Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told ;
The roaring dell, o’erwooded, narrow, deep,
And only speckled by the mid-day sun;
Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a bridge ;—that branchless ash,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still,
Fann'd by the water-fall! and there my friends
Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds,*
That all at once (a most fantastic sight !)
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
Of the blue clay-stone.

Now my

friends emerge Beneath the wide wide Heaven—and view again The many-steepled tract magnificent Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea, With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on In gladness all; but thou, methinks, most glad, My gentle-hearted Charles ! † for thou hast pined

* Of long lank weeds.] The Asplenium Scolopendrium, called in some countries the Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue : but Withering gives the Adder's Tongue as the trivial name of the Ophioglossum only.

+ “In the next edition of the Anthology, please to blot out gentle-hearted,' and substitute drunken-dog, ragged-head,

6

And hunger'd after Nature, many a year,
In the great City pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun !
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
Ye purple heath-flowers ! richlier burn, ye clouds !
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves !
And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my

friend
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily; [a living thing
Which acts upon the mind) and of such hues
As veil* the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes
Spirits perceive his presence.

A delight Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad As I myself were there ! Nor in this bower,

seld-shaven, odd-eyed, stuttering, or any other epithet which truly and properly belongs to the gentleman in question. And for Charles read Tom, or Bob, or Richard, for mere delicacy.

· For God's sake (I never was more serious) don't make me ridiculous any more by terming me “gentle-hearted” in print, or do it in better verses. Besides that the meaning of gentle is equivocal at best, and almost always means poorspirited, the very quality of gentleness is abhorrent to such vile trumpetings. My sentiment is long since vanished. I hope my virtues have done sucking."-LAMB TO COLERIDGE.

With such hues
As clothe, &c.—1817.

*

This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the

blaze Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watch'd Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see The shadow of the leaf and stem above Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut-tree Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue Through the late twilight: and though now the bat Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters, Yet still the solitary humble bee Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure; No plot so narrow, be but Nature there, No waste so vacant, but may well employ Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart Awake to Love and Beauty ! and sometimes 'Tis well to be bereft of promised good, That we may lift the soul, and contemplate With lively joy the joys we cannot share. My gentle-hearted Charles ! when the last rook Beat its straight path along the dusky air Homewards, I blest it! deeming, its black wing (Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) Had cross'd the mighty orb's dilated glory, While thou stood’st gazing; or when all was still,

[blocks in formation]

* Flew creeking o'er thy head, and had a charm For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom No sound is dissonant which tells of Life.

ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS

OF DEVONSHIRE,

ON THE TWENTY-FOURTH STANZA IN HER “PASSAGE

OVER MOUNT GOTHARD.” |
“ And hail the Chapel ! hail the Platform wild!

Where Tell directed the avenging dart,
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his child,
Then aim'd the arrow at the tyrant's heart."

1.
SPLENDOUR'S fondly-foster'd child !

And did you hail the platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell !
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure !
Whence learnt you that heroic measure ?

Plem creeking.) Some months after I had written this hne, it gave me pleasure to find that Bartram had observed the same circumstance of the Savanna Crane. “When these Birds move their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, moderate and regular; and even when at a considerable distance or high above us, we plainly hear the quill-feathers; their shafts and webs upon one another creek as the joints or working of a vessel in a tempestuous sea. † Printed in the Narning Past, December 24, 1799.

Lady, Splendour's foster'd child 1799.

II.

Light as a dream your days their circlets * ran,
From all that teaches brotherhood to Man
Far, far removed ! from want, from hope, from fear!
Enchanting music lulld your infant ear,
Obeisance, praises † soothed your infant heart:

Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
With many a bright obtrusive form of art,
Detain'd your eye from Nature : stately vests, #
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine,
Rich viands and the pleasurable wine,
Were yours unearn'd by toil; nor could you see
The unenjoying toiler's misery.
And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,

Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell !
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure !
Whence learnt you that heroic measure ?

III.

There crowd your finely-fibred frame

All living faculties of bliss;
And Genius to your cradle came,
His forehead wreathed with lambent flame,

And bending low, with godlike kiss

Breathed in a more celestial life; But boasts not many a fair compeer

+ Obeisant praises—1817.

* Courses -1799.
# Gorgeous vests—ib.

« ForrigeFortsæt »