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O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings : climb with me the steep,Nature's observatory-whence the dell, In flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
May seem a span ; let me thy vigils keep 'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's
swift leap Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell. But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with
thee, Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind, Whose words are images of thoughts refined, Is
my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.
How many bards gild the lapses of time!
A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy,- I could brood Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime : And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,
These will in throngs before my mind intrude:
But no confusion, no disturbance rude Do they occasion ; 'tis a pleasing chime. So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store ; The songs of birds—the whispering of the
leavesThe voice of waters—the great bell that heaves With solemn sound, and thousand others
more, That distance of recognizance bereaves,
Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.
NYMPH of the downward smile and sidelong
glance! In what diviner moments of the day
Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance ? Or when serenely wandering in a trance
Of sober thought? Or when starting away,
With careless robe to meet the morning ray, Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance ? Haply 'tis when thy ruby lips part sweetly,
And so remain, because thou listenest: But thou to please wert nurtured so completely
That I can never tell what mood is best, I shall as soon pronounce which Grace more
neatly Trips it before Apollo than the rest.
WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT
What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,
Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he,
In his immortal spirit, been as free
Think you he nought but prison-walls did see,
Till, so unwilling, thou unturn’dst the key?
Culling enchanted flowers ; and he flew
To regions of his own his genius true Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew ?
TO MY BROTHER.
SMALL, busy flames play through the fresh-laid
coals, And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep
Like whispers of the household gods that keep A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls. And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles,
Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That thus it passes smoothly, quietly:
May we together pass, and calmly try