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Is this morality ?-Oh, no!
E'en I a wiser path could show.
The flower within this vase confined,
The pure, the unfading flower of mind,
Must not throw all its sweets away
Upon a mortal mould of clay;
No, no! its richest breath should rise
In virtue's incense to the skies !

While I, in feeling's sweet romance, Look on each day-beam as a glance From the great eye of Him above, Wakening his world with looks of love!

TO

But thus it is, all sects, we see,
Have watch-words of morality :
Some cry out Venus, others Jove;
Here't is religion, there 't is love!
But while they thus so widely wander,
While mystics dream and doctors ponder,
And some, in dialectics firm,
Seek virtue in a middle term;
While thus they strive, in Heaven's defiance,
To chain morality with science;
This plain good man, whose actions toach
More virtue than a sect can preach,
Pursues his course, unsagely blest,
His tutor whispering in his breast :
Nor could he act a purer part,
Though he had Tully all by heart;
And when he drops the tear on woe,
He little knows or cares to know
That Epictetus blamed that tear,
By Heaven approved, to virtue dear!

THE NATAL GENIUS.

A DREAM.

THE MORNING OP HER BIRTH-DAT
In witching slumbers of the night,
I dream'd I was the airy sprite

That on thy natal moment smiled
And thought I wasted on my wing
Those flowers which in Elysium spring,

To crown my lovely mortal child.
With olive-branch I bound thy head,
Heart's-ease along thy path I shed,

Which was to bloom through all thy years ; Nor yet did I forget to bind Love's roses, with his myrtle twined,

And dew'd by sympathetic tears. Such was the wild but precious boon, Which Fancy, at her magic noon,

Bade me to Nona's image pay-
Oh! were I, love, thus doom'd to be
Thy little guardian deity,

How blest around thy steps I'd play!
Thy life should softly steal along,
Calm as some lonely shepherd's song

That's heard at distance in the grove ;
No cloud should ever shade thy sky,
No thorns along thy pathway lie,

But all be sunshine, peace, and love
The wing of Time should never brush
Thy dewy lip's luxuriant flush,

To bid its roses withering die; Nor age itself, though dim and dark, Should ever quench a single spark

That flashes from my Nona's eye!

Oh! when I've seen the morning beam
Floating within the dimpled stream,
While Nature, wakening from the night,
Has just put on her robes of light,
Have I, with cold optician's gaze,
Explored the doctrine of those rays ?
No, pedants, I have left to you
Nicely to separate hue from hue :
Go, give that moment up to art,
When Heaven and Nature claim the heart;
And dull to all their best attraction,
Go-measure angles of refraction!

THE LOVES OF THE ANGELS.

PREFACE.

When, in the light of Nature s dawn

Rejoicing, men and ange.s met This Poem, somewhat different in form, and much

On the high hill and sunny lawn,more limited in extent, was originally designed as an

Ere Sorrow came, or Sin had drawn episode for a work about which I have been, at inter

'Twixt man and Heaven her curtain yet! vals, employed during the last two years. Some

When earth lay nearer to the skies months since, however, I found that my friend Lord

Than in these days of crime and woe, Byron had, by an accidental coincidence, chosen the

And mortals saw, without surprise, same subject for a drama; and as I could not but feel

In the mid air, angelic eyes the disadvantage of coming after so formidable a

Gazing upon this world below. rival, I thought it best to publish my humble sketch

Alas, that passion should profane, immediately, with such alterations and additions as I

Even then, that morning of the earth! had time to make, and thus, by an earlier appearance

That, sadder still, the fatal stain in the literary horizon, give myself the chance of what

Should fall on hearts of heavenly birth astronomers call an Heliacal rising, before the lumi

And oh, that stain so dark should fall nary, in whose light I was to be lost, should appear.

From woman's love, most sad of all! As objections may be made, by persons whose opinions I respect, to the selection of a subject of One evening, in that time of bloom, this nature from the Scripture, I think it right to re- On a hill's side, where hung the ray mark that, in point of fact, the subject is nol scrip- of sunset, sleeping in perfume, tural—the notion upon which it is founded (that of Three noble youths conversing lay; the love of angels for women) having originated in And as they look’d, from time to time, an erroneous translation by the LXX, of that verse To the far sky, where Day-light furl'd in the sixth chapter of Genesis, upon which the sole His radiant wing, their brows sublime authority for the fable rests.' The foundation of my Bespoke them of that distant worldstory, therefore, has as little to do with Holy Writ as Creatures of light, such as still play, have the dreams of the later Platonists, or the reve- Like motes in sunshine, round the Lord, ries of the Jewish divines; and, in appropriating the And through their infinite array notion thus to the uses of poetry, I have done no Transmit each moment, night and day, more than establish it in that region of fiction, to The echo of his luminous word! which the opinions of the most rational Fathers, and of all other Christian theologians, have long ago con

Of heaven they spoke, and, still more oft, signed it.

