Page images
PDF
EPUB

Again we wandered, willing to partake
All that she suffer'd for her dear Lord's sake.

Then, too, this Song of mine once more could

please, Where anguish, strange as dreams of restless

sleep,
Is temper'd and allay'd by sympathies
Aloft ascending, and descending deep,
Even to the inferior Kinds; whom forest-trees
Protect from beating sunbeams, and the sweep
Of the sharp winds ;-fair Creatures !—to whom

Heaven
A calm and sinless life, with love, hath given.

This tragic Story cheer'd us; for it speaks
Of female patience winning firm repose ;
And of the recompense which conscience seeks,
A bright, encouraging example shows;
Needful when o'er wide realms the tempest breaks,
Needful amid life's ordinary woes ;-
Hence, not for them unfitted who would bless
A happy hour with holier happiness.

He serves the Muses erringly and ill,
Whose aim is pleasure light and fugitive :
O, that my mind were equal to fulfil
The comprehensive mandate which they give-
Vain aspiration of an earnest will !
Yet in this moral Strain a power may live,
Beloved Wife! such solace to impart
As it hath yielded to thy tender heart.

SONNET.

COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1803.

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 !

SONNET.

The world is too much with us ; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers :
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon !
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The Winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers ;
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune ;
It moves us not.-Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn ;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea ;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

SONNET.

COMPOSED IN THE VALLEY NEAR DOVER, ON RETURNING

FROM FRANCE.

DEAR Fellow-traveller ! here we are onte more. The Cock that crows, the Smoke that curls, that

sound Of Bells,—those Boys who in yon meadow-ground In white-sleeved shirts are playing, and the roar Of the waves breaking on the chalky shore,All, all are English. Oft have I looked round With joy in Kent's green vales ; but never found Myself so satisfied in heart before. Europe is yet in Bonds; but let that pass, Thought for another moment. Thou art free, My Country! and 'tis joy enough and pride For one hour's perfect bliss, to tread the ass Of England once again, and hear and see, With such a dear Companion at my side.

SONNET.
LONDON, 1802.

MILTON! thou should'st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters : altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men ;

Oh! raise us up, return to us again ;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea;
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

SONNET.

ON THE FINAL SUBMISSION OF THE TYROLESE,

It was a moral end for which they fought ;
Else how, when mighty Thrones were put to

shame, Could they, poor Shepherds, have preserved an

aim, A resolution, or enlivening thought ? Nor hath that moral good been vainly sought; For in their magnanimity and fame Powers have they left-an impulse—and a claim Which neither can be overturn'd nor bought. Sleep, Warriors, sleep! among your hills repose! We know that ye, beneath the stern control Of awful prudence, keep the unvanquish'd soul. And when, impatient of her guilt and woes, Europe breaks forth ; then, Shepherds ! shall ye

rise For perfect triumph o'er your Enemies.

A PORTRAIT.

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's, 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 way-lay.

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 betwixt 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 ;

« PreviousContinue »