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In the cool morning twilight, early waked By her full bosom's joyous restlessness, [Leaving the soft bed to her sister Softly she rose, and lightly stole along, [Her fair face flushing in the purple dawn] Down the slope coppice to the woodbine bower, Whose rich flowers, swinging in the morning breeze, Over their dim fast-moving shadows hung, Making a quiet image of disquiet In the smooth, scarcely moving + river-pool. There, in that bower where first she own'd her love, And let me kiss my own warm tear of joy From off her glowing cheek, she sat and stretch'd The silk upon the frame, and work'd her name Between the moss-rose and forget-me-notHer own dear name, with her own auburn hair! That forced to wander till sweet spring return, I yet might ne'er forget her smile, her look, Her voice, (that even in her mirthful mood Has made me wish to steal
and weep,) Nor yet the entrancenient of that maiden kiss With which she promised that when spring
return'd She would resign one half of that dear name, And own thenceforth no other name but mine !
* Adown the meadow to the woodbine bower-1802.
FROM AN EMIGRANT TO HIS ABSENT WIFE.
IF thou wert here, these tears were tears of light !
But from as sweet a vision did I start As ever made these eyes grow idly bright !
And though I weep, yet still around my heart A sweet and playful tenderness doth linger, Touching my heart as with an infant's finger.
My mouth half open,
man, I saw our couch, I saw our quiet room,
Its shadows heaving by the fire-light gloom ; And o'er my lips a subtle feeling ran, All o'er my lips a soft and breeze-like feelingI know not what—but had the same been stealing
Upon a sleeping mother's lips, I guess
It would have made the loving mother dream That she was softly bending down to kiss Her babe, that something more than babe did
seem, A floating presence of its darling father, And yet its own dear baby self far rather !
Across my chest there lay a weight, so warm !
As if some bird had taken shelter there ;
* Printed in The Morning Post, October 19, 1802.
And lo! I seem'd to see a woman's form
Thine, Sara, thine? O joy, if thine it were ! I gazed with stifled breath, and fear'd to stir it, No deeper trance e'er wrapt a yearning spirit !
And now, when I seem'd sure thy face to see,
Thy own dear self in our own quiet home; There came an elfish laugh, and waken'd me :
'Twas Frederic, who behind my chair had clomb, And with his bright eyes at my face was peeping. I bless'd him, tried to laugh, and fell a-weeping !
TO A YOUNG LADY.
ON HER RECOVERY FROM A FEVER. *
How glad I am to see you here,
And feverish heat incessant.
The sunny showers, the dappled sky,
* Printed in The Morning Post, December 9, 1799, and in The Annual Anthology, vol. ii., Bristol, 1800. The lines are there entitled “ To a Young Lady on her first appearance after a dangerous illness," written in the spring, 1799. The young lady is named Ophelia in the original version of the poem.-Ed. † The breezy 'air, the sun, the sky,
The little birds that sing on high-1799.
Their vernal loves commencing, Will better welcome you than I
With their sweet influencing.
Believe me, while in bed you lay,
and seem'd to say, How can we do without her?
Besides, what vex'd us worse, we knew
In the place where you were going :
And Heaven is overflowing !
SOMETHING CHILDISH, BUT VERY
WRITTEN IN GERMANY. #
To you I'd fly, my dear!
And I stay here.
* Your danger taught us how to pray ;
You made us all devouter-1799. + Besides (which vex'd us worse) we knew
They had no need of such as you—ib. # Annual Anthology, Bristol, 1800.
But in my sleep to you I fly :
The world is all one's own.
All, all alone.
Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids :
For though my sleep be gone,
And still dreams on.
WRITTEN IN GERMANY.*
Through city-crowds must push his way, To stroll alone through fields and woods,
And hallow thus the Sabbath-day.
And sweet it is in summer bower,
Sincere, affectionate and gay,
To celebrate one's marriage-day.
But what is all to his delight
Who having long been doom'd to roam,
* Annual Anthology, Bristol, 1800.