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stances immediately following the birth of our Lord. Most interesting is it to consider the effect when the feelings are wrought above the natural pitch by the belief of something mysterious, while all the images are purely natural. Then it is that religion and poetry strike deepest.]
SHE gave with joy her virgin breast;
She hid it not, she bared the breast
Which the Saviour infant kiss'd;
Who wrapp'd his limbs in swaddling clothes,
Singing placed him on her lap,
Hung o'er him with her looks of love,
From the damp and chilling air;
With such a babe in one blest bed,
With her virgin lips she kiss'd,
For us she bore the heavenly Lord!
TO TWO SISTERS:
A WANDERER'S FAREWELL.*
TO know, to esteem, to love, and then to
Makes up life's tale to many a feeling heart;
Alas for some abiding-place of love,†
O'er which my spirit, like the mother dove,
O fair! O kind!
Sisters in blood, yet each with each intwined More close by sisterhood of heart and mind! ‡ [Me disinherited in form and face
By nature, and mishap of outward grace;
Who, soul and body, through one guiltless fault
Though stern the frost, though brief the genial day,
* Printed in The Courier, December 10, 1807. A small portion only of this poem, consisting of the opening and concluding lines, appeared in Sibylline Leaves headed " On Taking Leave of
† O for some dear abiding-place of Love-1817.
O fair as kind,
Were but one sisterhood with you combined
Nay more! its music by some sweeter strain
Sight seem'd a sort of memory, and amaze
Oft to my eager soul I whisper blame,
No strangeness owns, no Stranger's form descries :
O doubly dear! may Quiet with you dwell!
Sweet Sisters! were you placed around one hearth
Far rather would I sit in solitude,
Fond recollections all my fond heart's food,*
FAREWELL TO LOVE.‡
FAREWELL, Sweet Love! yet blame you not
More fondly ne'er did mother eye her child Than I your form: yours were my hopes of youth, And as you shaped my thoughts I sigh'd or
While most were wooing wealth, or gaily swerving
And when I met the maid that realized
Your fair creations, and had won her kindness, Say but for her if aught on earth I prized! Your dreams alone I dreamt, and caught your blindness.
The forms of memory all my mental food-1817. †Than have the presence-lb.
Gentleman's Magazine, November, 1815; Literary
Remains of S. T. C., vol. i. p. 280.
O grief-but farewell, Love! I will go play me
With thoughts that please me less and less betray
THE butterfly the ancient Grecians made
The soul's fair emblem, and its only name +But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade Of mortal life!-For in this earthly frame Ours is the reptile's lot, much toil, much blame, Manifold motions making little speed,
And to deform and kill the things whereon we feed.
Altered and modernized from an old Poet.‡
I LOVE, and he loves me again,
Yet dare I not tell who :
For if the nymphs should know my swain,
Yet while my joy's unknown,
Its rosy buds are but half-blown :
What no one with me shares, seems scarce my own.
* Biographia Literaria, London, 1817, vol. i. p. 82. The Amulet, 1833.
+ Psyche means both butterfly and soul.
Printed in The Courier, September 21, 1811,