Of the bright eyes that charm'd them thence. In addition to the fitness of the subject for poetry,

Till, yielding gradual to the soft it struck me also as capable of affording an allegori

And balmy evening's influence cal medium, through which might be shadowed out

The silent breathing of the flowers (as I have endeavoured to do in the following stories,)

The melting light that beam'd above, the fall of the soul from its original purity—the loss

As on their first fond erring hours, of light and happiness which it suffers, in the pursuit

Each told the story of his love, of this world's perishable pleasures—and the punish

The history of that hour unblest, ments, both from conscience and divine justice, with

When, like a bird, from its high nest which impurity, pride, and presumptuous inquiry into

Won down by fascinating eyes, the awful secrets of God, are sure to be visited. The

For woman's smile he lost the skies. beautiful story of Cupid and Psyche owes its chief

The First who spoke was one, with look charm to this sort of " veiled meaning," and it has

The least celestial of the threebeen my wish (however I may have failed in the at

A Spirit of light mould, that took lempt) to communicate the same moral interest to

The prints of earth most yieldingly; the following pages.

Who, even in heaven, was not of those

Nearest the throne, but held a place

Far off, among those shining rows THE LOVES OF THE ANGELS. That circle out through endless space,

And o'er whose wings the light from Him "T was when the world was in its prime,

In the great centre falls most dim.
When the fresh stars had just begun

Still fair and glorious, he but shone
Their race of glory, and young Time
Told his first birth-days by the sun;

Among those youths the unheavenliest one

A creature to whom light remain'd 1 See Note.

From Eden still, but alter'd, stain'd,

And o'er whose brow not Love alone

A blight had, in his transit, sent, But other, earthlier joys had gone,

And left their foot-prints as they went.

'Tis not in words to tell the power, The despotism, that, from that hour, Passion held o'er me-day and night

I sought around each neighbouring spot, And, in the chase of this sweet light,

My task, and Heaven, and all forgotAll but the one, sole, haunting dream Of her I saw in that bright stream.

Sighing, as through the shadowy Past,

Like a tomb-searcher, Memory ran, Lifting each shroud that time had cast

O'er buried hopes, he thus began

FIRST ANGEL'S STORY

T was in a land, that far away

Into the golden orient lies, Where Nature knows not Night's delay, But springs to meet her bridegroom, Day,

Upon the threshold of the skies One morn, on earthly mission sent,

And midway choosing where to light, I saw from the blue element

Oh beautiful, but fatal sight!-
One of earth's fairest womankind,
Half veil'd from view, or rather shrined
In the clear crystal of a brook ;

Which, while it hid no single gleam
Of her young beauties, made them look

More spirit-like, as they might seem Through the dim shadowing of a dream

Nor was it long, ere by her side

I found myself whole happy days, Listening to words, whose music vied

With our own Eden's seraph lays, When seraph lays are warm’d by love, But wanting that, far, far above! And looking into eyes where, blue And beautiful, like skies seen through The sleeping wave, for me there shone A heaven more worshipp'd than my own Oh what, while I could hear and see Such words and looks, was heaven to me ? Though gross the air on earth I drew, 'Twas blessed, while she breathed it too; Though dark the flowers, though dim the sky, Love lent them light, while she was nigh. Throughout creation I but knew Two separate worlds—the one, that small,

Beloved, and consecrated spot Where Lea was—the other, all

The dull wide waste, where she was not !

Pausing in wonder I look'd on,

While, playfully around her breaking The waters, that like diamonds shone,

She mov'd in light of her own making. At length, as slowly I descended To view more near a sight so splendid, The tremble of my wings all o'er

(For through each plume I felt the thrill) Startled her, as she reach'd the shore

Of that small lake-her mirror still
Above whose brink she stood, like snow
When rosy with a sunset glow.
Never shall I forget those eyes !
The shame, the innocent surprise
Of that bright face, when in the air
Uplooking, she beheld me there.
It seem'd as if each thought and look,

And motion were that minute chain'd
Fast to the spot, such root she took,
And like a sunflower by a brook,

With face upturn'd_s0 still remain'd!

But vain my suit, my madness vain ;
Though gladly, from her eyes to gain
One earthly look, one stray desire,

I would have torn the wings that hung
Furl'd at my back, and o'er that Fire

Unnamed in heaven their fragments flung -'Twas hopeless all-pure and unmoved

She stood, as lilies in the light

Of the hot noon but look more white ;-
And though she loved me, deeply loved,
"T was not as man, as mortal-no,
Nothing of earth was in that glow-
She loved me but as one, of race
Angelic, from that radiant place
She saw so oft in dreams-that heaven,

To which her prayers at morn were sent,
And on whose light she gazed at even,
Wishing for wings, that she might go
Out of this shadowy world below,

To that free glorious element !

