Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Nothing we see but means our good,
As our delight, or as our treasure ;
The whole is either our cupboard of food,
Or cabinet of pleasure.

The stars have us to bed;

Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws.
Music and light attend our head.

All things unto our flesh are kind,
In their descent and being; to our mind,
In their ascent and cause.

Each thing is full of duty: Waters united are our navigation; Distinguished, our habitation;

Below, our drink; above, our meat; Both are our cleanliness. Hath one such beauty? Then how all things are neat!

More servants wait on Man

Than he 'll take notice of. In every path
He treads down that which doth befriend him
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
O, mighty love! Man is one world, and hath
Another to attend him.

Since, then, my God, thou hast So brave a palace built, O, dwell in it, That it may dwell with thee at last! Till then, afford us so much wit,

That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee; And both thy servants be.

TO A SKYLARK.-Shelley.

HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest

Like a cloud of fire;

The blue deep thou wingest,

And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,

O'er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run;

Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;

Like a star of heaven,

In the broad daylight

Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere

Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,

Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

374

TO A SKYLARK.

All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud

The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee?

From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see,

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not;

Like a highborn maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower;

Like a glowworm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aerial hue

Among the flowers and grass which screen it from

the view;

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves.

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was

Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine;

I have never heard

Praise of love or wine

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphant chant,

Matched with thine, would be all

But an empty vaunt,

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain?

What fields, or waves, or mountains?

What shapes of sky or plain?

What love of thine own kind? What ignorance of

pain?

With thy clear, keen joyance

Languor cannot be :

Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:

Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's. sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem

Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,

Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream ?

376

THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear;

If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow,

'The world should listen then, as I am listening now

THE PRISONER OF CHILLON. — Byron.

A FABLE.

SONNET ON CHILLON.

ETERNAL spirit of the chainless mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty, thou art!
For there thy habitation is the heart,

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »