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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; And lo! I seemed to see a woman's form
Thine, Sara, thine ? O joy, if thine it were ! I gazed with stifled breath and feared to stir it, No deeper trance e'er wrapt a yearning spirit !
And now, when I seemed sure thy face to see,
Thy own dear self in our own quiet home; There came an elfish laugh, and wakened me:
'Twas Frederic, who behind my chair had clomb, And with his bright eyes at my face was peeping. I blessed him, tried to laugh, and fell a weeping ! *
1798-9. * See Note.
SOMETHING CHILDISH, BUT VERY
WRITTEN IN GERMANY.
IF I had but two little wings,
To you I'd fly, my dear!
And I stay here.
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,
ON REVISITING THE SEA-SHORE,
AFTER LONG ABSENCE, UNDER STRONG MEDICAL
RECOMMENDATION NOT TO BATHE.
God be with thee, gladsome Ocean!
eet I thee once more! Ships and waves and ceaseless motion,
And men rejoicing on thy shore.
Dissuading spake the mild physician,
“ Those briny waves for thee are death ! ” But my soul fulfilled her mission,
And lo! I breathe untroubled breath!
Fashion's pining sons and daughters,
That seek the crowd they seem to fly, Trembling they approach thy waters;
And what cares Nature if they die?
Me a thousand hopes and pleasures,
A thousand recollections bland, Thoughts sublime, and stately measures,
Revisit on thy echoing strand :
Dreams, (the soul herself forsaking)
Tearful raptures, boyish mirth ;
A blessed shadow of this Earth !
O ye hopes, that stir within me,
Health comes with you from above !
I cannot die, if Life be Love.
The tedded hay, the first fruits of the soil,
lark, Or mountain-finch alighting. And the rose (In vain the darling of successful love) Stands like some boasted beauty of past years, The thorns remaining, and the flowers all gone. Nor can I find, amid my lonely walk By rivulet, or spring, or wet road-side, That blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook,
Hope's gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not!*
loved) And, more beloved than they, her auburn hair.
In the cool morning twilight, early waked By her full bosom's joyous restlessness, Softly she rose, and lightly stole along, 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 owned her
love, And let me kiss my own warm tear of joy From off her glowing cheek, she sate and
stretched The silk upon the frame, and worked 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,
* One of the names (and meriting to be the only one) of the Myosotis Scorpioides Palustris, a flower from six to twelve inches high, with blue blossom and bright yellow eye. It has the same name over the whole Empire of Germany (Vergissmein nicht) and, I believe, in Denmark and Sweden.