For me,

In pity to the wondering maid,

Though loth from such a vision turning, Downward I bent, beneath the shade

Of my spread wings, to hide the burning Of glances which–I well could feel

for her, too warmly shone; But ere I could again unseal My restless eyes, or even steal

One side-long look, the maid was goneHid from me in the forest leaves,

Sudden as when, in all her charms
Of full-blown light, some cloud receiver

The moon into his dusky arms

Well I remember by her side,
Sitting at rosy eventide,
When, turning to the star, whose head
Look'd out, as from a bridal bed,
At that mute blushing hour,-she said,
“Oh! that it were my doom to be

The Spirit of yon beauteous star,
Dwelling up there in purity,

Alone, as all such bright things are;My sole employ to pray and shine,

To light my censer at the sun, And Aling its fire towards the shrine

Of Him in Hearen, the Eternal One!"

So innocent the maid-so free

From mortal taint in soul and frame, Whom 't was my crime-my destiny

To love, ay, burn for, with a flame,

To which earth's wildest fires are tame.
Had you but seen ker look, when first
From my mad lips the avowal burst;
Not angry-no—the feeling had
No touch of anger, but most sad-
It was a sorrow, calm as deep,
A mournfulness that could not weep,
So fill'd the heart was to the brink,
So fix'd and frozen there—to think
That angel natures—even 1,
Whose love she clung to, as the tie
Between her spirit and the sky,
Should fall thus headlong from the height

Of such pure glory into sin-
The sin, of all, most sure to blight,
The sin, of all, that the soul's light

Is soonest lost, extinguish'd in !
That, though but frail and human, she
Should, like the half-bird of the sea,
Try with her wing sublimer air,
While I, a creature born up there,
Should meet her, in my fall from light,
From heaven and peace, and turn her flight
Downward again, with me to drink
Of the salt tide of sin, and sink!

That very night-my heart had grown

Impatient of its inward burning;
The term, too, of my stay was flown,
And the bright Watchers' near the throne
Already, if a meteor shone
Between them and this nether zone,
Thought 't was their herald's wing returning :-
Oft did the potent spell-word, given

To envoys hither from the skies,
To be pronounced, when back to heaven

It is their hour or wish to rise,
Come to my lips that fatal day;

And once, too, was so nearly spoken, That my spread plumage in the ray And breeze of heaven began to play

When my heart fail'd—the spell was brokenThe word unfinished died away, And my check'd plumes, ready to soar, Fell slack and lifeless as before.

In summer winds, the young and gay

And beautiful of this bright earth. And she was there, and 'mid the young

And beautiful stood first, alone;
Though on her gentle brow still hung

The shadow I that morn had thrown-
The first that ever shame or woe
Had cast upon its vernal snow.
My heart was madden'd—in the flush

Of the wild revel I gave way
To all that frantic mirth-that rush

Of desperate gaiety, which they
Who never felt how pain's excess
Can break out thus, think happiness-
Sad mimicry of mirth and life,
Whose flashes come but from the strife
Of inward passions—like the light
Struck out by clashing swords in fight.
Then, too, that juice of earth, the bane
And blessing of man's heart and brain-
That draught of sorcery, which brings
Phantoms of fair, forbidden things-
Whose drops, like those of rainbows, smile

Upon the mists that circle man,
Brightening not only earth, the while,

But grasping heaven, too, in their span! Then first the fatal wine-cup rain'd

Its dews of darkness through my lips,
Casting whate'er of light remain'd

To my lost soul into eclipse,
And filling it with such wild dreams,

Such fantasies and wrong desires,
As in the absence of heaven's beams,

Haunt us for ever-like wild fires

That walk this earth, when day retires. Now hear the rest-our banquet done,

I sought her in the accustom'd bower, Where late we oft, when day was gone, And the world hush'd, had met alone,

At the same silent moonlight hour. I found her-oh, so beautiful!

Why, why have hapless angels eyes ?
Or why are there not flowers to cull,

As fair as woman, in yon skies?
Still did her brow, as usual, turn
To her loved star, which seem'd lo burn

Purer than ever on that night;

While she, in looking grew more bright, As though that planet were an urn

From which her eyes drank liquid light. There was a virtue in that scene,

A spell of holiness around, Which would have—had my brain not been

Thus poison'd, madden'd-held me bound,

As though I stood on God's own ground. Even as it was, with soul all flame,

And lips that burn'd in their own sighs, I stood to gaze, with awe and shameThe memory of Eden came

Full o'er me when I saw those eyes ; And though too well each glance of mine

To the pale shrinking maiden proved How far, alas, from aught divine,

How could I leave a world which she,
Or lost or won, made all to me,
Beyond home-glory—every thing ?

