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Is this morality ?-Oh, no!
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!
But thus it is, all sects, we see,
THE NATAL GENIUS.
THE MORNING OP HER BIRTH-DAT
That on thy natal moment smiled
To crown my lovely mortal child.
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-
How blest around thy steps I'd play!
That's heard at distance in the grove ;
But all be sunshine, peace, and love
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
THE LOVES OF THE ANGELS.
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.
Still fair and glorious, he but shone
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!-
Which, while it hid no single gleam
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
And motion were that minute chain'd
With face upturn'd_s0 still remain'd!
But vain my suit, my madness vain ;
I would have torn the wings that hung
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 ;-
To which her prayers at morn were sent,
To that free glorious element !
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
The moon into his dusky arms
Well I remember by her side,
The Spirit of yon beauteous star,
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.
Of such pure glory into sin-
Is soonest lost, extinguish'd in !
That very night-my heart had grown
Impatient of its inward burning;
To envoys hither from the skies,
It is their hour or wish to rise,
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;
The shadow I that morn had thrown-
Of the wild revel I gave way
Of desperate gaiety, which they
Upon the mists that circle man,
But grasping heaven, too, in their span! Then first the fatal wine-cup rain'd
Its dews of darkness through my lips,
To my lost soul into eclipse,
Such fantasies and wrong desires,
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 ?
As fair as woman, in yon skies?
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,
How fly, while yet there was a chance,
Utterly by that fatal glance ?
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
That sparkle round the eternal throne,
Above me, in the moon-beam shone
Did aught so radiant-since the day
The third of the bright stars away,
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
When-with a voice, where Passion shed
Her melancholy power-I said, “Then be it so-if back to heaven
I must unloved, unpitied fly,
To sooth me in that lonely sky-
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,-
Her brow, her eyes uprose again,
And I will bless thee !” she exclaim'd
Unknowing what I did, inflamed,
I stamp'd one burning kiss, and named
With that triumphant look Faith wears
A vapour from this vale of tears
It was to yonder star I traced
In wishes and in dreams before,
Her home of light for evermore! Once—or did I but fancy so ?
Even in her flight to that fair sphere,
On him who stood in darkness here;
As are those specks that yonder burnThose vivid drops of light, that fall
The last from day's exhausted urn.
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.