Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Of gentle breath and hue.
The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seem'd joyous each and all;
The eagle rode the rising blast,
Methought he never flew so fast
As then to me he seem'd to fly,
And then new tears came in my eye,
And I felt troubled and would fain

I had not left my recent chain;
And when I did descend again,
The darkness of my dim abode
Fell on me as a heavy load;
It was as is a new-dug grave,
Closing o'er one we sought to save,
And yet my glance, too much oppress'd,
Had almost need of such a rest.

XIV.

It might be months, or years, or days,
I kept no count I took no note,
I had no hope my eyes to raise,

And clear them of their dreary mote;
At last men came to set me free,

I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where, It was at length the same to me, Fetter'd or fetterless to be,

I learn'd to love despair. And thus when they appear'd at last, And all my bonds aside were cast, These heavy walls to me had grown A hermitage and all my own! And half I felt as they were come To tear me from a second home: With spiders I had friendship made, And watch'd them in their sullen trade, Had seen the mice by moonlight play,

And why should I feel less than they?
We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
Had power to kill yet, strange to tell!
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell;
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are:
even I
Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.

.

[blocks in formation]

TO A SKYLARK.

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 day-light

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.

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 overflow'd.

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 high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour

With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,

Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue

Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embower'd

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd,
Till the scent it gives

Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves

Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken'd 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 Hymenæal,

Or triumphant chaunt,

Match'd 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?

We look before and after,

We 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 CLOUD.

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;

I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noon-day dreams.

« ForrigeFortsæt »