flowers were blooming in the land of dreams.
Our Star, in melancholy state,
Still sighed to find itself alone,
Neglected, cold, and desolate,
Unknowing and unknown.
Lifting anon its mournful eye,
It saw that circlet empty in the sky
Where it was wont to roll
Within a hairbreadth of the pole:
In the same instant, sore amazed,
On that strange blank all Nature gazed;
Travellers, bewildered for their guide,
In glens and forests lost their way;
And ships, on ocean's trackless tide,
Went fearfully astray.
The Star, then, wiser for its folly, knew
Its duty, worth, and happiness at home;
So up to heaven again it flew,
Resolved no more to roam.
One hint the humble bard may send
To her for whom these lines were penned :
Oh! may it be enough for her
To shine in her own character!
Oh! may she be content to grace,
On earth, in heaven, her proper place!
At fond sixteen my roving heart
Was pierced by Love's delightful dart:
Keen transport throbbed through every vein,
- I never felt so sweet a pain !
Where circling woods embowered the glade,
I met the dear romantic maid:
I stole her hand,-it shrunk,-but, no;
I would not let my captive go.
With all the fervency of youth,
While passion told the tale of truth,
1 marked my Hannah's downcast eye-
'T was kind, but beautifully shy:
Not with a warmer, purer ray,
The sun, enamoured, woos young May;
Nor May, with softer maiden grace,
Turns from the sun her blushing face.
But, swifter than the frighted dove,
Fled the gay morning of my love;
Ah! that so bright a morn, so soon,
Should vanish in so dark a noon!
The Angel of Affliction rose,
And in his grasp a thousand woes;
He poured his vial on my head,
And all the heaven of rapture fled.
Yet, in the glory of my pride,
I stood,-and all his wrath defied ;
I stood,—though whirlwinds shook my brain,
And lightnings cleft my soul in twain.
I shunned my nymph ;-and knew not why
I durst not meet her gentle eye;
I shunned her, for I could not bear
To marry her to my despair.
Yet, sick at heart with hope delayed,
Oft the dear image of that maid
Glanced, like the rainbow, o'er my mind,
And promised happiness behind.
The storm blew o'er, and in my breast
The halcyon Peace rebuilt her nest;
The storm blew o'er, and clear and mild
The sea of Youth and Pleasure smiled.
’T was on the merry morn of May,
To Hannah's cot I took my way;
My eager hopes were on the wing,
Like swallows sporting in the spring.
Then, as I climbed the mountains o'er,
I lived my wooing days once more;
And fancy sketched my married lot,-
My wife, my children, and my cot.
I saw the village steeple rise,-
My soul sprang, sparkling, in my eyes:
The rural bells rang sweet and clear,-
My fond heart listened in mine ear.
I reached the hamlet:-all was gay;
I love a rustic holiday;
I met a wedding,-stepped aside;
It passed,--my Hannah was the bride.
-There is a grief that cannot feel-
It leaves a wound that will not heal ;
My heart grew cold, -it felt not then:
When shall it cease to feel again?
A RHAPSODY. Written on visiting Fulneck, in Yorkshire, where the Author was educated, in the
spring of 1806.
Days of my childhood, hail !
Whose gentle spirits wandering here,
Down in the visionary vale,
Before mine eyes appear,
Benignly pensive, beautifully pale;
O days for ever fled, for ever dear,
Days of my childhood, hail !
Joys of my early hours !
The swallows on the wing,
The bees among the flowers,
The butterflies of spring,
Light as their lovely moments flew,
Weru not more gay, more innocent, than you:
And fugitive as they,
Like butterflies in spring,
Like bees among the flowers,
Like swallows on the wing,