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I see the dark-brown curls, the brow,
The smooth transparent skin,
Refin'd, as with intent to show
The holiness within;
The grace of parting Infancy
By blushes yet untam'd;
Age faithful to the mother's knee,
Nor of her arms asham’d.
Two lovely Sisters, still and sweet
As flowers, stand side by side;
Their soul-subduing looks might cheat
The Christian of his pride;
Such beauty hath th' Eternal pour'd
Upon them not forlorn,
Though of a lineage once abhorr'd,
Nor yet redeem'd from scorn.
Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite
Of poverty and wrong,
Doth here preserve a living light,
From Hebrew fountains sprung; That gives this ragged group to cast .Around the dell a gleam
Of Palestine, of glory past,
And proud Jerusalem!
SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight too her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature, not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.
THREE years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the Fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.
The Floating Clouds their state shall lend To her; for her the willow bend:
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form By silent sympathy.
The Stars of Midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where Rivulets dance their wayward round, And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy Dell.”
Thus Nature spoke.-The work was doneHow soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene:
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3. 1503.
EARTH has not any thing to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock or hill:
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep.
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
WHEN maidens such as Hester die,
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try,
With vain endeavour.
A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed
And her together.
A springy motion in her gait,
A rising step, did indicate
Of pride and joy no common rate,
That flush'd her spirit-
I know not by what name beside
I shall it call:-if 'twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied
She did inherit.
Her parents held the Quaker rule, Which doth the human feeling cool; But she was train'd in Nature's school, Nature had blest her.
A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind,
A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind, Ye could not Hester.