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The Golden Treasury

Of The Best Songs And Lyrical Poems In The English Language


Selected And Arranged By Francis Turner Palgrave

1861

Revised And Enlarged 1902

This is the Bookwise complete ebook of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury by Francis Turner Palgrave & Various Authors, available to read online as an alternative to epub, mobi, kindle, pdf or text only versions. For information about the status of this work, see Copyright Notice.


Contents

Index Of Writers

Index Of Writers

with dates of birth and death

—A—

Alexander, William (1580-1640)

Poem XXIX, Page 29

—B—

Barbauld, Anna Laetitia (1743-1825)

Poem CCVII, Page 207

Barnefield, Richard (16th Century)

Poem XLV, Page 45

Beaumont, Francis (1586-1616)

Poem XC, Page 90

Blake, William (1757-1827)

Poem CLXXIV, Page 174, Poem CLXXX, Page 180, Poem CLXXXI, Page 181, Poem CCVIII, Page 208

Burns, Robert (1759-1796)

Poem CLXI, Page 161, Poem CLXVIII, Page 168, Poem CLXXVI, Page 176, Poem CLXXXIV, Page 184, Poem CLXXXVIII, Page 188, Poem CLXXXIX, Page 189, Poem CXC, Page 190, Poem CXCI, Page 191, Poem CXCIII, Page 193, Poem CXCVI, Page 196, Poem CXCVII, Page 197

Byron, George Gordon Noel (1788-1824)

Poem CCXII, Page 212, Poem CCXIV, Page 214, Poem CCXVI, Page 216, Poem CCXXXIV, Page 234, Poem CCXLVI, Page 246, Poem CCLIII, Page 253, Poem CCLXVI, Page 266, Poem CCLXXV, Page 275

—C—

Campbell, Thomas (1777-1844)

Poem CCXXV, Page 225, Poem CCXXXI, Page 231, Poem CCXLI, Page 241, Poem CCL, Page 250, Poem CCLI, Page 251, Poem CCLIX, Page 259, Poem CCXCV, Page 295, Poem CCCIV, Page 304, Poem CCCX, Page 310, Poem CCCXIV, Page 314, Poem CCCXXXII, Page 332

Campion, Thomas (c. 1567-1620)

Poem XXV, Page 25, Poem XXVI, Page 26, Poem L, Page 50, Poem LII, Page 52, Poem LV, Page 55, Poem LIX, Page 59, Poem LXXVI, Page 76, Poem LXXIX, Page 79, Poem CI, Page 101, Poem CXLIII, Page 143

Carew, Thomas (1589-1639)

Poem CXII, Page 112

Carey, Henry (—— -1743)

Poem CLXVII, Page 167

Cibber, Colley (1671-1757)

Poem CLV, Page 155

Coleridge, Hartley (1796-1849)

Poem CCXVIII, Page 218

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834)

Poem CCXI, Page 211, Poem CCCXVI, Page 316, Poem CCCXXIX, Page 329

Collins, John (18th Century)

Poem CCVI, Page 206

Collins, William (1720-1756)

Poem CLIII, Page 153, Poem CLX, Page 160, Poem CLXXVIII, Page 178, Poem CLXXXVI, Page 186

Cowley, Abraham (1618-1667)

Poem CXXX, Page 130, Poem CXXXVII, Page 137

Cowper, William (1731-1800)

Poem CLXV, Page 165, Poem CLXX, Page 170, Poem CLXXXIII, Page 183, Poem CC, Page 200, Poem CCII, Page 202, Poem CCIII, Page 203, Poem CCIV, Page 204, Poem CCV, Page 205

Crashaw, Richard (1615?-1652)

Poem CIII, Page 103

Cunningham, Allan (1784-1842)

Poem CCXLIX, Page 249

—D—

Daniel, Samuel (1562-1619)

Poem XLVI, Page 46

Dekker, Thomas (—— -1638?)

Poem LXXV, Page 75

Devereux, Robert (1567-1601)

Poem LXXXIII, Page 83

Donne, John (1573-1631)

Poem XII, Page 12

Drayton, Michael (1563-1631)

Poem XLIX, Page 49372

Drummond, William (1585-1649)

Poem IV, Page 4, Poem LXI, Page 61, Poem LXIII, Page 63, Poem LXXVII, Page 77, Poem LXXX, Page 80, Poem LXXXI, Page 81, Poem LXXXIV, Page 84

Dryden, John (1631-1700)

Poem LXXXVI, Page 86, Poem CLI, Page 151

—E—

Elliott, Jane (18th Century)

Poem CLXII, Page 162

—F—

Fletcher, John (1576-1625)

Poem CXXXII, Page 132

—G—

Gay, John (1685-1732)

Poem CLXVI, Page 166

Goldsmith, Oliver (1728-1774)

Poem CLXXV, Page 175

Graham, Robert (1735-1797)

Poem CLXIX, Page 169

Gray, Thomas (1716-1771)

Poem CLII, Page 152, Poem CLVI, Page 156, Poem CLIX, Page 159, Poem CLXXVII, Page 177, Poem CLXXXII, Page 182, Poem CLXXXVII, Page 187, Poem CXCIX, Page 199, Poem CCI, Page 201

Greene, Robert (1561?-1592)

Poem LX, Page 60

—H—

Habington, William (1605-1645)

Poem CXLVIII, Page 148

Herbert, George (1593-1632)

Poem XCVII, Page 97

Herrick, Robert (1591-1674?)

Poem CVIII, Page 108, Poem CXIII, Page 113, Poem CXVIII, Page 118, Poem CXIX, Page 119, Poem CXX, Page 120, Poem CXXIV, Page 124, Poem CXXXIX, Page 139, Poem CXL, Page 140

Heywood, Thomas (—— -1649?)

Poem LXXIII, Page 73

Hood, Thomas (1798-1845)

Poem CCLXVIII, Page 268, Poem CCLXXIV, Page 274, Poem CCLXXIX, Page 279

—J—

Jonson, Ben (1574-1637)

Poem XCVI, Page 96, Poem CII, Page 102, Poem CXVI, Page 116

—K—

Keats, John (1795-1821)

Poem CCIX, Page 209, Poem CCX, Page 210, Poem CCXXXV, Page 235, Poem CCXXXVII, Page 237, Poem CCXLII, Page 242, Poem CCXLIII, Page 243, Poem CCLXXII, Page 272, Poem CCXC, Page 290, Poem CCXCII, Page 292, Poem CCCIII, Page 303, Poem CCCXVIII, Page 318, Poem CCCXXVIII, Page 328, Poem CCCXXXIII, Page 333

—L—

Lamb, Charles (1775-1835)

Poem CCLXIV, Page 264, Poem CCLXXVI, Page 276, Poem CCLXXXII, Page 282

Lamb, Mary (1764-1847)

Poem CCLXXXIII, Page 283

Lindsay, Anne (1750-1825)

Poem CXCII, Page 192

Lodge, Thomas (1556-1625)

Poem XIX, Page 19, Poem LXXI, Page 71

Logan, John (1748-1788)

Poem CLXIII, Page 163

Lovelace, Richard (1618-1658)

Poem CIX, Page 109, Poem CXXVII, Page 127, Poem CXXVIII, Page 128

Lylye, John (1554-1600)

Poem LXXII, Page 72

Lyte, Henry Francis (1793-1847)

Poem CCXXIV, Page 224, Poem CCLXXX, Page 280

—M—

Marlowe, Christopher (1562-1593)

Poem VII, Page 7

Marvell, Andrew (1620-1678)

Poem LXXXVIII, Page 88, Poem CV, Page 105, Poem CXLI, Page 141, Poem CXLII, Page 142, Poem CXLVI, Page 146

Mickle, William Julius (1734-1788)

Poem CXCIV, Page 194

Milton, John (1608-1674)

Poem LXXXV, Page 85, Poem LXXXVII, Page 87, Poem LXXXIX, Page 89, Poem XCIII, Page 93, Poem XCIV, Page 94, Poem XCIX, Page 99, Poem C, Page 100, Poem CXI, Page 111, Poem CXLIV, Page 144, Poem CXLV, Page 145, Poem CXLVII, Page 147

Moore, Thomas (1780-1852)

Poem CCXXIX, Page 229, Poem CCXLV, Page 245, Poem CCLXI, Page 261, Poem CCLXV, Page 265, Poem CCLXIX, Page 269

—N—

Nairn, Carolina (1766-1845)

Poem CXCVIII, Page 198

Nash, Thomas (1567-1601?)

Poem I, Page 1

Norris, John (1657-1711)

Poem CXLIX, Page 149

—P—

Philips, Ambrose (1671-1749)

Poem CLVII, Page 157

Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)

Poem CLIV, Page 154

Prior, Matthew (1662-1721)

Poem CLXXIII, Page 173

—Q—

Quarles, Francis (1592-1644)

Poem CXXIII, Page 123

—R—

Rogers, Samuel (1762-1855)

Poem CLXXI, Page 171, Poem CLXXXV, Page 185373

—S—

Scott, Walter (1771-1832)

Poem CCXIII, Page 213, Poem CCXXVII, Page 227, Poem CCXXX, Page 230, Poem CCXXXVI, Page 236, Poem CCXXXVIII, Page 238, Poem CCXL, Page 240, Poem CCXLVIII, Page 248, Poem CCLXXIII, Page 273, Poem CCLXXVIII, Page 278, Poem CCLXXXI, Page 281, Poem CCLXXXV, Page 285, Poem CCCXI, Page 311

Sedley, Charles (1639-1701)

Poem CVI, Page 106, Poem CXXVI, Page 126

Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Poem II, Page 2, Poem III, Page 3, Poem V, Page 5, Poem VI, Page 6, Poem IX, Page 9, Poem X, Page 10, Poem XI, Page 11, Poem XIV, Page 14, Poem XV, Page 15, Poem XVI, Page 16, Poem XVII, Page 17, Poem XVIII, Page 18, Poem XXIII, Page 23, Poem XXIV, Page 24, Poem XXVII, Page 27, Poem XXXI, Page 31, Poem XXXV, Page 35, Poem XXXVII, Page 37, Poem XXXVIII, Page 38, Poem XXXIX, Page 39, Poem XLI, Page 41, Poem XLII, Page 42, Poem XLIII, Page 43, Poem XLVIII, Page 48, Poem LI, Page 51, Poem LVI, Page 56, Poem LXII, Page 62, Poem LXIV, Page 64, Poem LXV, Page 65, Poem LXVII, Page 67, Poem LXVIII, Page 68, Poem LXIX, Page 69, Poem LXXVIII, Page 78, Poem LXXXII, Page 82

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822)

Poem CCXV, Page 215, Poem CCXIX, Page 219, Poem CCXXVIII, Page 228, Poem CCXXXII, Page 232, Poem CCXXXIX, Page 239, Poem CCXLVII, Page 247, Poem CCLXX, Page 270, Poem CCLXXXVII, Page 287, Poem CCXCIII, Page 293, Poem CCC, Page 300, Poem CCCVII, Page 307, Poem CCCVIII, Page 308, Poem CCCXII, Page 312, Poem CCCXV, Page 315, Poem CCCXXI, Page 321, Poem CCCXXII, Page 322, Poem CCCXXIV, Page 324, Poem CCCXXXIV, Page 334, Poem CCCXXXV, Page 335, Poem CCCXXXIX, Page 339

Shirley, James (1596-1666)

Poem XCI, Page 91, Poem XCII, Page 92

Sidney, Philip (1554-1586)

Poem XIII, Page 13, Poem XXXII, Page 32, Poem XL, Page 40, Poem XLVII, Page 47, Poem LVIII, Page 58

Smart, Christopher (1722-1770)

Poem CLXXIX, Page 179

Southey, Robert (1774-1843)

Poem CCLX, Page 260, Poem CCLXXI, Page 271

Spenser, Edmund (1553-1598-9)

Poem LXXIV, Page 74

Suckling, John (1608-9-1641)

Poem CXXIX, Page 129

Sylvester, Joshua (1563-1618)

Poem XXXIV, Page 34

—T—

Thomson, James (1700-1748)

Poem CLVIII, Page 158, Poem CLXXII, Page 172

—V—

Vaughan, Henry (1621-1695)

Poem XCVIII, Page 98, Poem CXXXVIII, Page 138, Poem CL, Page 150

—W—

Waller, Edmund (1605-1687)

Poem CXV, Page 115, Poem CXXII, Page 122

Webster, John (—— -1638?)

Poem LXVI, Page 66

Wilmot, John (1647-1680)

Poem CVII, Page 107

Wither, George (1588-1667)

Poem CXXXI, Page 131

Wolfe, Charles (1791-1823)

Poem CCLXII, Page 262, Poem CCLXXVII, Page 277

Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

Poem CCXVII, Page 217, Poem CCXX, Page 220, Poem CCXXI, Page 221, Poem CCXXII, Page 222, Poem CCXXIII, Page 223, Poem CCXXVI, Page 226, Poem CCXXXIII, Page 233, Poem CCXLIV, Page 244, Poem CCLII, Page 252, Poem CCLIV, Page 254, Poem CCLV, Page 255, Poem CCLVI, Page 256, Poem CCLVII, Page 257, Poem CCLVIII, Page 258, Poem CCLXIII, Page 263, Poem CCLXVII, Page 267, Poem CCLXXXIV, Page 284, Poem CCLXXXVI, Page 286, Poem CCLXXXVIII, Page 288, Poem CCLXXXIX, Page 289, Poem CCXCI, Page 291, Poem CCXCIV, Page 294, Poem CCXCVI, Page 296, Poem CCXCVII, Page 297, Poem CCXCVIII, Page 298, Poem CCXCIX, Page 299, Poem CCCI, Page 301, Poem CCCII, Page 302, Poem CCCV, Page 305, Poem CCCVI, Page 306, Poem CCCIX, Page 309, Poem CCCXIII, Page 313, Poem CCCXVII, Page 317, Poem CCCXIX, Page 319, Poem CCCXX, Page 320, Poem CCCXXIII, Page 323, Poem CCCXXV, Page 325, Poem CCCXXVI, Page 326, Poem CCCXXVII, Page 327, Poem CCCXXX, Page 330, Poem CCCXXXI, Page 331, Poem CCCXXXVI, Page 336, Poem CCCXXXVII, Page 337, Poem CCCXXXVIII, Page 338

Wotton, Henry (1568-1639)

Poem XCV, Page 95, Poem CX, Page 110

Wyat, Thomas (1503-1542)

Poem XXVIII, Page 28, Poem XLIV, Page 44


Anonymous

Poem VIII, Page 8, Poem XX, Page 20, Poem XXI, Page 21, Poem XXII, Page 22, Poem XXX, Page 30, Poem XXXIII, Page 33, Poem XXXVI, Page 36, Poem LIII, Page 53, Poem LIV, Page 54, Poem LVII, Page 57, Poem LXX, Page 70, Poem CIV, Page 104, Poem CXIV, Page 114, Poem CXVII, Page 117, Poem CXXI, Page 121, Poem CXXV, Page 125, Poem CXXXIII, Page 133, Poem CXXXV, Page 135, Poem CXXXVI, Page 136, Poem CLXIV, Page 164, Poem CXCV, Page 195


Poem CXXXIV, Page 134 is by Richard Verstegan (-c. 1635).