How fly, while yet there was a chance,
A hope-ay, even of perishing

Utterly by that fatal glance ?
No matter where my wanderings were,

So there she look'd, moved, breathed aboutWoe, ruin, death, more sweet with her,

Than all heaven's proudest joys without ! But, to return--that very day

A feast was held, where, full of mirth, Came, crowding thick as flowers that play

i Seo Note.

That very moment her whole frame
All bright and glorified became,
And at her back I saw unclose
Two wings magnificent as those

That sparkle round the eternal throne,
Whose plumes, as buoyantly she rose

Above me, in the moon-beam shone
With a pure light, which—from its hue,
Unknown upon this earth— I knew
Was light from Eden, glistening through!
Most holy vision ! ne'er before

Did aught so radiant-since the day
When Lucifer, in falling, bore

The third of the bright stars away,
Rise, in earth's beauty, to repair
That loss of light and glory there!
But did I tamely view her flight ?

Did not I, too, proclaim out thrice

The powerful words that were, that night, Oh even for Heaven too much delight

Again to bring us eyes to eyes,

And soul to soul in Paradise ? I did—I spoke it o'er and o'er

I pray'd, I wept, but all in vain; For me the spell had power no more,

There seem'd around me some dark chain, Which still, as I essay'd to soar,

Baffled, alas ! each wild endeavour : Dead lay my wings, as they have lain Since that sad hour, and will remain

So wills the offended God-for ever!

Aught worthy of so pure a shrine,

Was the wild love with which I loved, Yet must she, too, have seen-oh yes,

'T is soothing but to think she saw The deep, true, soul-felt tenderness,

The homage of an angel's we
To her, a mortal, whom pure love
Then planed above him-far above-
And all that struggle to repress
A sinful spirit's mad excess,
Which work'd within me at that hour,

When-with a voice, where Passion shed
All the deep sadness of her power,

Her melancholy power-I said, “Then be it so-if back to heaven

I must unloved, unpitied fly,
Without one blest memorial given

To sooth me in that lonely sky-
One look like those the young and fond

Give when they're parting—which would be, Even in remembrance, far beyond

All heaven hath left of bliss for me! "Oh, but to see that head recline

A minute on this trembling arm, And those mild eyes look up to mine

Without a dread, a thought of harm ! To meet but once the thrilling touch

Of lips that are too fond to fear me Or, if that boon be all too much,

Even thus to bring their fragrance near me ! Nay, shrink not so—a look-a word

Give them but kindly and I fly; Already, see, my plumes have stirr'd,

And tremble for their home on high. Thus be our parting-cheek to cheek

One minute's lapse will be forgiven, And thou, the next, shalt hear me speak

The spell that plumes my wing for heaven!" While thus I spoke, the fearful maid, Of me and of herself afraid, Had shrinking stood, like flowers beneath The scorching of the south wind's breath; But when I named-alas, too well

I now recal, though wilder'd then,-
Instantly, when I named the spell,

Her brow, her eyes uprose again,
And, with an eagerness that spoke
The sudden light that o'er her broke,
“The spell, the spell !-oh, speak it now,

And I will bless thee !” she exclaim'd

Unknowing what I did, inflamed,
And lost already, on her brow

I stamp'd one burning kiss, and named
The mystic word, till then ne'er told
To living creature of earth's mould !
Scarce was it said, when, quick as thought,
Her lips from mine, like echo, caught
The holy sound-her hands and eyes
Were instant lifted to the skies,
And thrice to heaven she spoke it out,

With that triumphant look Faith wears
When not a cloud of fear or doubt,

A vapour from this vale of tears
Between her and her God appears !

[graphic]

It was to yonder star I traced
Her journey up the illumined waste-
That isle in the blue firmament,
To which so oft her fancy went

In wishes and in dreams before,
And which was now—such, Purity,
Thy blest reward-ordain'd to be

Her home of light for evermore! Once—or did I but fancy so ?

Even in her flight to that fair sphere,
'Mid all her spirit's new-felt glow,
A pitying look she turn'd below

On him who stood in darkness here;
Him whom, perhaps, if vain regret
Can dwell in heaven, she pities yet;
And oft, when looking to this dim
And distant world remembers him.
But soon that passing dream was gone;
Farther and farther off she shone,
Till lessen'd to a point as small

As are those specks that yonder burnThose vivid drops of light, that fall

The last from day's exhausted urn.
And when at length she merged, afar,
Into her own immortal star,
And when at length my straining sight

Had caught her wing's last fading ray, That minute from my soul the light

Of heaven and love both pass'd away;

1 Sea Note.

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