Index Of First Lines

Index Of First Lines

—A—

A Chieftain to the Highlands boundPage 211

A child’s a plaything for an hourPage 270

A flock of sheep that leisurely pass byPage 305

A slumber did my spirit sealPage 210

A sweet disorder in the dressPage 95

A weary lot is thine, fair maidPage 225

A wet sheet and a flowing seaPage 235

Absence, hear thou this protestationPage 8

Ah, Chloris! could I now but sitPage 86

Ah! County Guy, the hour is nighPage 217

All in the Downs the fleet was moor’dPage 149

All thoughts, all passions, all delightsPage 199

And are ye sure the news is truePage 181

And is this—Yarrow?—This the StreamPage 297

And thou art dead, as young and fairPage 231

And wilt thou leave me thusPage 26

Ariel to Miranda:—TakePage 288

Art thou pale for wearinessPage 305

Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbersPage 50

As it fell upon a dayPage 27

As I was walking all alanePage 107

As slow our ship her foamy trackPage 251

At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight appearsPage 288

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I flyPage 230

Avenge, O Lord! Thy slaughter’d saints, whose bonesPage 64

Awake, Aeolian lyre, awakePage 157

Awake, awake, my LyrePage 101

—B—

Bards of Passion and of MirthPage 197

Beauty sat bathing by a springPage 13

Behold her, single in the fieldPage 287

Being your slave, what should I do but tendPage 9

Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shedPage 277

Best and brightest, come awayPage 299

Bid me to live, and I will livePage 97

Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven’s joyPage 125

Blow, blow, thou winter windPage 34

Bright Star! would I were steadfast as thou artPage 228

—C—

Call for the robin-redbreast and the wrenPage 41

Calm was the day, and through the trembling airPage 45

Captain, or Colonel, or Knight in ArmsPage 75

Care-charmer Sleep, son of the Sable NightPage 28

Come away, come away, DeathPage 38

Come, cheerful day, part of my life to mePage 51

Come little babe, come silly soulPage 35

Come live with me and be my LovePage 5

Come, Sleep: O Sleep! the certain knot of peacePage 24

Come unto these yellow sandsPage 2

Crabbed Age and YouthPage 6

Cupid and my Campaspe play’dPage 44

Cyriack, whose grandsire, on the royal benchPage 80

—D—

Daughter of Jove, relentless powerPage 188

Daughter to that good Earl, once PresidentPage 89

Degenerate Douglas! oh, the unworthy lordPage 283

Doth then the world go thus, doth all thus movePage 54

Down in yon garden sweet and gayPage 147

Drink to me only with thine eyesPage 92

Duncan Gray cam here to wooPage 180

—E—

Earl March look’d on his dying childPage 228

Earth has not anything to show more fairPage 281

E’en like two little bank-dividing brooksPage 96

Eternal Spirit of the chainless MindPage 240

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the skyPage 273

Ever let the Fancy roamPage 310

—F—

Fain would I change that notePage 6

Fair Daffodils, we weep to seePage 111

Fair pledges of a fruitful treePage 110

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessingPage 25

Fear no more the heat o’ the sunPage 40

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave and newPage 22

Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadowPage 30

For ever, Fortune, wilt thou provePage 155

Forget not yet the tried intentPage 18

Four Seasons fill the measure of the yearPage 339

From Harmony, from heavenly HarmonyPage 63

From Stirling Castle we had seenPage 295

Full fathom five thy father liesPage 40

—G—

Gather ye rose-buds while ye mayPage 87

Gem of the crimson-colour’d EvenPage 218

Get up, get up for shame! The blooming mornPage 93

Go fetch to me a pint o’ winePage 152

Go, lovely RosePage 91

—H—

Hail thou most sacred venerable thingPage 128

Hail to thee, blithe SpiritPage 274

Happy the man, whose wish and carePage 136

Happy those early days, when IPage 78

Happy were he could finish forth his fatePage 55

He that loves a rosy cheekPage 90

He is gone on the mountainPage 264

Hence, all you vain delightsPage 103

Hence, loathéd MelancholyPage 116

Hence, vain deluding JoysPage 120

He sang of God, the mighty sourcePage 164

High-way, since you my chief Parnassus bePage 9

How happy is he born and taughtPage 76

How like a winter hath my absence beenPage 10

How sleep the brave who sink to restPage 144

How sweet the answer Echo makesPage 217

How vainly men themselves amazePage 113

—I—

I am monarch of all I surveyPage 190

I arise from dreams of TheePage 205

I cannot change, as others doPage 87

I dream’d that as I wander’d by the wayPage 307

I fear thy kisses, gentle maidenPage 208

I have had playmates, I have had companionsPage 250

I have no namePage 165

I heard a thousand blended notesPage 312

I meet thy pensive, moonlight facePage 211

I met a traveller from an antique landPage 282

I remember, I rememberPage 254

I saw Eternity the other nightPage 129

I saw her in childhoodPage 265

I saw my lady weepPage 19

I saw where in the shroud did lurkPage 268

I travell’d among unknown menPage 208

I wander’d lonely as a cloudPage 291

I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged PilePage 327

I wish I were where Helen liesPage 106

If aught of oaten stop or pastoral songPage 170

If doughty deeds my lady pleasePage 153

If I had thought thou couldst have diedPage 263

If Thou survive my well-contented dayPage 41

If to be absent were to bePage 100

I’m wearing awa’, JeanPage 184

In a drear-nighted DecemberPage 222

In the downhill of life, when I find I’m decliningPage 195

In the sweet shire of CardiganPage 248

In this still place, remote from menPage 329

In Xanadu did Kubla KhanPage 308

It is a beauteous evening, calm and freePage 303

It is not growing like a treePage 77

It was a dismal and a fearful nightPage 108

It was a lover and his lassPage 8

It was a summer eveningPage 244

I’ve heard them lilting at our ewe-milkingPage 145

—J—

Jack and Joan, they think no illPage 115

John Anderson my jo, JohnPage 185

—L—

Lady, when I behold the roses sproutingPage 43

Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous sonPage 79

Let me not to the marriage of true mindsPage 20

Life! I know not what thou artPage 196

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shorePage 25

Like to the clear in highest spherePage 12

Love in my bosom, like a beePage 43

Love in thy youth, fair Maid, be wisePage 90

Love not me for comely gracePage 98

Lo! where the rosy-bosom’d HoursPage 166

—M—

Many a green isle needs must bePage 320

Mary! I want a lyre with other stringsPage 191

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hourPage 242

Mine be a cot beside the hillPage 169

Mortality, behold and fearPage 73

Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyesPage 309

Much have I travell’d in the realms of goldPage 199

Music, when soft voices diePage 346

My days among the Dead are pastPage 257

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness painsPage 279

My heart leaps up when I beholdPage 341

My Love in her attire doth shew her witPage 96

My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst growPage 39

My thoughts hold mortal strifePage 38

My true-love hath my heart, and I have hisPage 20

—N—

Never love unless you canPage 16

Never seek to tell thy lovePage 156

No longer mourn for me when I am deadPage 42

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral notePage 247

Not, Celia, that I juster amPage 98

Now the golden Morn aloftPage 133

Now the last day of many daysPage 301

—O—

O blithe new-comer! I have heardPage 278

O Brignall banks are wild and fairPage 203

O Friend! I know not which way I must lookPage 242

O happy shades! to me unblestPage 188

O if thou knew’st how thou thyself dost harmPage 18

O leave this barren spot to mePage 283

O listen, listen, ladies gayPage 266

O lovers’ eyes are sharp to seePage 227

O Mary, at thy window bePage 175

O me! what eyes hath love put in my headPage 31

O Mistress mine, where are you roamingPage 22

O my Luve’s like a red, red rosePage 177

O never say that I was false of heartPage 11

O saw ye bonnie LesleyPage 176

O say what is that thing call’d LightPage 136

O talk not to me of a name great in storyPage 202

O Thou, by Nature taughtPage 134

O waly waly up the bankPage 104

O what can ail thee, knight-at-armsPage 224

O wild West Wind, thou breath Of Autumn’s beingPage 325

O World! O Life! O TimePage 340

Obscurest night involved the skyPage 193

Of all the girls that are so smartPage 151

Of a’ the airts the wind can blawPage 183

Of Nelson and the NorthPage 237

Of Neptune’s empire let us singPage 80

Of this fair volume which we World do namePage 53

Oft I had heard of Lucy GrayPage 213

Oft in the stilly nightPage 255

Oh snatch’d away in beauty’s bloomPage 262

On a day, alack the dayPage 17

On a Poet’s lips I sleptPage 329

Once did She hold the gorgeous East in feePage 241

One more UnfortunatePage 259

One word is too often profanedPage 233

On Linden, when the sun was lowPage 243

Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lower’dPage 306

Over the mountainsPage 84

—P—

Pack, clouds, away, and welcome dayPage 45

Phoebus, arisePage 2

Pibroch of Donuil DhuPage 233

Poor Soul, the centre of my sinful earthPage 52

Proud Maisie is in the woodPage 258

—Q—

Queen and Huntress, chaste and fairPage 81

—R—

Rough Wind, that moanest loudPage 339

Ruin seize thee, ruthless KingPage 140

—S—

Season of mist and mellow fruitfulnessPage 293

See with what simplicityPage 85

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s dayPage 15

Shall I, wasting in despairPage 102

She dwelt among the untrodden waysPage 208

She is not fair to outward viewPage 207

She walks in beauty, like the nightPage 206

She was a Phantom of delightPage 206

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless seaPage 4

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and partPage 30

Sleep, angry beauty, sleep and fear not mePage 31

Sleep on, and dream of Heaven awhilePage 154

Sleep, sleep, beauty brightPage 165

Souls of Poets dead and gonePage 257

Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant kingPage 1

Star that bringest home the beePage 304

Stern Daughter of the Voice of GodPage 239

Surprized by joy—impatient as the windPage 230

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyesPage 90

Sweet Highland Girl, a very showerPage 285

Sweet Love, if thou wilt gain a monarch’s gloryPage 14

Sweet stream, that winds through yonder gladePage 154

Swiftly walk over the western wavePage 219

—T—

Take, O take those lips awayPage 29

Tax not the royal Saint with vain expensePage 331

Tell me not, Sweet, I an unkindPage 88

Tell me where is Fancy bredPage 42

That time of year thou may’st in me beholdPage 23

That which her slender waist confinedPage 96

The curfew tolls the knell of parting dayPage 172

The forward youth that would appearPage 65

The fountains mingle with the riverPage 216

The glories of our blood and statePage 74

The last and greatest Herald of Heaven’s KingPage 55

The lovely lass o’ InvernessPage 144

The man of life uprightPage 52

The merchant, to secure his treasurePage 155

The more we live, more brief appearPage 338

The nightingale, as soon as April bringethPage 28

The poplars are fell’d; farewell to the shadePage 167

There be none of Beauty’s daughtersPage 204

There is a flower, the lesser CelandinePage 253

There is a garden in her facePage 92

There’s not a joy the world can give like that it takes awayPage 252

There’s not a nook within this solemn PassPage 340

There was a time when meadow, grove, and streamPage 341

The sea hath many thousand sandsPage 33

The sun is warm, the sky is clearPage 256

The sun upon the lake is lowPage 304

The twentieth year is well-nigh pastPage 192

The world is too much with us; late and soonPage 330

They are all gone into the world of lightPage 109

They that have power to hurt, and will do nonePage 26

This is the month, and this the happy mornPage 56

This Life, which seems so fairPage 51

Though others may her brow adorePage 21

Thou art not fair, for all thy red and whitePage 34

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietnessPage 331

Three years she grew in sun and showerPage 209

Thy braes were bonny, Yarrow streamPage 146

Timely blossom, Infant fairPage 138

Tired with all these, for restful death I cryPage 54

Toll for the BravePage 148

To me, fair Friend, you never can be oldPage 11

To one who has been long in city pentPage 282

Turn back, you wanton flyerPage 16

‘Twas at the royal feast for Persia wonPage 129

‘Twas on a lofty vase’s sidePage 137

Two Voices are there; one is of the SeaPage 241

—U—

Under the greenwood treePage 7

Upon my lap my sovereign sitsPage 105

—V—

Verse, a breeze ‘mid blossoms strayingPage 333

Victorious men of earth, no morePage 74

—W—

Waken, lords and ladies gayPage 272

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastiePage 168

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my kneePage 37

Weep you no more, sad fountainsPage 14

Were I as base as is the lowly plainPage 21

We talk’d with open heart, and tonguePage 336

We walk’d along, while bright and redPage 334

We watch’d her breathing thro’ the nightPage 265

Whenas in silks my Julia goesPage 95

When Britain first at Heaven’s commandPage 139

When first the fiery-mantled SunPage 294

When God at first made ManPage 78

When he who adores thee has left but the namePage 246

When icicles hang by the wallPage 23

When I consider how my light is spentPage 76

When I have borne in memory what has tamedPage 243

When I have fears that I may cease to bePage 229

When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defacedPage 4

When I survey the brightPage 126

When I think on the happy daysPage 182

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyesPage 10

When in the chronicle of wasted timePage 15

When lovely woman stoops to follyPage 156

When Love with unconfinéd wingsPage 99

When maidens such as Hester diePage 262

When Music, heavenly maid, was youngPage 161

When Ruth was left half desolatePage 313

When the lamp is shatter’dPage 226

When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye at hamePage 178

When thou must home to shades of undergroundPage 37

When to the sessions of sweet silent thoughtPage 24

When we two partedPage 221

Where art thou, my beloved SonPage 270

Where shall the lover restPage 222

Where the bee sucks, there suck IPage 2

Where the remote Bermudas ridePage 124

Whether on Ida’s shady browPage 197

While that the sun with his beams hotPage 32

Whoe’er she bePage 82

Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plantPage 220

Why so pale and wan, fond loverPage 100

Why weep ye by the tide, ladiePage 215

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skiesPage 36

With little here to do or seePage 291

With sweetest milk and sugar firstPage 112

—Y—

Ye banks and braes and streams aroundPage 177

Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie DoonPage 157

Ye distant spires, ye antique towersPage 185

Ye Mariners of EnglandPage 235

Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eyePage 284

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once morePage 68

You meaner beauties of the nightPage 88

Dedication And Preface

Dedication And Preface

Dedicated to
ALFRED TENNYSON
POET LAUREATE

This book in its progress has recalled often to my memory a man with whose friendship we were once honoured, to whom no region of English Literature was unfamiliar, and who, whilst rich in all the noble gifts of Nature, was most eminently distinguished by the noblest and the rarest,—just judgment and high-hearted patriotism. It would have been hence a peculiar pleasure and pride to dedicate what I have endeavoured to make a true national Anthology of three centuries to Henry Hallam. But he is beyond the reach of any human tokens of love and reverence; and I desire therefore to place before it a name united with his by associations which, while Poetry retains her hold on the minds of Englishmen, are not likely to be forgotten.

Your encouragement, given while traversing the wild scenery of Treryn Dinas, led me to begin the work; and it has been completed under your advice and assistance. For the favour now asked I have thus a second reason: and to this I may add, the homage which is your right as Poet, and the gratitude due to a Friend, whose regard I rate at no common value.

Permit me then to inscribe to yourself a book which, I hope, may be found by many a lifelong fountain of innocent and exalted pleasure; a source of animation to friends when they meet; and able to sweeten solitude itself with best society,—with the companionship of the wise and the good, with the beauty which the eye cannot see, and the music only heard in silence. If this Collection proves a store-house of delight to Labour and to Poverty,—if it teaches those indifferent to the Poets to love them, and those who love them to love them more, the aim and the desire entertained in framing it will be fully accomplished.

F.T.P.
May: 1861


PREFACE

This little Collection differs, it is believed, from others in the attempt made to include in it all the best original Lyrical pieces and Songs in our language (save a very few regretfully omitted on account of length), by writers not living,—and none beside the best. Many familiar verses will hence be met with; many also which should be familiar:—the Editor will regard as his fittest readers those who love Poetry so well, that he can offer them nothing not already known and valued.

The Editor is acquainted with no strict and exhaustive definition of Lyrical Poetry; but he has found the task of practical decision increase in clearness and in facility as he advanced with the work, whilst keeping in view a few simple principles. Lyrical has been here held essentially to imply that each Poem shall turn on some single thought, feeling, or situation. In accordance with this, narrative, descriptive, and didactic poems,—unless accompanied by rapidity of movement, brevity, and the colouring of human passion,—have been excluded. Humourous poetry, except in the very unfrequent instances where a truly poetical tone pervades the whole, with what is strictly personal, occasional, and religious, has been considered foreign to the idea of the book. Blank verse and the ten-syllable couplet, with all pieces markedly dramatic, have been rejected as alien from what is commonly understood by Song, and rarely conforming to Lyrical conditions in treatment. But it is not anticipated, nor is it possible, that all readers shall think the line accurately drawn. Some poems, as Gray’s Elegy, the Allegro and Penseroso, Wordsworth’s Ruth or Campbell’s Lord Ullin, might be claimed with perhaps equal justice for a narrative or descriptive selection: whilst with reference especially to Ballads and Sonnets, the Editor can only state that he has taken his utmost pains to decide without caprice or partiality.

This also is all he can plead in regard to a point even more liable to question;—what degree of merit should give rank among the Best. That a poem shall be worthy of the writer’s genius,—that it shall reach a perfection commensurate with its aim,—that we should require finish in proportion to brevity,—that passion, colour, and originality cannot atone for serious imperfections in clearness, unity or truth,—that a few good lines do not make a good poem, that popular estimate is serviceable as a guidepost more than as a compass,—above all, that excellence should be looked for rather in the whole than in the parts,—such and other such canons have been always steadily regarded. He may however add that the pieces chosen, and a far larger number rejected, have been carefully and repeatedly considered; and that he has been aided throughout by two friends of independent and exercised judgment, besides the distinguished person addressed in the Dedication. It is hoped that by this procedure the volume has been freed from that one-sidedness which must beset individual decisions:—but for the final choice the Editor is alone responsible.

Chalmers’ vast collection, with the whole works of all accessible poets not contained in it, and the best Anthologies of different periods, have been twice systematically read through: and it is hence improbable that any omissions which may be regretted are due to oversight. The poems are printed entire, except in a very few instances where a stanza or passage has been omitted. These omissions have been risked only when the piece could be thus brought to a closer lyrical unity: and, as essentially opposed to this unity, extracts, obviously such, are excluded. In regard to the text, the purpose of the book has appeared to justify the choice of the most poetical version, wherever more than one exists; and much labour has been given to present each poem, in disposition, spelling, and punctuation, to the greatest advantage.

In the arrangement, the most poetically-effective order has been attempted. The English mind has passed through phases of thought and cultivation so various and so opposed during these three centuries of Poetry, that a rapid passage between old and new, like rapid alteration of the eye’s focus in looking at the landscape, will always be wearisome and hurtful to the sense of Beauty. The poems have been therefore distributed into Books corresponding, I to the ninety years closing about 1616, II thence to 1700, III to 1800, IV to the half century just ended. Or, looking at the Poets who more or less give each portion its distinctive character, they might be called the Books of Shakespeare, Milton, Gray, and Wordsworth. The volume, in this respect, so far as the limitations of its range allow, accurately reflects the natural growth and evolution of our Poetry. A rigidly chronological sequence, however, rather fits a collection aiming at instruction than at pleasure, and the wisdom which comes through pleasure:—within each book the pieces have therefore been arranged in gradations of feeling or subject. And it is hoped that the contents of this Anthology will thus be found to present a certain unity, ‘as episodes,’ in the noble language of Shelley, ‘to that great Poem which all poets, like the co-operating thoughts of one great mind, have built up since the beginning of the world.’

As he closes his long survey, the Editor trusts he may add without egotism, that he has found the vague general verdict of popular Fame more just than those have thought, who, with too severe a criticism, would confine judgments on Poetry to ‘the selected few of many generations.’ Not many appear to have gained reputation without some gift or performance that, in due degree, deserved it: and if no verses by certain writers who show less strength than sweetness, or more thought than mastery of expression, are printed in this volume, it should not be imagined that they have been excluded without much hesitation and regret,—far less that they have been slighted. Throughout this vast and pathetic array of Singers now silent, few have been honoured with the name Poet, and have not possessed a skill in words, a sympathy with beauty, a tenderness of feeling, or seriousness in reflection, which render their works, although never perhaps attaining that loftier and finer excellence here required,—better worth reading than much of what fills the scanty hours that most men spare for self-improvement, or for pleasure in any of its more elevated and permanent forms.—And if this be true of even mediocre poetry, for how much more are we indebted to the best! Like the fabled fountain of the Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this Art can confer on each period of life its appropriate blessing: on early years Experience, on maturity Calm, on age, Youthfulness. Poetry gives treasures ‘more golden than gold,’ leading us in higher and healthier ways than those of the world, and interpreting to us the lessons of Nature. But she speaks best for herself. Her true accents, if the plan has been executed with success, may be heard throughout the following pages:—wherever the Poets of England are honoured, wherever the dominant language of the world is spoken, it is hoped that they will find fit audience.

1861

Some poems, especially in Book I, have been added:—either on better acquaintance;—in deference to critical suggestions;—or unknown to the Editor when first gathering his harvest. For aid in these after-gleanings he is specially indebted to the excellent reprints of rare early verse given us by Dr. Hannah, Dr. Grosart, Mr. Arber, Mr. Bullen, and others,—and (in regard to the additions of 1883) to the advice of that distinguished Friend, by whom the final choice has been so largely guided. The text has also been carefully revised from authoritative sources. It has still seemed best, for many reasons, to retain the original limit by which the selection was confined to those then no longer living. But the editor hopes that, so far as in him lies, a complete and definitive collection of our best Lyrics, to the central year of this fast-closing century, is now offered.

1883-1890-1891


Εἰς τὸν λειμῶνα καθίσας,
ἔδρεπεν ἕτερον ἐφ’ ἑτέρῳ
αἰρόμενος ἄγρευμ’ ἀνθέων
ἁδομένᾳ ψυχᾷ— —

Eurip. frag. 754.

‘He sat in the meadow and plucked
with glad heart the spoil of the
flowers, gathering them one by one.’


The Golden Treasury
Book First

1


I
SPRING

Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo.

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
Spring! the sweet Spring!

T. Nash.

2


II
THE FAIRY LIFE

1

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch, when owls do cry:
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough!


III

2

Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands:
Courtsied when you have, and kiss’d
The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet Sprites, the burthen bear.
Hark, hark!
Bow-bow.
The watch-dogs bark:
Bow-wow.
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow!

W. Shakespeare


IV
SUMMONS TO LOVE

Phoebus, arise!
And paint the sable skies
With azure, white, and red:
Rouse Memnon’s mother from her Tithon’s bed
That she may thy career with roses spread:3
The nightingales thy coming each-where sing:
Make an eternal Spring!
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead;
Spread forth thy golden hair
In larger locks than thou wast wont before,
And emperor-like decore
With diadem of pearl thy temples fair:
Chase hence the ugly night
Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.

—This is that happy morn,
That day, long-wishéd day
Of all my life so dark,
(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn
And fates my hopes betray),
Which, purely white, deserves
An everlasting diamond should it mark.
This is the morn should bring unto this grove
My Love, to hear and recompense my love.
Fair King, who all preserves,
But show thy blushing beams,
And thou two sweeter eyes
Shalt see than those which by Penéus’ streams
Did once thy heart surprize.
Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise:
If that ye winds would hear
A voice surpassing far Amphion’s lyre,
Your furious chiding stay;
Let Zephyr only breathe,
And with her tresses play.
—The winds all silent are,
And Phoebus in his chair
Ensaffroning sea and air
Makes vanish every star:
Night like a drunkard reels
Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels:
The fields with flowers are deck’d in every hue,
The clouds with orient gold spangle their blue;
Here is the pleasant place—
And nothing wanting is, save She, alas!

W. Drummond of Hawthornden

4


V
TIME AND LOVE

1

When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of out-worn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;

When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;

When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate—
That Time will come and take my Love away:

—This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

W. Shakespeare


VI

2

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?

O how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?

O fearful meditation! where, alack!
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?

O! none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

W. Shakespeare.

5


VII
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE

Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair linéd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

C. Marlowe

6


VIII
OMNIA VINCIT

Fain would I change that note
To which fond Love hath charm’d me
Long long to sing by rote,
Fancying that that harm’d me:
Yet when this thought doth come
‘Love is the perfect sum
Of all delight,’
I have no other choice
Either for pen or voice
To sing or write.

O Love! they wrong thee much
That say thy sweet is bitter,
When thy rich fruit is such
As nothing can be sweeter.
Fair house of joy and bliss,
Where truest pleasure is,
I do adore thee:
I know thee what thou art,
I serve thee with my heart,
And fall before thee!

Anon.


IX
A MADRIGAL

Crabbed Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather,
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare:
Youth is full of sport,7
Age’s breath is short,
Youth is nimble, Age is lame:
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold,
Youth is wild, and Age is tame:—
Age, I do abhor thee,
Youth, I do adore thee;
O! my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee—
O sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay’st too long.

W. Shakespeare


X

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat—
Come hither, come hither, come hither!
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats
And pleased with what he gets—
Come hither, come hither, come hither!
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

W. Shakespeare

8


XI

It was a lover and his lass
With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino!
That o’er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing hey ding a ding:
Sweet lovers love the Spring.

Between the acres of the rye
These pretty country folks would lie:
This carol they began that hour,
How that life was but a flower:

And therefore take the present time
With a hey and a ho and a hey nonino!
For love is crowned with the prime
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing hey ding a ding:
Sweet lovers love the Spring.

W. Shakespeare


XII
PRESENT IN ABSENCE

Absence, hear thou this protestation
Against thy strength,
Distance, and length;
Do what thou canst for alteration:
For hearts of truest mettle
Absence doth join, and Time doth settle.

Who loves a mistress of such quality,
His mind hath found
Affection’s ground
Beyond time, place, and mortality.
To hearts that cannot vary
Absence is present, Time doth tarry.9

By absence this good means I gain,
That I can catch her,
Where none can match her,
In some close corner of my brain:
There I embrace and kiss her;
And so I both enjoy and miss her.

J. Donne


XIII
VIA AMORIS

High-way, since you my chief Parnassus be,
And that my Muse, to some ears not unsweet,
Tempers her words to trampling horses’ feet
More oft than to a chamber-melody,—

Now, blesséd you bear onward blesséd me
To her, where I my heart, safe-left, shall meet;
My Muse and I must you of duty greet
With thanks and wishes, wishing thankfully;

Be you still fair, honour’d by public heed;
By no encroachment wrong’d, nor time forgot;
Nor blamed for blood, nor shamed for sinful deed;
And that you know I envy you no lot

Of highest wish, I wish you so much bliss,—
Hundreds of years you Stella’s feet may kiss!

Sir P. Sidney


XIV
ABSENCE

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend
Nor services to do, till you require:

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end-hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu:10

Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are, how happy you make those;—

So true a fool is love, that in your will
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.

W. Shakespeare


XV

How like a winter hath my absence been
From Thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen,
What old December’s bareness every where!

And yet this time removed was summer’s time:
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:

Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans, and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;

Or if they sing, ‘tis with so dull a cheer,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.

W. Shakespeare


XVI
A CONSOLATION

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate;

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possest,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;11

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on Thee—and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remember’d, such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

W. Shakespeare


XVII
THE UNCHANGEABLE

O never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem’d my flame to qualify:
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie;

That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels, I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.

Never believe, though in my nature reign’d
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain’d
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good:

For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose: in it thou art my all.

W. Shakespeare


XVIII

To me, fair Friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride;

Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.

Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,12
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:

For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,—
Ere you were born, was beauty’s summer dead.

W. Shakespeare


XIX
ROSALINE

Like to the clear in highest sphere
Where all imperial glory shines,
Of selfsame colour is her hair
Whether unfolded, or in twines:
Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
Resembling heaven by every wink;
The Gods do fear whenas they glow,
And I do tremble when I think
Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud
That beautifies Aurora’s face,
Or like the silver crimson shroud
That Phoebus’ smiling looks doth grace;
Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Her lips are like two budded roses
Whom ranks of lilies neighbour nigh,
Within which bounds she balm encloses
Apt to entice a deity:
Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Her neck is like a stately tower
Where Love himself imprison’d lies,
To watch for glances every hour
From her divine and sacred eyes:
Heigh ho, for Rosaline!
Her paps are centres of delight,
Her breasts are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where Nature moulds the dew of light
To feed perfection with the same:
Heigh ho, would she were mine!13

With orient pearl, with ruby red,
With marble white, with sapphire blue
Her body every way is fed,
Yet soft in touch and sweet in view:
Heigh ho, fair Rosaline!
Nature herself her shape admires;
The Gods are wounded in her sight;
And Love forsakes his heavenly fires
And at her eyes his brand doth light:
Heigh ho, would she were mine!

Then muse not, Nymphs, though I bemoan
The absence of fair Rosaline,
Since for a fair there’s fairer none,
Nor for her virtues so divine:
Heigh ho, fair Rosaline;
Heigh ho, my heart! would God that she were mine!

T. Lodge


XX
COLIN

Beauty sat bathing by a spring
Where fairest shades did hide her;
The winds blew calm, the birds did sing,
The cool streams ran beside her.
My wanton thoughts enticed mine eye
To see what was forbidden:
But better memory said, fie!
So vain desire was chidden:—
Hey nonny nonny O!
Hey nonny nonny!

Into a slumber then I fell,
When fond imagination
Seemed to see, but could not tell
Her feature or her fashion.
But ev’n as babes in dreams do smile,
And sometimes fall a-weeping,
So I awaked, as wise this while
As when I fell a-sleeping:—-
Hey nonny nonny O!
Hey nonny nonny!

The Shepherd Tonie

14


XXI
A PICTURE

Sweet Love, if thou wilt gain a monarch’s glory,
Subdue her heart, who makes me glad and sorry:
Out of thy golden quiver
Take thou thy strongest arrow
That will through bone and marrow,
And me and thee of grief and fear deliver:—
But come behind, for if she look upon thee,
Alas! poor Love! then thou art woe-begone thee!

Anon.


XXII
A SONG FOR MUSIC

Weep you no more, sad fountains:—
What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven’s sun doth gently waste!
But my Sun’s heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies,
Sleeping.

Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets:—
Doth not the sun rise smiling,
When fair at even he sets?
—Rest you, then, rest, sad eyes!
Melt not in weeping!
While She lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies,
Sleeping!

Anon.

15


XXIII
TO HIS LOVE

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d:
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:—

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

W. Shakespeare


XXIV
TO HIS LOVE

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead, and lovely knights;

Then in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have exprest
Ev’n such a beauty as you master now.

So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all, you prefiguring;
And for they look’d but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:

For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

W. Shakespeare

16


XXV
BASIA

Turn back, you wanton flyer,
And answer my desire
With mutual greeting.
Yet bend a little nearer,—
True beauty still shines clearer
In closer meeting!
Hearts with hearts delighted
Should strive to be united,
Each other’s arms with arms enchaining,—
Hearts with a thought,
Rosy lips with a kiss still entertaining.

What harvest half so sweet is
As still to reap the kisses
Grown ripe in sowing?
And straight to be receiver
Of that which thou art giver,
Rich in bestowing?
There is no strict observing
Of times’ or seasons’ swerving,
There is ever one fresh spring abiding;—
Then what we sow with our lips
Let us reap, love’s gains dividing.

T. Campion


XXVI
ADVICE TO A GIRL

Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man!
Men sometimes will jealous be
Though but little cause they see,
And hang the head as discontent,
And speak what straight they will repent.17

Men, that but one Saint adore,
Make a show of love to more;
Beauty must be scorn’d in none,
Though but truly served in one:
For what is courtship but disguise?
True hearts may have dissembling eyes.

Men, when their affairs require,
Must awhile themselves retire;
Sometimes hunt, and sometimes hawk,
And not ever sit and talk:—
If these and such-like you can bear,
Then like, and love, and never fear!

T. Campion


XXVII
LOVE’S PERJURIES

On a day, alack the day!
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, ‘gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish’d himself the heaven’s breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet;
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me
That I am forsworn for thee:
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were,
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.

W. Shakespeare

18


XXVIII
A SUPPLICATION

Forget not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant;
My great travail so gladly spent,
Forget not yet!

Forget not yet when first began
The weary life ye know, since whan
The suit, the service none tell can;
Forget not yet!

Forget not yet the great assays,
The cruel wrong, the scornful ways,
The painful patience in delays,
Forget not yet!

Forget not! O, forget not this,
How long ago hath been, and is
The mind that never meant amiss—
Forget not yet!

Forget not then thine own approved
The which so long hath thee so loved,
Whose steadfast faith yet never moved—
Forget not this!

Sir T. Wyat


XXIX
TO AURORA

O if thou knew’st how thou thyself dost harm,
And dost prejudge thy bliss, and spoil my rest;
Then thou would’st melt the ice out of thy breast
And thy relenting heart would kindly warm.

O if thy pride did not our joys controul,
What world of loving wonders should’st thou see!
For if I saw thee once transform’d in me,
Then in thy bosom I would pour my soul;19

Then all my thoughts should in thy visage shine,
And if that aught mischanced thou should’st not moan
Nor bear the burthen of thy griefs alone;
No, I would have my share in what were thine:

And whilst we thus should make our sorrows one,
This happy harmony would make them none.

W. Alexander, Earl of Sterline


XXX
IN LACRIMAS

I saw my Lady weep,
And Sorrow proud to be advancéd so
In those fair eyes where all perfections keep,
Her face was full of woe,
But such a woe (believe me) as wins more hearts
Than Mirth can do with her enticing parts.

Sorrow was there made fair,
And Passion, wise; Tears, a delightful thing;
Silence, beyond all speech, a wisdom rare:
She made her sighs to sing,
And all things with so sweet a sadness move
As made my heart at once both grieve and love.

O fairer than aught else
The world can show, leave off in time to grieve!
Enough, enough: your joyful look excels:
Tears kill the heart, believe.
O strive not to be excellent in woe,
Which only breeds your beauty’s overthrow.

Anon.

20


XXXI
TRUE LOVE

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:—

O no! it is an ever-fixéd mark
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev’n to the edge of doom:—

If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

W. Shakespeare


XXXII
A DITTY

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

Sir P. Sidney

21


XXXIII
LOVE’S INSIGHT

Though others may Her brow adore
Yet more must I, that therein see far more
Than any other’s eyes have power to see:
She is to me
More than to any others she can be!
I can discern more secret notes
That in the margin of her cheeks Love quotes,
Than any else besides have art to read:
No looks proceed
From those fair eyes but to me wonder breed.

Anon.


XXXIV
LOVE’S OMNIPRESENCE

Were I as base as is the lowly plain,
And you, my Love, as high as heaven above,
Yet should the thoughts of me your humble swain
Ascend to heaven, in honour of my Love.

Were I as high as heaven above the plain,
And you, my Love, as humble and as low
As are the deepest bottoms of the main,
Whereso’er you were, with you my love should go.

Were you the earth, dear Love, and I the skies,
My love should shine on you like to the sun,
And look upon you with ten thousand eyes
Till heaven wax’d blind, and till the world were done.

Whereso’er I am, below, or else above you,
Whereso’er you are, my heart shall truly love you.

J. Sylvester

22


XXXV
CARPE DIEM

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers meeting—
Every wise man’s son doth know.

What is love? ‘tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,—
Then come kiss me, Sweet-and-twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

W. Shakespeare


XXXVI
AN HONEST AUTOLYCUS

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave, and new,
Good penny-worths,—but money cannot move:
I keep a fair but for the Fair to view;
A beggar may be liberal of love.
Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true—
The heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again;
My trifles come as treasures from my mind;
It is a precious jewel to be plain;
Sometimes in shell the orient’st pearls we find:—
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain!
Of me a grain!

Anon.

23


XXXVII
WINTER

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit!
Tu-who! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all about the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl—
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whit!
Tu-who! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

W. Shakespeare


XXXVIII

That time of year thou may’st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang:

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest:

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by:24

—This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

W. Shakespeare


XXXIX
MEMORY

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste;

Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long-since-cancell’d woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight.

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanéd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before:

—But if the while I think on thee, dear Friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

W. Shakespeare


XL
SLEEP

Come, Sleep: O Sleep! the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
Th’ indifferent judge between the high and low;

With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw:
O make in me those civil wars to cease;
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.25

Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf of noise and blind of light,
A rosy garland and a weary head:
And if these things, as being thine in right,

Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.

Sir P. Sidney


XLI
REVOLUTIONS

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave, doth now his gift confound.

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow;
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:—

And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand
Praising Thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

W. Shakespeare


XLII

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate:
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.

For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.26

Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.

Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter;
In sleep, a king; but waking, no such matter.

W. Shakespeare


XLIII
THE LIFE WITHOUT PASSION

They that have power to hurt, and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmovéd, cold, and to temptation slow,—

They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces,
And husband nature’s riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others, but stewards of their excellence.

The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die;
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

W. Shakespeare


XLIV
THE LOVER’S APPEAL

And wilt thou leave me thus?
Say nay! say nay! for shame,
To save thee from the blame
Of all my grief and grame.
And wilt thou leave me thus?
Say nay! say nay!27

And wilt thou leave me thus,
That hath loved thee so long
In wealth and woe among:
And is thy heart so strong
As for to leave me thus?
Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,
That hath given thee my heart
Never for to depart
Neither for pain nor smart:
And wilt thou leave me thus?
Say nay! say nay!

And wilt thou leave me thus,
And have no more pity
Of him that loveth thee?
Alas! thy cruelty!
And wilt thou leave me thus?
Say nay! say nay!

Sir T. Wyat


XLV
THE NIGHTINGALE

As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring;
Every thing did banish moan
Save the Nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean’d her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the dolefull’st ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Teru, teru, by and by:
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs so lively shown28
Made me think upon mine own.
—Ah, thought I, thou mourn’st in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain:
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead,
All thy friends are lapp’d in lead:
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing:
Even so, poor bird, like thee
None alive will pity me.

R. Barnefield


XLVI

Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
Brother to Death, in silent darkness born,
Relieve my languish, and restore the light;
With dark forgetting of my care return.

And let the day be time enough to mourn
The shipwreck of my ill-adventured youth:
Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
Without the torment of the night’s untruth.

Cease, dreams, the images of day-desires,
To model forth the passions of the morrow;
Never let rising Sun approve you liars,
To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow:

Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain,
And never wake to feel the day’s disdain.

S. Daniel


XLVII

The nightingale, as soon as April bringeth
Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,
While late-bare earth, proud of new clothing, springeth,
Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making;29

And mournfully bewailing,
Her throat in tunes expresseth
What grief her breast oppresseth
For Tereus’ force on her chaste will prevailing.

O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,
That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness:
Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;
Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

Alas, she hath no other cause of anguish
But Tereus’ love, on her by strong hand wroken,
Wherein she suffering, all her spirits languish,
Full womanlike complains her will was broken.
But I, who, daily craving,
Cannot have to content me,
Have more cause to lament me,
Since wanting is more woe than too much having.

O Philomela fair, O take some gladness
That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness:
Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth;
Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

Sir P. Sidney


XLVIII
FRUSTRA

Take, O take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
Bring again—
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain,
Seal’d in vain!

W. Shakespeare

30


XLIX
LOVE’S FAREWELL

Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part,—
Nay I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free;

Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.

Now at the last gasp of love’s latest breath,
When his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,
When faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And innocence is closing up his eyes,

—Now if thou would’st, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou might’st him yet recover!

M. Drayton


L
IN IMAGINE PERTRANSIT HOMO

Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow!
Though thou be black as night
And she made all of light,
Yet follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow!

Follow her, whose light thy light depriveth!
Though here thou liv’st disgraced,
And she in heaven is placed,
Yet follow her whose light the world reviveth!

Follow those pure beams, whose beauty burneth,
That so have scorchéd thee
As thou still black must be
Till her kind beams thy black to brightness turneth.31

Follow her, while yet her glory shineth!
There comes a luckless night
That will dim all her light;
—And this the black unhappy shade divineth.

Follow still, since so thy fates ordainéd!
The sun must have his shade,
Till both at once do fade,—
The sun still proved, the shadow still disdainéd.

T. Campion


LI
BLIND LOVE

O me! what eyes hath Love put in my head
Which have no correspondence with true sight:
Or if they have, where is my judgment fled
That censures falsely what they see aright?

If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
What means the world to say it is not so?
If it be not, then love doth well denote
Love’s eye is not so true as all men’s: No,

How can it? O how can love’s eye be true,
That is so vex’d with watching and with tears?
No marvel then though I mistake my view:
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.

O cunning Love! with tears thou keep’st me blind,
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find!

W. Shakespeare


LII

Sleep, angry beauty, sleep and fear not me!
For who a sleeping lion dares provoke?
It shall suffice me here to sit and see
Those lips shut up that never kindly spoke:
What sight can more content a lover’s mind
Than beauty seeming harmless, if not kind?32

My words have charm’d her, for secure she sleeps,
Though guilty much of wrong done to my love;
And in her slumber, see! she close-eyed weeps:
Dreams often more than waking passions move.
Plead, Sleep, my cause, and make her soft like thee:
That she in peace may wake and pity me.

T. Campion


LIII
THE UNFAITHFUL SHEPHERDESS

While that the sun with his beams hot
Scorchéd the fruits in vale and mountain,
Philon the shepherd, late forgot,
Sitting beside a crystal fountain,
In shadow of a green oak tree
Upon his pipe this song play’d he:
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

So long as I was in your sight
I was your heart, your soul, and treasure;
And evermore you sobb’d and sigh’d
Burning in flames beyond all measure:
—Three days endured your love to me,
And it was lost in other three!
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Another Shepherd you did see
To whom your heart was soon enchainéd;
Full soon your love was leapt from me,
Full soon my place he had obtainéd.
Soon came a third, your love to win,
And we were out and he was in.
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.33

Sure you have made me passing glad
That you your mind so soon removéd,
Before that I the leisure had
To choose you for my best belovéd:
For all your love was past and done
Two days before it was begun:—
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Anon.


LIV
ADVICE TO A LOVER

The sea hath many thousand sands,
The sun hath motes as many;
The sky is full of stars, and Love
As full of woes as any:
Believe me, that do know the elf,
And make no trial by thyself!

It is in truth a pretty toy
For babes to play withal:—
But O! the honeys of our youth
Are oft our age’s gall!
Self-proof in time will make thee know
He was a prophet told thee so;

A prophet that, Cassandra-like,
Tells truth without belief;
For headstrong Youth will run his race,
Although his goal be grief:—
Love’s Martyr, when his heat is past,
Proves Care’s Confessor at the last.

Anon.

34


LV
A RENUNCIATION

Thou art not fair, for all thy red and white,
For all those rosy ornaments in thee,—
Thou art not sweet, though made of mere delight,
Nor fair, nor sweet—unless thou pity me!
I will not soothe thy fancies; thou shalt prove
That beauty is no beauty without love.

—Yet love not me, nor seek not to allure
My thoughts with beauty, were it more divine:
Thy smiles and kisses I cannot endure,
I’ll not be wrapp’d up in those arms of thine:
—Now show it, if thou be a woman right—
Embrace and kiss and love me in despite!

T. Campion


LVI

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh ho! sing heigh ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember’d not.
Heigh ho! sing heigh ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.

W. Shakespeare

35


LVII
A SWEET LULLABY

Come little babe, come silly soul,
Thy father’s shame, thy mother’s grief,
Born as I doubt to all our dole,
And to thy self unhappy chief:
Sing Lullaby and lap it warm,
Poor soul that thinks no creature harm.

Thou little think’st and less dost know,
The cause of this thy mother’s moan,
Thou want’st the wit to wail her woe,
And I myself am all alone:
Why dost thou weep? why dost thou wail?
And knowest not yet what thou dost ail.

Come little wretch, ah silly heart,
Mine only joy, what can I more?
If there be any wrong thy smart
That may the destinies implore:
‘Twas I, I say, against my will,
I wail the time, but be thou still.

And dost thou smile, oh thy sweet face!
Would God Himself He might thee see,
No doubt thou would’st soon purchase grace,
I know right well, for thee and me:
But come to mother, babe, and play,
For father false is fled away.

Sweet boy, if it by fortune chance,
Thy father home again to send,
If death do strike me with his lance,
Yet mayst thou me to him commend:
If any ask thy mother’s name,
Tell how by love she purchased blame.

Then will his gentle heart soon yield,
I know him of a noble mind,
Although a Lion in the field,
A Lamb in town thou shalt him find:36
Ask blessing, babe, be not afraid,
His sugar’d words hath me betray’d.

Then mayst thou joy and be right glad,
Although in woe I seem to moan,
Thy father is no rascal lad,
A noble youth of blood and bone:
His glancing looks, if he once smile,
Right honest women may beguile.

Come, little boy, and rock asleep,
Sing lullaby and be thou still,
I that can do nought else but weep;
Will sit by thee and wail my fill:
God bless my babe, and lullaby
From this thy father’s quality!

Anon.


LVIII

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What, may it be that e’en in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries!

Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel’st a lover’s case,
I read it in thy looks; thy languish’d grace,
To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.

Then, e’en of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deem’d there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet

Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue, there, ungratefulness?

Sir P. Sidney

37


LIX
O CRUDELIS AMOR

When thou must home to shades of underground,
And there arrived, a new admired guest,
The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round,
White Iopé, blithe Helen, and the rest,
To hear the stories of thy finish’d love
From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move;

Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights,
Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make,
Of tourneys and great challenges of Knights,
And all these triumphs for thy beauty’s sake:
When thou hast told’ these honours done to thee,
Then tell, O tell, how thou didst murder me!

T. Campion


LX
SEPHESTIA’S SONG TO HER CHILD

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
Mother’s wag, pretty boy,
Father’s sorrow, father’s joy;
When thy father first did see
Such a boy by him and me,
He was glad, I was woe,
Fortune changed made him so,
When he left his pretty boy
Last his sorrow, first his joy.

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
Streaming tears that never stint,
Like pearl drops from a flint,
Fell by course from his eyes,
That one another’s place supplies;
Thus he grieved in every part,
Tears of blood fell from his heart,
When he left his pretty boy,
Father’s sorrow, father’s joy.38

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old, there’s grief enough for thee.
The wanton smiled, father wept,
Mother cried, baby leapt;
More he crow’d, more we cried,
Nature could not sorrow hide:
He must go, he must kiss
Child and mother, baby bless,
For he left his pretty boy,
Father’s sorrow, father’s joy.
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old, there’s grief enough for thee.

R. Greene


LXI
A LAMENT

My thoughts hold mortal strife;
I do detest my life,
And with lamenting cries
Peace to my soul to bring
Oft call that prince which here doth monarchize:
—But he, grim grinning King,
Who caitiffs scorns, and doth the blest surprize,
Late having deck’d with beauty’s rose his tomb,
Disdains to crop a weed, and will not come.

W. Drummond


LXII
DIRGE OF LOVE

Come away, come away, Death,
And in sad cypres let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,39
O prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there.

W. Shakespeare


LXIII
TO HIS LUTE

My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow
With thy green mother in some shady grove,
When immelodious winds but made thee move,
And birds their ramage did on thee bestow.

Since that dear Voice which did thy sounds approve,
Which wont in such harmonious strains to flow,
Is reft from Earth to tune those spheres above,
What art thou but a harbinger of woe?

Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
But orphans’ wailings to the fainting ear;
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear;
For which be silent as in woods before:

Or if that any hand to touch thee deign,
Like widow’d turtle, still her loss complain.

W. Drummond

40


LXIV
FIDELE

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta’en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great,
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish’d joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

W. Shakespeare


LXV
A SEA DIRGE

Full fathom five thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them,—
Ding, dong, bell.

W. Shakespeare

41


LXVI
A LAND DIRGE

Call for the robin-redbreast and the wren,
Since o’er shady groves they hover
And with leaves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.
Call unto his funeral dole
The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole
To rear him hillocks that shall keep him warm
And (when gay tombs are robb’d) sustain no harm;
But keep the wolf far thence, that’s foe to men,
For with his nails he’ll dig them up again.

J. Webster


LXVII
POST MORTEM

If Thou survive my well-contented day
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover;

Compare them with the bettering of the time,
And though they be outstripp’d by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme
Exceeded by the height of happier men.

O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought—
‘Had my friend’s Muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
To march in ranks of better equipage:

But since he died, and poets better prove,
Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love.’

W. Shakespeare

42


LXVIII
THE TRIUMPH OF DEATH

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world, that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell;

Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.

O if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay;

Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
And mock you with me after I am gone.

W. Shakespeare


LXIX
YOUNG LOVE

Tell me where is Fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourishéd?
Reply, reply.

It is engender’d in the eyes;
With gazing fed; and Fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies:
Let us all ring Fancy’s knell;
I’ll begin it,—Ding, dong, bell.
—Ding, dong, bell.

W. Shakespeare

43


LXX
A DILEMMA

Lady, when I behold the roses sprouting
Which clad in damask mantles deck the arbours,
And then behold your lips where sweet love harbours,
My eyes present me with a double doubting:
For viewing both alike, hardly my mind supposes
Whether the roses be your lips, or your lips the roses.

Anon.


LXXI
ROSALYND’S MADRIGAL

Love in my bosom, like a bee,
Doth suck his sweet;
Now with his wings he plays with me,
Now with his feet.
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
His bed amidst my tender breast;
My kisses are his daily feast,
And yet he robs me of my rest:
Ah! wanton, will ye?

And if I sleep, then percheth he
With pretty flight,
And makes his pillow of my knee
The livelong night.
Strike I my lute, he tunes the string;
He music plays if so I sing;
He lends me every lovely thing,
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting:
Whist, wanton, will ye?

Else I with roses every day
Will whip you hence,
And bind you, when you long to play,44
For your offence;
I’ll shut my eyes to keep you in;
I’ll make you fast it for your sin;
I’ll count your power not worth a pin;
—Alas! what hereby shall I win,
If he gainsay me?

What if I beat the wanton boy
With many a rod?
He will repay me with annoy,
Because a god.
Then sit thou safely on my knee,
And let thy bower my bosom be;
Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee,
O Cupid! so thou pity me,
Spare not, but play thee!

T. Lodge


LXXII
CUPID AND CAMPASPE

Cupid and my Campaspe play’d
At cards for kisses; Cupid paid:
He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
His mother’s doves, and team of sparrows;
Loses them too; then down he throws
The coral of his lip, the rose
Growing on’s cheek (but none knows how);
With these, the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple on his chin;
All these did my Campaspe win:
And last he set her both his eyes—
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
O Love! has she done this to thee?
What shall, alas! become of me?

J. Lylye

45


LXXIII

Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day,
With night we banish sorrow;
Sweet air blow soft, mount larks aloft
To give my Love good-morrow!
Wings from the wind to please her mind
Notes from the lark I’ll borrow;
Bird, prune thy wing, nightingale sing,
To give my Love good-morrow;
To give my Love good-morrow
Notes from them both I’ll borrow.

Wake from thy nest, Robin-red-breast,
Sing, birds, in every furrow;
And from each hill, let music shrill
Give my fair Love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow!
You pretty elves, amongst yourselves
Sing my fair Love good-morrow;
To give my Love good-morrow
Sing, birds, in every furrow!

T. Heywood


LXXIV
PROTHALAMION

Calm was the day, and through the trembling air
Sweet-breathing Zephyrus did softly play—
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titan’s beams, which then did glister fair;
When I, (whom sullen care,
Through discontent of my long fruitless stay
In princes’ court, and expectation vain
Of idle hopes, which still do fly away
Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain)
Walk’d forth to ease my pain
Along the shore of silver-streaming Thames;46
Whose rutty bank, the which his river hems,
Was painted all with variable flowers,
And all the meads adorn’d with dainty gems
Fit to deck maidens’ bowers,
And crown their paramours
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

There in a meadow by the river’s side
A flock of nymphs I chancéd to espy,
All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks all loose untied
As each had been a bride;
And each one had a little wicker basket
Made of fine twigs, entrailéd curiously.
In which they gather’d flowers to fill their flasket,
And with fine fingers cropt full feateously
The tender stalks on high.
Of every sort which in that meadow grew
They gather’d some; the violet, pallid blue,
The little daisy that at evening closes,
The virgin lily and the primrose true,
With store of vermeil roses,
To deck their bridegrooms’ posies
Against the bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

With that I saw two Swans of goodly hue
Come softly swimming down along the Lee;
Two fairer birds I yet did never see;
The snow which doth the top of Pindus strow
Did never whiter show,
Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would be
For love of Leda, whiter did appear;
Yet Leda was (they say) as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near;
So purely white they were
That even the gentle stream, the which them bare,
Seem’d foul to them, and bade his billows spare
To wet their silken feathers, lest they might
Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair,
And mar their beauties bright47
That shone as Heaven’s light
Against their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their fill,
Ran all in haste to see that silver brood
As they came floating on the crystal flood;
Whom when they saw, they stood amazéd still
Their wondering eyes to fill;
Them seem’d they never saw a sight so fair
Of fowls, so lovely, that they sure did deem
Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair
Which through the sky draw Venus’ silver team;
For sure they did not seem
To be begot of any earthly seed,
But rather Angels, or of Angels’ breed;
Yet were they bred of summer’s heat, they say,
In sweetest season, when each flower and weed
The earth did fresh array;
So fresh they seem’d as day,
Ev’n as their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew
Great store of flowers, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,
All which upon those goodly birds they threw
And all the waves did strew,
That like old Peneus’ waters they did seem
When down along by pleasant Tempe’s shore
Scatter’d with flowers, through Thessaly they stream,
That they appear, through lilies’ plenteous store,
Like a bride’s chamber-floor.
Two of those nymphs meanwhile two garlands bound
Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found,
The which presenting all in trim array,
Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crown’d;
Whilst one did sing this lay
Prepared against that day,
Against their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly till I end my song.48

‘Ye gentle birds! the world’s fair ornament,
And Heaven’s glory, whom this happy hour
Doth lead unto your lovers’ blissful bower,
Joy may you have, and gentle heart’s content
Of your love’s couplement;
And let fair Venus, that is queen of love,
With her heart-quelling son upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove
All love’s dislike, and friendship’s faulty guile
For ever to assoil.
Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blesséd plenty wait upon your board;
And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound,
That fruitful issue may to you afford
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joys redound
Upon your bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.’

So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said their bridal day should not be long:
And gentle Echo from the neighbour ground
Their accents did resound.
So forth those joyous birds did pass along
Adown the Lee that to them murmur’d low,
As he would speak but that he lack’d a tongue;
Yet did by signs his glad affection show,
Making his stream run slow.
And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell
‘Gan flock about these twain, that did excel
The rest, so far as Cynthia doth shend
The lesser stars. So they, enrangéd well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend
Against their wedding day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

At length they all to merry London came,
To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
That to me gave this life’s first native source,
Though from another place I take my name,
An house of ancient fame:49
There when they came whereas those bricky towers
The which on Thames’ broad agéd back do ride,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers,
There whilome wont the Templar-knights to bide,
Till they decay’d through pride;
Next whereunto there stands a stately place,
Where oft I gainéd gifts and goodly grace
Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feels my friendless case;
But ah! here fits not well
Old woes, but joys to tell
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer,
Great England’s glory and the world’s wide wonder,
Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did thunder,
And Hercules’ two pillars standing near
Did make to quake and fear:
Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry!
That fillest England with thy triumphs’ fame
Joy have thou of thy noble victory,
And endless happiness of thine own name
That promiseth the same;
That through thy prowess and victorious arms
Thy country may be freed from foreign harms,
And great Elisa’s glorious name may ring
Through all the world, fill’d with thy wide alarms,
Which some brave Muse may sing
To ages following:
Upon the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

From those high towers this noble lord issúing
Like radiant Hesper, when his golden hair
In th’ ocean billows he hath bathéd fair,
Descended to the river’s open viewing
With a great train ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to be seen
Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature,
Beseeming well the bower of any queen,50
With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature,
That like the twins of Jove they seem’d in sight
Which deck the baldric of the Heavens bright;
They two, forth pacing to the river’s side,
Received those two fair brides, their love’s delight;
Which, at th’ appointed tide,
Each one did make his bride
Against their bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

E. Spenser


LXXV
THE HAPPY HEART

Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?
O sweet content!
Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex’d?
O punishment!
Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex’d
To add to golden numbers, golden numbers?
O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny!

Canst drink the waters of the crispéd spring?
O sweet content!
Swimm’st thou in wealth, yet sink’st in thine own tears?
O punishment!
Then he that patiently want’s burden bears
No burden bears, but is a king, a king!
O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny!

T. Dekker

51


LXXVI
SIC TRANSIT

Come, cheerful day, part of my life to me;
For while thou view’st me with thy fading light
Part of my life doth still depart with thee,
And I still onward haste to my last night:
Time’s fatal wings do ever forward fly—
So every day we live a day we die.

But O ye nights, ordain’d for barren rest,
How are my days deprived of life in you
When heavy sleep my soul hath dispossest,
By feignéd death life sweetly to renew!
Part of my life, in that, you life deny:
So every day we live, a day we die.

T. Campion


LXXVII

This Life, which seems so fair,
Is like a bubble blown up in the air
By sporting children’s breath,
Who chase it everywhere
And strive who can most motion it bequeath.
And though it sometimes seem of its own might
Like to an eye of gold to be fix’d there,
And firm to hover in that empty height,
That only is because it is so light.
—But in that pomp it doth not long appear;
For when ‘tis most admired, in a thought,
Because it erst was nought, it turns to nought.

W. Drummond

52


LXXVIII
SOUL AND BODY

Poor Soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Foil’d by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?

Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body’s end?

Then, Soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:—

So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there’s no more dying then.

W. Shakespeare


LXXIX

The man of life upright,
Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
Or thought of vanity;

The man whose silent days
In harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude
Nor sorrow discontent:

That man needs neither towers
Nor armour for defence,
Nor secret vaults to fly
From thunder’s violence:53

He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
And terrors of the skies.

Thus scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book,
His wisdom heavenly things;

Good thoughts his only friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
And quiet pilgrimage.

T. Campion


LXXX
THE LESSONS OF NATURE

Of this fair volume which we World do name
If we the sheets and leaves could turn with care,
Of Him who it corrects, and did it frame,
We clear might read the art and wisdom rare:

Find out His power which wildest powers doth tame,
His providence extending everywhere,
His justice which proud rebels doth not spare,
In every page, no period of the same.

But silly we, like foolish children, rest
Well pleased with colour’d vellum, leaves of gold,
Fair dangling ribbands, leaving what is best,
On the great Writer’s sense ne’er taking hold;

Or if by chance we stay our minds on aught,
It is some picture on the margin wrought.

W. Drummond

54


LXXXI

Doth then the world go thus, doth all thus move?
Is this the justice which on Earth we find?
Is this that firm decree which all doth bind?
Are these your influences, Powers above?

Those souls which vice’s moody mists most blind,
Blind Fortune, blindly, most their friend doth prove;
And they who thee, poor idol Virtue! love,
Ply like a feather toss’d by storm and wind.

Ah! if a Providence doth sway this all
Why should best minds groan under most distress?
Or why should pride humility make thrall,
And injuries the innocent oppress?

Heavens! hinder, stop this fate; or grant a time
When good may have, as well as bad, their prime!

W. Drummond


LXXXII
THE WORLD’S WAY

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry—
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,

And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,

And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,
And captive Good attending captain Ill:—

—Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my Love alone.

W. Shakespeare

55


LXXXIII
A WISH

Happy were he could finish forth his fate
In some unhaunted desert, where, obscure
From all society, from love and hate
Of worldly folk, there should he sleep secure;

Then wake again, and yield God ever praise;
Content with hip, with haws, and brambleberry;
In contemplation passing still his days,
And change of holy thoughts to make him merry:

Who, when he dies, his tomb might be the bush
Where harmless robin resteth with the thrush:
—Happy were he!

R. Devereux, Earl of Essex


LXXXIV
SAINT JOHN BAPTIST

The last and greatest Herald of Heaven’s King
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he more harmless found than man, and mild.

His food was locusts, and what there doth spring,
With honey that from virgin hives distill’d;
Parch’d body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled.

There burst he forth: All ye whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn,
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn!
—Who listen’d to his voice, obey’d his cry?

Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their flinty caves, Repent! Repent!

W. Drummond


The Golden Treasury
Book Second

56


LXXXV
ODE ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST’S NATIVITY

This is the month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heaven’s Eternal King
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing
That He our deadly forfeit should release,
And with His Father work us a perpetual peace.

That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty
Wherewith He wont at Heaven’s high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside; and, here with us to be,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Afford a present to the Infant God?
Hast thou no verse, no hymn, or solemn strain
To welcome Him to this His new abode,
Now while the heaven, by the sun’s team untrod,
Hath took no print of the approaching light,
And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?57

See how from far, upon the eastern road,
The star-led wizards haste with odours sweet:
O run, prevent them with thy humble ode
And lay it lowly at His blessed feet;
Have thou the honour first thy Lord to greet,
And join thy voice unto the Angel quire
From out His secret altar touch’d with hallow’d fire.

THE HYMN

It was the winter wild
While the heaven-born Child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
Nature in awe to Him
Had doff’d her gaudy trim,
With her great Master so to sympathize:
It was no season then for her
To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour.

Only with speeches fair
She woos the gentle air
To hide her guilty front with innocent snow;
And on her naked shame,
Pollute with sinful blame,
The saintly veil of maiden white to throw;
Confounded, that her Maker’s eyes
Should look so near upon her foul deformities.

But He, her fears to cease,
Sent down the meek-eyed Peace;
She, crown’d with olive green, came softly sliding
Down through the turning sphere,
His ready harbinger,
With turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing;
And waving wide her myrtle wand,
She strikes a universal peace through sea and land.

No war, or battle’s sound
Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high uphung;
The hookéd chariot stood
Unstain’d with hostile blood;58
The trumpet spake not to the arméd throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.

But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kist
Whispering new joys to the mild oceán—
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charméd wave.

The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fix’d in steadfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight
For all the morning light,
Or Lucifer that often warn’d them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow
Until their Lord Himself bespake, and bid them go.

And though the shady gloom
Had given day her room,
The sun himself withheld his wonted speed,
And hid his head for shame,
As his inferior flame
The new-enlighten’d world no more should need;
He saw a greater Sun appear
Than his bright throne, or burning axletree could bear.

The shepherds on the lawn
Or ere the point of dawn
Sate simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than
That the mighty Pan
Was kindly come to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep:—

When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet
As never was by mortal finger strook—59
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringéd noise,
As all their souls in blissful rapture took:
The air, such pleasure loth to lose,
With thousand echoes, still prolongs each heavenly close.

Nature, that heard such sound
Beneath the hollow round
Of Cynthia’s seat the airy region thrilling.
Now was almost won
To think her part was done,
And that her reign had here its last fulfilling;
She knew such harmony alone
Could hold all Heaven and Earth in happier union,

At last surrounds their sight
A globe of circular light
That with long beams the shamefaced night array’d;
The helméd Cherubim
And sworded Seraphim
Are seen in glittering ranks with wings display’d,
Harping in loud and solemn quire
With unexpressive notes, to Heaven’s new-born Heir.

Such music (as ‘tis said)
Before was never made
But when of old the Sons of Morning sung,
While the Creator great
His constellations set
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung;
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep,

Ring out, ye crystal spheres!
Once bless our human ears,
If ye have power to touch our senses so;
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time;
And let the bass of heaven’s deep organ blow;
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to the angelic symphony.60

For if such holy song
Enwrap our fancy long,
Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold;
And speckled Vanity
Will sicken soon and die,
And leprous Sin will melt from earthly mould;
And Hell itself will pass away,
And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.

Yea, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,
Orb’d in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between
Throned in celestial sheen,
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering;
And Heaven, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace-hall.

But wisest Fate says No;
This must not yet be so;
The Babe yet lies in smiling infancy
That on the bitter cross
Must redeem our loss;
So both Himself and us to glorify:
Yet first, to those ychain’d in sleep
The wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep;

With such a horrid clang
As on Mount Sinai rang
While the red fire and smouldering clouds outbrake:
The aged Earth aghast
With terror of that blast
Shall from the surface to the centre shake,
When, at the world’s last sessión,
The dreadful Judge in middle air shall spread His throne.

And then at last our bliss
Full and perfect is,
But now begins; for from this happy day
The old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurpéd sway;
And, wroth to see his kingdom fail,61
Swinges the scaly horror of his folded tail.

The Oracles are dumb;
No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the archéd roof in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving:
No nightly trance or breathéd spell
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o’er
And the resounding shore
A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale
Edged with poplar pale
The parting Genius is With sighing sent;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn
The Nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.

In consecrated earth
And on the holy hearth
The Lars and Lemurés moan with midnight plaint;
In urns, and altars round
A drear and dying sound
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;
And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted seat.

Peor and Baalim
Forsake their temples dim,
With that twice-batter’d god of Palestine;
And moonéd Ashtaroth
Heaven’s queen and mother both,
Now sits not girt with tapers’ holy shine;
The Lybic Hammon shrinks his horn:
In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thammuz mourn.

And sullen Moloch, fled,
Hath left in shadows dread
His burning idol all of blackest hue;
In vain with cymbals’ ring62
They call the grisly king,
In dismal dance about the furnace blue;
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis; and Orus, and the dog Anubis, haste.

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian grove, or green,
Trampling the unshower’d grass with lowings loud:
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest;
Nought but profoundest Hell can be his shroud;
In vain with timbrell’d anthems dark
The sable-stoléd sorcerers bear his worshipt ark.

He feels from Juda’s land
The dreaded Infant’s hand;
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside
Longer dare abide,
Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to show His Godhead true,
Can in His swaddling bands control the damnéd crew.

So, when the sun in bed
Curtain’d with cloudy red
Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail,
Each fetter’d ghost slips to his several grave;
And the yellow-skirted fays
Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-loved maze.

But see! the Virgin blest
Hath laid her Babe to rest;
Time is, our tedious song should here have ending:
Heaven’s youngest-teeméd star
Hath fix’d her polish’d car,
Her sleeping Lord with hand-maid lamp attending:
And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harness’d Angels sit in order serviceable.

J. Milton

63


LXXXVI
SONG FOR ST. CECILIA’S DAY, 1687

From Harmony, from heavenly Harmony
This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
Arise, ye more than dead!
Then cold and hot and moist and dry
In order to their stations leap,
And Music’s power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet’s loud clangor
Ex

$1

With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
Cries ‘Hark! the foes come;
Charge, charge, ‘tis too late to retreat!’

The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,64
Whose dirge is whisper’d by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion
For the fair disdainful dame.

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ’s praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees unrooted left their place
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appear’d—
Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

s us to arms,

Grand Chorus

As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator’s praise
To all the blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky.

J. Dryden


LXXXVII
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEDMONT

Avenge, O Lord! Thy slaughter’d saints, whose bones
Lie scatter’d on the Alpine mountains cold;
Even them who kept Thy truth so pure of old
When all our fathers worshipt stocks and stones,65

Forget not: In Thy book record their groans
Who were Thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese, that roll’d
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans

The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To Heaven. Their martyr’d blood and ashes sow
O’er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway

The triple Tyrant: that from these may grow
A hundred-fold, who, having learnt Thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

J. Milton


LXXXVIII
HORATIAN ODE UPON CROMWELL’S RETURN FROM IRELAND

The forward youth that would appear,
Must now forsake his Muses dear,
Nor in the shadows sing
His numbers languishing.

‘Tis time to leave the books in dust,
And oil the unuséd armour’s rust,
Removing from the wall
The corslet of the hall.

So restless Cromwell could not cease
In the inglorious arts of peace,
But through adventurous war
Urgéd his active star:

And like the three-fork’d lightning, first
Breaking the clouds where it was nurst,
Did thorough his own Side
His fiery way divide:

For ‘tis all one to courage high,
The emulous, or enemy;
And with such, to enclose
Is more than to oppose;66

Then burning through the air he went
And palaces and temples rent;
And Caesar’s head at last
Did through his laurels blast.

‘Tis madness to resist or blame
The face of angry heaven’s flame;
And if we would speak true,
Much to the Man is due

Who, from his private gardens, where
He lived reservéd and austere,
(As if his highest plot
To plant the bergamot,)

Could by industrious valour climb
To ruin the great work of time,
And cast the Kingdoms old
Into another mould;

Though Justice against Fate complain,
And plead the ancient Rights in vain—
But those do hold or break
As men are strong or weak;

Nature, that hateth emptiness,
Allows of penetration less,
And therefore must make room
Where greater spirits come.

What field of all the civil war
Where his were not the deepest scar?
And Hampton shows what part
He had of wiser art,

Where, twining subtle fears with hope,
He wove a net of such a scope
That Charles himself might chase
To Carisbrook’s narrow case,

That thence the Royal actor borne
The tragic scaffold might adorn:
While round the arméd bands
Did clap their bloody hands.67

He nothing common did or mean
Upon that memorable scene,
But with his keener eye
The axe’s edge did try;

Nor call’d the Gods, with vulgar spite,
To vindicate his helpless right;
But bow’d his comely head
Down, as upon a bed.

—This was that memorable hour
Which first assured the forcéd power:
So when they did design
The Capitol’s first line,

A Bleeding Head, where they begun,
Did fright the architects to run;
And yet in that the State
Foresaw its happy fate!

And now the Irish are ashamed
To see themselves in one year tamed:
So much one man can do
That does both act and know.

They can affirm his praises best,
And have, though overcome, confest
How good he is, how just
And fit for highest trust.

Nor yet grown stiffer with command,
But still in the Republic’s hand—
How fit he is to sway
That can so well obey!

He to the Commons’ feet presents
A Kingdom for his first year’s rents,
And (what he may) forbears
His fame, to make it theirs:

And has his sword and spoils ungirt
To lay them at the Public’s skirt.
So when the falcon high
Falls heavy from the sky,68

She, having kill’d, no more doth search
But on the next green bough to perch,
Where, when he first does lure,
The falconer has her sure.

—What may not then our Isle presume
While victory his crest does plume?
What may not others fear
If thus he crowns each year?

As Caesar he, ere long, to Gaul,
To Italy an Hannibal,
And to all States not free
Shall climacteric be.

The Pict no shelter now shall find
Within his parti-colour’d mind,
But from this valour sad
Shrink underneath the plaid—

Happy, if in the tufted brake
The English hunter him mistake,
Nor lay his hounds in near
The Caledonian deer.

But Thou, the War’s and Fortune’s son,
March indefatigably on;
And for the last effect
Still keep the sword erect:

Besides the force it has to fright
The spirits of the shady night,
The same arts that did gain
A power, must it maintain.

A. Marvell


LXXXIX
LYCIDAS

Elegy on a Friend drowned in the Irish Channel 1637

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forced fingers rude
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.69
Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear
Compels me to disturb your season due:
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring;
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse:
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my destined urn;
And as he passes, turn
And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

For we were nursed upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill:
Together both, ere the high lawns appear’d
Under the opening eyelids of the Morn,
We drove a-field, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose at evening bright
Toward heaven’s descent had sloped his westering wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper’d to the oaten flute,
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long;
And old Damoetas loved to hear our song.

But, oh! the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o’ergrown,
And all their echoes, mourn:
The willows and the hazel copses green
Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays:—
As killing as the canker to the rose,70
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd’s ear.

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep
Closed o’er the head of your loved Lycidas?
For neither were ye playing on the steep
Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream:
Ay me! I fondly dream—
Had ye been there ... For what could that have done?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar
His gory visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore?

Alas! what boots it with uncessant care
To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd’s trade
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?
Were it not better done, as others use,
To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neaera’s hair?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears
And slits the thin-spun life. ‘But not the praise’
Phoebus replied, and touch’d my trembling ears;
‘Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies:
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.’71

O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour’d flood
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown’d with vocal reeds,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood.
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea
That came in Neptune’s plea;
He ask’d the waves, and ask’d the felon winds,
What hard mishap hath doom’d this gentle swain?
And question’d every gust of rugged wings
That blows from off each beaked promontory:
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotadés their answer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray’d;
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panopé with all her sisters play’d.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark
Built in the eclipse, and rigg’d with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe:
‘Ah! who hath reft,’ quoth he, ‘my dearest pledge!’
Last came, and last did go
The Pilot of the Galilean lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain);
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake:
‘How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,
Enow of such, as for their bellies’ sake
Creep and intrude and climb into the fold!
Of other care they little reckoning make
Than how to scramble at the shearers’ feast.
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learn’d aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman’s art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;72
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said:
—But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.’

Return, Alphéus; the dread voice is past
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks
On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks;
Throw hither all your quaint enamell’d eyes
That on the green turf suck the honey’d showers
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freak’d with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears:
Bid amarantus all his beauty shed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears
To strew the laureat hearse where Lycid lies.
For so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise:—
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away,—where’er thy bones are hurl’d,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides
Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,
Visitest the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep’st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great Vision of the guarded mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona’s hold,
—Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth:
—And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth!73

Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor:
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high
Through the dear might of Him that walk’d the waves;
Where, other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the Saints above
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing, in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.

Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills,
While the still morn went out with sandals gray;
He touch’d the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay:
And now the sun had stretch’d out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the western bay:
At last he rose, and twitch’d his mantle blue:
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

J. Milton


XC
ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Mortality, behold and fear
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones;
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands,
Where from their pulpits seal’d with dust74
They preach, ‘In greatness is no trust.’
Here’s an acre sown indeed
With the richest royallest seed
That the earth did e’er suck in
Since the first man died for sin:
Here the bones of birth have cried
‘Though gods they were, as men they died!’
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin’d sides of kings:
Here’s a world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.

F. Beaumont


XCI
THE LAST CONQUEROR

Victorious men of earth, no more
Proclaim how wide your empires are;
Though you bind-in every shore
And your triumphs reach as far
As night or day,
Yet you, proud monarchs, must obey
And mingle with forgotten ashes, when
Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.

Devouring Famine, Plague, and War,
Each able to undo mankind,
Death’s servile emissaries are;
Nor to these alone confined,
He hath at will
More quaint and subtle ways to kill;
A smile or kiss, as he will use the art,
Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart.

J. Shirley


XCII
DEATH THE LEVELLER

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:75
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow;
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds:
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb;
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

J. Shirley


XCIII
WHEN THE ASSAULT WAS INTENDED TO THE CITY

Captain, or Colonel, or Knight in Arms,
Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize,
If deed of honour did thee ever please,
Guard them, and him within protect from harms.

He can requite thee; for he knows the charms
That call fame on such gentle acts as these,
And he can spread thy name o’er lands and seas,
Whatever clime the sun’s bright circle warms.

Lift not thy spear against the Muses’ bower:
The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
Went to the ground: and the repeated air76
Of sad Electra’s poet had the power
To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare.

J. Milton


XCIV
ON HIS BLINDNESS

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,—
Doth God exact day labour, light denied?
I fondly ask:—But Patience, to prevent

That murmur, soon replies; God doth not need
Either man’s work, or His own gifts: who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best: His state

Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:—
They also serve who only stand and wait.

J. Milton


XCV
CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame, or private breath;77

Who envies none that chance doth raise
Nor vice; Who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good:

Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

—This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

Sir H. Wotton


XCVI
THE NOBLE NATURE

It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night—
It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.

B. Jonson

78


XCVII
THE GIFTS OF GOD

When God at first made Man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by;
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can:
Let the world’s riches, which disperséd lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow’d, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone, of all His treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature,
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to My breast.

G. Herbert


XCVIII
THE RETREAT

Happy those early days, when I
Shined in my Angel-infancy!
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white, celestial thought;
When yet I had not walk’d above
A mile or two from my first Love,
And looking back, at that short space79
Could see a glimpse of His bright face;
When on some gilded cloud or flower
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity;
Before I taught my tongue to wound
My conscience with a sinful sound,
Or had the black art to dispense
A several sin to every sense,
But felt through all this fleshly dress
Bright shoots of everlastingness.

O how I long to travel back,
And tread again that ancient track!
That I might once more reach that plain
Where first I left my glorious train;
From whence th’ enlighten’d spirit sees
That shady City of palm trees!
But ah! my soul with too much stay
Is drunk, and staggers in the way:—
Some men a forward motion love,
But I by backward steps would move;
And when this dust falls to the urn,
In that state I came, return.

H. Vaughan


XCIX
TO MR. LAWRENCE

Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won

From the hard season gaining? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sow’d nor spun.80

What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touch’d, or artful voice.

Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

J. Milton


C
TO CYRIACK SKINNER

Cyriack, whose grandsire, on the royal bench
Of British Themis, with no mean applause
Pronounced, and in his volumes taught, our laws,
Which others at their bar so often wrench;

To-day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
In mirth, that after no repenting draws;
Let Euclid rest, and Archimedes pause,
And what the Swede intend, and what the French.

To measure life learn thou betimes, and know
Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;
For other things mild Heaven a time ordains,

And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
That with superfluous burden loads the day,
And, when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

J. Milton


CI
A HYMN IN PRAISE OF NEPTUNE

Of Neptune’s empire let us sing,
At whose command the waves obey;
To whom the rivers tribute pay,
Down the high mountains sliding;
To whom the scaly nation yields
Homage for the crystal fields
Wherein they dwell;
And every sea-god pays a gem81
Yearly out of his watery cell,
To deck great Neptune’s diadem.

The Tritons dancing in a ring,
Before his palace gates do make
The water with their echoes quake,
Like the great thunder sounding:
The sea-nymphs chaunt their accents shrill,
And the Syrens taught to kill
With their sweet voice,
Make every echoing rock reply,
Unto their gentle murmuring noise,
The praise of Neptune’s empery.

T. Campion


CII
HYMN TO DIANA

Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair
State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia’s shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close:
Bless us then with wishéd sight,
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart
And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:
Thou that mak’st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright!

B. Jonson

82


CIII
WISHES FOR THE SUPPOSED MISTRESS

Whoe’er she be,
That not impossible She
That shall command my heart and me;

Where’er she lie,
Lock’d up from mortal eye
In shady leaves of destiny:

Till that ripe birth
Of studied Fate stand forth,
And teach her fair steps tread our earth;

Till that divine
Idea take a shrine
Of crystal flesh, through which to shine:

—Meet you her, my Wishes,
Bespeak her to my blisses,
And be ye call’d, my absent kisses.

I wish her beauty
That owes not all its duty
To gaudy tire, or glist’ring shoe-tie:

Something more than
Taffata or tissue can,
Or rampant feather, or rich fan.

A face that’s best
By its own beauty drest,
And can alone commend the rest:

A face made up
Out of no other shop
Than what Nature’s white hand sets ope.

Sidneian showers
Of sweet discourse, whose powers
Can crown old Winter’s head with flowers.83

Whate’er delight
Can make day’s forehead bright
Or give down to the wings of night.

Soft silken hours,
Open suns, shady bowers;
‘Bove all, nothing within that lowers.

Days, that need borrow
No part of their good morrow
From a fore-spent night of sorrow:

Days, that in spite
Of darkness, by the light
Of a clear mind are day all night.

Life, that dares send
A challenge to his end,
And when it comes, say, ‘Welcome, friend.’

I wish her store
Of worth may leave her poor
Of wishes; and I wish——no more.

Now, if Time knows
That Her, whose radiant brows
Weave them a garland of my vows;

Her that dares be
What these lines wish to see:
I seek no further, it is She.

‘Tis She, and here
Lo! I unclothe and clear
My wishes’ cloudy character.

Such worth as this is
Shall fix my flying wishes,
And determine them to kisses.

Let her full glory,
My fancies, fly before ye;
Be ye my fictions:—but her story.

R. Crashaw

84


CIV
THE GREAT ADVENTURER

Over the mountains
And over the waves,
Under the fountains
And under the graves;
Under floods that are deepest,
Which Neptune obey;
Over rocks that are steepest
Love will find out the way.

Where there is no place
For the glow-worm to lie;
Where there is no space
For receipt of a fly;
Where the midge dares not venture
Lest herself fast she lay;
If love come, he will enter
And soon find out his way.

You may esteem him
A child for his might;
Or you may deem him
A coward from his flight;
But if she whom love doth honour
Be conceal’d from the day,
Set a thousand guards upon her,
Love will find out the way.

Some think to lose him
By having him confined;
And some do suppose him,
Poor thing, to be blind;
But if ne’er so close ye wall him,
Do the best that you may,
Blind love, if so ye call him,
Will find out his way.85

You may train the eagle
To stoop to your fist;
Or you may inveigle
The phoenix of the east;
The lioness, ye may move her
To give o’er her prey;
But you’ll ne’er stop a lover:
He will find out his way.

Anon.


CV
THE PICTURE OF LITTLE T.C. IN A PROSPECT OF FLOWERS

See with what simplicity
This nymph begins her golden days!
In the green grass she loves to lie,
And there with her fair aspect tames
The wilder flowers, and gives them names;
But only with the roses plays,
And them does tell
What colours best become them, and what smell.

Who can foretell for what high cause
This darling of the Gods was born?
Yet this is she whose chaster laws
The wanton Love shall one day fear,
And, under her command severe,
See his bow broke, and ensigns torn.
Happy who can
Appease this virtuous enemy of man!

O then let me in time compound
And parley with those conquering eyes,
Ere they have tried their force to wound;
Ere with their glancing wheels they drive
In triumph over hearts that strive,
And them that yield but more despise:
Let me be laid,
Where I may see the glories from some shade.86

Mean time, whilst every verdant thing
Itself does at thy beauty charm,
Reform the errors of the Spring;
Make that the tulips may have share
Of sweetness, seeing they are fair,
And roses of their thorns disarm;
But most procure
That violets may a longer age endure.

But O young beauty of the woods,
Whom Nature courts with fruits and flowers,
Gather the flowers, but spare the buds;
Lest Flora, angry at thy crime
To kill her infants in their prime,
Should quickly make th’ example yours;
And ere we see—
Nip in the blossom—all our hopes and thee.

A. Marvell


CVI
CHILD AND MAIDEN

Ah, Chloris! could I now but sit
As unconcern’d as when
Your infant beauty could beget
No happiness or pain!
When I the dawn used to admire,
And praised the coming day,
I little thought the rising fire
Would take my rest away.

Your charms in harmless childhood lay
Like metals in a mine;
Age from no face takes more away
Than youth conceal’d in thine.
But as your charms insensibly
To their perfection prest,
So love as unperceived did fly,
And center’d in my breast.87

My passion with your beauty grew,
While Cupid at my heart,
Still as his mother favour’d you,
Threw a new flaming dart:
Each gloried in their wanton part;
To make a lover, he
Employ’d the utmost of his art—
To make a beauty, she.

Sir C. Sedley


CVII
CONSTANCY

I cannot change, as others do,
Though you unjustly scorn,
Since that poor swain that sighs for you,
For you alone was born;
No, Phyllis, no, your heart to move
A surer way I’ll try,—
And to revenge my slighted love,
Will still love on, and die.

When, kill’d with grief, Amintas lies,
And you to mind shall call
The sighs that now unpitied rise,
The tears that vainly fall,
That welcome hour that ends his smart
Will then begin your pain,
For such a faithful tender heart
Can never break in vain.

J. Wilmot, Earl of Rochester


CVIII
COUNSEL TO GIRLS

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.88

The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun,
The higher he’s a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

R. Herrick


CIX
TO LUCASTA, ON GOING TO THE WARS

Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not Honour more.

Colonel Lovelace


CX
ELIZABETH OF BOHEMIA

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light,
You common people of the skies,89
What are you, when the Moon shall rise?

You curious chanters of the wood
That warble forth dame Nature’s lays,
Thinking your passions understood
By your weak accents; what’s your praise
When Philomel her voice doth raise?

You violets that first appear,
By your pure purple mantles known
Like the proud virgins of the year,
As if the spring were all your own,—
What are you, when the Rose is blown?

So when my Mistress shall be seen
In form and beauty of her mind,
By virtue first, then choice, a Queen,
Tell me, if she were not design’d
Th’ eclipse and glory of her kind?

Sir H. Wotton


CXI
TO THE LADY MARGARET LEY

Daughter to that good Earl, once President
Of England’s Council and her Treasury,
Who lived in both, unstain’d with gold or fee,
And left them both, more in himself content,

Till the sad breaking of that Parliament
Broke him, as that dishonest victory
At Chaeroneia, fatal to liberty,
Kill’d with report that old man eloquent;—

Though later born than to have known the days
Wherein your father flourish’d, yet by you,
Madam, methinks I see him living yet;

So well your words his noble virtues praise,
That all both judge you to relate them true,
And to possess them, honour’d Margaret.

J. Milton

90


CXII
THE TRUE BEAUTY

He that loves a rosy cheek
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires;
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.

But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts, and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires:—
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes.

T. Carew


CXIII
TO DIANEME

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes
Which starlike sparkle in their skies;
Nor be you proud, that you can see
All hearts your captives; yours yet free:
Be you not proud of that rich hair
Which wantons with the lovesick air;
Whenas that ruby which you wear,
Sunk from the tip of your soft ear,
Will last to be a precious stone
When all your world of beauty’s gone.

R. Herrick.


CXIV

Love in thy youth, fair Maid, be wise;
Old Time will make thee colder,
And though each morning new arise
Yet we each day grow older.
Thou as Heaven art fair and young,91
Thine eyes like twin stars shining;
But ere another day be sprung
All these will be declining.
Then winter comes with all his fears,
And all thy sweets shall borrow;
Too late then wilt thou shower thy tears,—
And I too late shall sorrow!

Anon.


CXV

Go, lovely Rose!
Tell her, that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that’s young
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

E. Waller

92


CXVI
TO CELIA

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not wither’d be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe
And sent’st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!

B. Jonson


CXVII
CHERRY-RIPE

There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow;
There cherries grow that none may buy,
Till Cherry-Ripe themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rose-buds fill’d with snow:
Yet them no peer nor prince may buy,
Till Cherry-Ripe themselves do cry.93

Her eyes like angels watch them still;
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat’ning with piercing frowns to kill
All that approach with eye or hand
These sacred cherries to come nigh,
Till Cherry-Ripe themselves do cry!

Anon.


CXVIII
CORINNA’S MAYING

Get up, get up for shame! The blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air:
Get up, sweet Slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Each flower has wept, and bow’d toward the east,
Above an hour since; yet you not drest,
Nay! not so much as out of bed?
When all the birds have matins said,
And sung their thankful hymns: ‘tis sin,
Nay, profanation, to keep in,—
Whenas a thousand virgins on this day,
Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch-in May,

Rise; and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the Spring-time, fresh and green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown, or hair:
Fear not; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you:
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept:
Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night:
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying:
Few beads are best, when once we go a Maying.94

Come, my Corinna, come; and coming, mark
How each field turns a street; each street a park
Made green, and trimm’d with trees: see how
Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch: Each porch, each door, ere this,
An ark, a tabernacle is,
Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove;
As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street,
And open fields, and we not see’t?
Come, we’ll abroad: and let’s obey
The proclamation made for May:
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let’s go a Maying.

There’s not a budding boy, or girl, this day,
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
A deal of youth, ere this, is come
Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatch’d their cakes and cream,
Before that we have left to dream:
And some have wept, and woo’d, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth:
Many a green-gown has been given;
Many a kiss, both odd and even:
Many a glance too has been sent
From out the eye, Love’s firmament:
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks pick’d:—Yet we’re not a Maying.

—Come, let us go, while we are in our prime;
And take the harmless folly of the time!
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short; and our days run
As fast away as does the sun:—
And as a vapour, or a drop of rain
Once lost, can ne’er be found again:
So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade;
All love, all liking, all delight95
Lies drown’d with us in endless night.
Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna! come, let’s go a Maying.

R. Herrick


CXIX
THE POETRY OF DRESS

I

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:—
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distractión,—
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher,—
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly,—
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat,—
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility,—
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

R. Herrick


CXX

2

Whenas in silks my Julia goes
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

R. Herrick

96


CXXI

3

My Love in her attire doth shew her wit,
It doth so well become her:
For every season she hath dressings fit,
For Winter, Spring, and Summer.
No beauty she doth miss
When all her robes are on:
But Beauty’s self she is
When all her robes are gone.

Anon.


CXXII
ON A GIRDLE

That which her slender waist confined
Shall now my joyful temples bind:
No monarch but would give his crown
His arms might do what this has done.

It was my Heaven’s extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer:
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love
Did all within this circle move.

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dwelt all that’s good, and all that’s fair:
Give me but what this ribband bound,
Take all the rest the Sun goes round.

E. Waller


CXXIII
A MYSTICAL ECSTASY

E’en like two little bank-dividing brooks,
That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,
And having ranged and search’d a thousand nooks,
Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,
Where in a greater current they conjoin:
So I my Best-Belovéd’s am; so He is mine.97

E’en so we met; and after long pursuit,
E’en so we join’d; we both became entire;
No need for either to renew a suit,
For I was flax and he was flames of fire:
Our firm-united souls did more than twine;
So I my Best-Belovéd’s am; so He is mine.

If all those glittering Monarchs that command
The servile quarters of this earthly ball,
Should tender, in exchange, their shares of land,
I would not change my fortunes for them all:
Their wealth is but a counter to my coin:
The world’s but theirs; but my Belovéd’s mine.

F. Quarles


CXXIV
TO ANTHEA WHO MAY COMMAND HIM ANY THING

Bid me to live, and I will live
Thy Protestant to be:
Or bid me love, and I will give
A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
A heart as sound and free
As in the whole world thou canst find,
That heart I’ll give to thee.

Bid that heart stay, and it will stay,
To honour thy decree:
Or bid it languish quite away,
And ‘t shall do so for thee.

Bid me to weep, and I will weep
While I have eyes to see:
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.

Bid me despair, and I’ll despair,
Under that cypress tree:
Or bid me die, and I will dare
E’en Death, to die for thee.98

Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
The very eyes of me,
And hast command of every part,
To live and die for thee.

R. Herrick


CXXV

Love not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face,
Nor for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart,—
For those may fail, or turn to ill,
So thou and I shall sever:
Keep therefore a true woman’s eye,
And love me still, but know not why—
So hast thou the same reason still
To doat upon me ever!

Anon.


CXXVI

Not, Celia, that I juster am
Or better than the rest;
For I would change each hour, like them,
Were not my heart at rest,

But I am tied to very thee
By every thought I have;
Thy face I only care to see,
Thy heart I only crave.

All that in woman is adored
In thy dear self I find—
For the whole sex can but afford
The handsome and the kind.

Why then should I seek further store,
And still make love anew?
When change itself can give no more,
‘Tis easy to be true.

Sir C. Sedley

99


CXXVII
TO ALTHEA FROM PRISON

When Love with unconfinéd wings
Hovers within my gates,
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the grates;
When I lie tangled in her hair
And fetter’d to her eye,
The Gods that wanton in the air
Know no such liberty.

When flowing cups run swiftly round
With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses bound,
Our hearts with loyal flames;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
When healths and draughts go free—
Fishes that tipple in the deep
Know no such liberty.

When, (like committed linnets), I
With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty
And glories of my King;
When I shall voice aloud how good
He is, how great should be,
Enlargéd winds, that curl the flood,
Know no such liberty.

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.

Colonel Lovelace

100


CXXVIII
TO LUCASTA, GOING BEYOND THE SEAS

If to be absent were to be
Away from thee;
Or that when I am gone
You or I were alone;
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind, or swallowing wave.

But I’ll not sigh one blast or gale
To swell my sail,
Or pay a tear to ‘suage
The foaming blue-god’s rage;
For whether he will let me pass
Or no, I’m still as happy as I was.

Though seas and land betwixt us both,
Our faith and troth,
Like separated souls,
All time and space controls:
Above the highest sphere we meet
Unseen, unknown, and greet as Angels greet.

So then we do anticipate
Our after-fate,
And are alive i’ the skies,
If thus our lips and eyes
Can speak like spirits unconfined
In Heaven, their earthy bodies left behind.

Colonel Lovelace


CXXIX
ENCOURAGEMENTS TO A LOVER

Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prythee, why so pale?
Will, if looking well can’t move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee, why so pale?101

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prythee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can’t win her,
Saying nothing do’t?
Prythee, why so mute?

Quit, quit, for shame! this will not move,
This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her:
The D—l take her!

Sir J. Suckling


CXXX
A SUPPLICATION

Awake, awake, my Lyre!
And tell thy silent master’s humble tale
In sounds that may prevail;
Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
Though so exalted she
And I so lowly be
Tell her, such different notes make all thy harmony.

Hark, how the strings awake!
And, though the moving hand approach not near,
Themselves with awful fear
A kind of numerous trembling make.
Now all thy forces try;
Now all thy charms apply;
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.

Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure
Is useless here, since thou art only found
To cure, but not to wound,
And she to wound, but not to cure.
Too weak too wilt thou prove
My passion to remove;
Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to Love.102

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre!
For thou canst never tell my humble tale
In sounds that will prevail,
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire;
All thy vain mirth lay by,
Bid thy strings silent lie,
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy master die.

A. Cowley


CXXXI
THE MANLY HEART

Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman’s fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
‘Cause another’s rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day
Or the flowery meads in May—
If she think not well of me
What care I how fair she be?

Shall my silly heart be pined
‘Cause I see a woman kind;
Or a well disposed nature
Joinéd with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle-dove or pelican,
If she be not so to me
What care I how kind she be?

Shall a woman’s virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her well-deservings known
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with, that goodness blest
Which may merit name of Best;
If she be not such to me,
What care I how good she be?103

‘Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
She that bears a noble mind
If not outward helps she find,
Thinks what with them he would do
Who without them dares her woo;
And unless that mind I see,
What care I how great she be?

Great or good, or kind or fair,
I will ne’er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

G. Wither


CXXXII
MELANCHOLY

Hence, all you vain delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly:
There’s nought in this life sweet
If man were wise to see’t,
But only melancholy,
O sweetest Melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms, and fixéd eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that’s fasten’d to the ground,
A tongue chain’d up without a sound!
Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves!
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed save bats and owls!
A midnight bell, a parting groan!
These are the sounds we feed upon;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley;
Nothing’s so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.

J. Fletcher

104


CXXXIII
FORSAKEN

O waly waly up the bank,
And waly waly down the brae,
And waly waly yon burn-side
Where I and my Love wont to gae!
I leant my back unto an aik,
I thought it was a trusty tree;
But first it bow’d, and syne it brak,
Sae my true Love did lichtly me.

O waly waly, but love be bonny
A little time while it is new;
But when ‘tis auld, it waxeth cauld
And fades awa’ like morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my head?
Or wherefore should I kame my hair?
For my true Love has me forsook,
And says he’ll never loe me mair.

Now Arthur-seat sall be my bed;
The sheets shall ne’er be prest by me:
Saint Anton’s well sall be my drink,
Since my true Love has forsaken me.
Marti’mas wind, when wilt thou blaw
And shake the green leaves aff the tree?
O gentle Death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am wearíe.

‘Tis not the frost, that freezes fell,
Nor blawing snaw’s inclemencie;
‘Tis not sic cauld that makes me cry,
But my Love’s heart grown cauld to me.
When we came in by Glasgow town
We were a comely sight to see;
My Love was clad in the black velvét,
And I mysell in cramasie.105

But had I wist, before I kist,
That love had been sae ill to win;
I had lockt my heart in a case of gowd
And pinn’d it with a siller pin.
And, O! if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse’s knee,
And I mysell were dead and gane,
And the green grass growing over me!

Anon.


CXXXIV

Upon my lap my sovereign sits
And sucks upon my breast;
Meantime his love maintains my life
And gives my sense her rest.
Sing lullaby, my little boy,
Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

When thou hast taken thy repast,
Repose, my babe, on me;
So may thy mother and thy nurse
Thy cradle also be.
Sing lullaby, my little boy,
Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

I grieve that duty doth not work
All that my wishing would,
Because I would not be to thee
But in the best I should.
Sing lullaby, my little boy,
Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

Yet as I am, and as I may,
I must and will be thine,
Though all too little for thy self
Vouchsafing to be mine.
Sing lullaby, my little boy,
Sing lullaby, mine only joy!

Anon.

106


CXXXV
FAIR HELEN

I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies
On fair Kirconnell lea!

Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
And died to succour me!

O think na but my heart was sair
When my Love dropt down and spak nae mair!
I laid her down wi’ meikle care
On fair Kirconnell lea.

As I went down the water-side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
On fair Kirconnell lea;

I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hackéd him in pieces sma’,
I hackéd him in pieces sma’,
For her sake that died for me.

O Helen fair, beyond compare!
I’ll make a garland of thy hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair
Until the day I die.

O that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
Says, ‘Haste and come to me!’

O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
If I were with thee, I were blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest
On fair Kirconnell lea.107

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn ower my een,
And I in Helen’s arms lying,
On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish I were where Helen lies;
Night and day on me she cries;
And I am weary of the skies,
Since my Love died for me.

Anon.


CXXXVI
THE TWA CORBIES

As I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t’other say,
‘Where sall we gang and dine today?’

‘—In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new-slain Knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair.

‘His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady’s ta’en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.

‘Ye’ll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I’ll pick out his bonnie blue een:
Wi’ ae lock o’ his gowden hair
We’ll theek our nest when it grows bare.

‘Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane;
O’er his white banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.’

Anon.

108


CXXXVII
ON THE DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM HERVEY

It was a dismal and a fearful night,—
Scarce could the Morn drive on th’ unwilling light,
When sleep, death’s image, left my troubled breast,
By something liker death possest.
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow,
And on my soul hung the dull weight
Of some intolerable fate.
What bell was that? Ah me! Too much I know!

My sweet companion, and my gentle peer,
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here,
Thy end for ever, and my life, to moan?
O thou hast left me all alone!
Thy soul and body, when death’s agony
Besieged around thy noble heart,
Did not with more reluctance part
Than I, my dearest friend, do part from thee.

Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say,
Have ye not seen us walking every day?
Was there a tree about which did not know
The love betwixt us two?
Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade,
Or your sad branches thicker join,
And into darksome shades combine,
Dark as the grave wherein my friend is laid.

Large was his soul; as large a soul as e’er
Submitted to inform a body here;
High as the place ‘twas shortly in Heaven to have,
But low and humble as his grave;
So high that all the virtues there did come
As to the chiefest seat
Conspicuous, and great;
So low that for me too it made a room.109

Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught,
As if for him knowledge had rather sought;
Nor did more learning ever crowded lie
In such a short mortality.
Whene’er the skilful youth discoursed or writ,
Still did the notions throng
About his eloquent tongue;
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit.

His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit,
Yet never did his God or friends forget.
And when deep talk and wisdom came in view,
Retired, and gave to them their due.
For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o’er,
As if wise Nature had made that her book.

With as much zeal, devotion, piety,
He always lived, as other saints do die.
Still with his soul severe account he kept,
Weeping all debts out ere he slept.
Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
Like the sun’s laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night,
Unsullied with his journey of the day.

A. Cowley


CXXXVIII
FRIENDS IN PARADISE

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear:—

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,
Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest,
After the sun’s remove.110

I see them walking in an air of glory,
Whose light doth trample on my days:
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
Mere glimmering and decays.

O holy Hope! and high Humility,
High as the heavens above!
These are your walks, and you have shew’d them me,
To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the just,
Shining no where, but in the dark;
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledged bird’s nest, may know
At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair well or grove he sings in now,
That is to him unknown.

And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul, when man doth sleep;
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.

H. Vaughan


CXXXIX
TO BLOSSOMS

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last.111

What, were ye born to be
An hour or half’s delight,
And so to bid good-night?
‘Twas pity Nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne’er so brave:
And after they have shown their pride
Like you, awhile, they glide
Into the grave.

R. Herrick


CXL
TO DAFFODILS

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon:
As yet the early-rising Sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray’d together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a Spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or any thing.
We die,
As your hours do, and dry
Away
Like to the Summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew
Ne’er to be found again.

R. Herrick

112


CXLI
THE GIRL DESCRIBES HER FAWN

With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at my own fingers nursed;
And as it grew, so every day
It wax’d more white and sweet than they—
It had so sweet a breath! and oft
I blush’d to see its foot more soft
And white,—shall I say,—than my hand?
Nay, any lady’s of the land!

It is a wondrous thing how fleet
‘Twas on those little silver feet:
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race:—
And when ‘t had left me far away
‘Twould stay, and run again, and stay:
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod as if on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness:
And all the spring-time of the year
It only lovéd to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes:—
For in the flaxen lilies’ shade
It like a bank of lilies laid.113

Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e’en seem’d to bleed:
And then to me ‘twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold:—
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without—roses within.

A. Marvell


CXLII
THOUGHTS IN A GARDEN

How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labours see
Crown’d from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of Repose.

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men:
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow:
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress’ name:
Little, alas, they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed!
Fair trees! wheres’e’er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.114

When we have run our passions’ heat
Love hither makes his best retreat:
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race;
Apollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow;
And Pan did after Syrinx speed
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain’s sliding foot
Or at some fruit-tree’s mossy root,
Casting the body’s vest aside
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was that happy Garden-state
While man there walk’d without a mate:
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But ‘twas beyond a mortal’s share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises ‘twere in one,115
To live in Paradise alone.

How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new!
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
And, as it works, th’ industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckon’d, but with herbs and flowers!

A. Marvell


CXLIII
FORTUNATI NIMIUM

Jack and Joan, they think no ill,
But loving live, and merry still;
Do their week-day’s work, and pray
Devoutly on the holy-day:
Skip and trip it on the green,
And help to choose the Summer Queen;
Lash out at a country feast
Their silver penny with the best.

Well can they judge of nappy ale,
And tell at large a winter tale;
Climb up to the apple loft,
And turn the crabs till they be soft.
Tib is all the father’s joy,
And little Tom the mother’s boy:—
All their pleasure is, Content,
And care, to pay their yearly rent.

Joan can call by name her cows
And deck her windows with green boughs;
She can wreaths and tutties make,
And trim with plums a bridal cake.
Jack knows what brings gain or loss,
And his long flail can stoutly toss:
Makes the hedge which others break,
And ever thinks what he doth speak.116

—Now, you courtly dames and knights,
That study only strange delights,
Though you scorn the homespun gray,
And revel in your rich array;
Though your tongues dissemble deep
And can your heads from danger keep;
Yet, for all your pomp and train,
Securer lives the silly swain!

T. Campion


CXLIV
L’ALLEGRO

Hence, loathéd Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born
In Stygian cave forlorn
‘Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy!
Find out some uncouth cell
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings
And the night-raven sings;
There under ebon shades, and low-brow’d rocks
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.

But come, thou Goddess fair and free,
In heaven yclept Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To ivy-crownéd Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as some sager sing)
The frolic wind that breathes the spring
Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-Maying—
There on beds of violets blue
And fresh-blown roses wash’d in dew
Fill’d her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.117

Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest, and youthful jollity,
Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods, and becks, and wreathéd smiles
Such as hang on Hebe’s cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides:—
Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty;
And if I give thee honour due
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee
In unreprovéd pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight
And singing startle the dull night
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow
Through the sweetbriar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine:
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before:
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Sometime walking, not unseen,
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate
Where the great Sun begins his state
Robed in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman, near at hand,
Whistles o’er the furrow’d land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale118
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landscape round it measures;
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide;
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom’d high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some Beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met,
Are at their savoury dinner set
Of herbs, and other country messes
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
And then in haste her bower she leaves
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tann’d haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To many a youth and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer’d shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holyday,
Till the live-long day-light fail:
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How Faery Mab the junkets eat:—
She was pinch’d, and pull’d, she said;
And he, by Friar’s lantern led;
Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh’d the corn
That ten day-labourers could not end;119
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And, stretch’d out all the chimney’s length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull’d asleep.
Tower’d cities please us then
And the busy hum of men,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold,
In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear
In saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson’s learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy’s child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linkéd sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus’ self may heave his head
From golden slumber, on a bed
Of heap’d Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half-regain’d Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,120
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

J. Milton


CXLV
IL PENSEROSO

Hence, vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly without father bred!
How little you bestead
Or fill the fixéd mind with all your toys!
Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus’ train.

But hail, thou goddess sage and holy,
Hail, divinest Melancholy!
Whose saintly visage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O’erlaid with black, staid Wisdom’s hue;
Black, but such as in esteem
Prince Memnon’s sister might beseem,
Or that starr’d Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty’s praise above
The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended:
Yet thou art higher far descended:
Thee bright-hair’d Vesta, long of yore,
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she; in Saturn’s reign
Such mixture was not held a stain:
Oft in glimmering bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida’s inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove.121

Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of Cipres lawn
Over thy decent shoulders drawn:
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step, and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes:
There, held in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a sad leaden downward cast
Thou fix them on the earth as fast:
And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet,
And hears the Muses in a ring
Aye round about Jove’s altar sing:
And add to these retired Leisure
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure:—
But first and chiefest, with thee bring
Him that yon soars on golden wing
Guiding the fiery-wheeléd throne,
The cherub Contemplatión;
And the mute Silence hist along,
‘Less Philomel will deign a song
In her sweetest saddest plight
Smoothing the rugged brow of Night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke
Gently o’er the accustom’d oak.
—Sweet bird, that shunn’st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy!
Thee, chauntress, oft, the woods among
I woo, to hear thy even-song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering Moon
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heaven’s wide pathless way,
And oft, as if her head she bow’d,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.122

Oft, on a plat of rising ground
I hear the far-off Curfeu sound
Over some wide-water’d shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar:
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removéd place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom;
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the bellman’s drowsy charm
To bless the doors from nightly harm.
Or let my lamp at midnight hour
Be seen in some high lonely tower,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear
With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind, that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook:
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In scepter’d pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops’ line,
Or the tale of Troy divine;
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin’d stage.
But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musaeus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto’s cheek
And made Hell grant what Love did seek!
Or call up him that left half-told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canacé to wife
That own’d the virtuous ring and glass;
And of the wondrous horse of brass
On which the Tartar king did ride:123
And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung
Of turneys, and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not trick’d and frounced as she was wont
With the Attic Boy to hunt,
But kercheft in a comely cloud
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher’d with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring
To archéd walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe, with heavéd stroke,
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt
Or fright them from their hallow’d haunt.
There in close covert by some brook
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day’s garish eye,
While the bee with honey’d thigh
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep
Entice the dewy-feather’d Sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture display’d,
Softly on my eyelids laid:
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some Spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloister’s pale,
And love the high-embowéd roof,124
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow
To the full-voiced quire below
In service high and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.

These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.

J. Milton


CXLVI
SONG OF THE EMIGRANTS IN BERMUDA

Where the remote Bermudas ride
In the ocean’s bosom unespied,
From a small boat that row’d along
The listening winds received this song.
‘What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms, and prelate’s rage:
He gave us this eternal Spring
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care125
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows:
He makes the figs our mouths to meet
And throws the melons at our feet;
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars chosen by His hand
From Lebanon He stores the land;
And makes the hollow seas that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel’s pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
Oh! let our voice His praise exalt
Till it arrive at Heaven’s vault,
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay!’
—Thus sung they in the English boat
A holy and a cheerful note:
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.

A. Marvell


CXLVII
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC

Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven’s joy,
Sphere-born harmonious Sisters, Voice and Verse!
Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ,
Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce;
And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbéd Song of pure concent
Aye sung before the sapphire-colour’d throne
To Him that sits thereon,126

With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row
Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow;
And the Cherubic host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
Singing everlastingly:
That we on Earth, with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion’d sin
Jarr’d against nature’s chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway’d
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O may we soon again renew that Song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To His celestial consort us unite,
To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light!

J. Milton


CXLVIII

NOX NOCTI INDICAT SCIENTIAM.

When I survey the bright
Celestial sphere:
So rich with jewels hung, that night
Doth like an Ethiop bride appear;

My soul her wings doth spread,
And heaven-ward flies,
The Almighty’s mysteries to read
In the large volumes of the skies.

For the bright firmament
Shoots forth no flame
So silent, but is eloquent
In speaking the Creator’s name.127

No unregarded star
Contracts its light
Into so small a character,
Removed far from our human sight,

But if we steadfast look,
We shall discern
In it as in some holy book,
How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

It tells the Conqueror,
That far-stretch’d power
Which his proud dangers traffic for,
Is but the triumph of an hour.

That from the farthest North
Some nation may
Yet undiscover’d issue forth,
And o’er his new-got conquest sway.

Some nation yet shut in
With hills of ice,
May be let out to scourge his sin,
Till they shall equal him in vice.

And then they likewise shall
Their ruin have;
For as yourselves your Empires fall,
And every Kingdom hath a grave.

Thus those celestial fires,
Though seeming mute,
The fallacy of our desires
And all the pride of life, confute.

For they have watch’d since first
The World had birth:
And found sin in itself accursed,
And nothing permanent on earth.

W. Habington

128


CXLIX
HYMN TO DARKNESS

Hail thou most sacred venerable thing!
What Muse is worthy thee to sing?
Thee, from whose pregnant universal womb
All things, ev’n Light, thy rival, first did come.
What dares he not attempt that sings of thee,
Thou first and greatest mystery?
Who can the secrets of thy essence tell?
Thou, like the light of God, art inaccessible.

Before great Love this monument did raise,
This ample theatre of praise;
Before the folding circles of the sky
Were tuned by Him, Who is all harmony;
Before the morning Stars their hymn began,
Before the council held for man,
Before the birth of either time or place,
Thou reign’st unquestion’d monarch in the empty space.

Thy native lot thou didst to Light resign,
But still half of the globe is thine.
Here with a quiet, but yet awful hand,
Like the best emperors thou dost command.
To thee the stars above their brightness owe,
And mortals their repose below:
To thy protection fear and sorrow flee,
And those that weary are of light, find rest in thee.

J. Norris of Bemerton

129


CL
A VISION

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright:—
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved; in which the World
And all her train were hurl’d.

H. Vaughan


CLI
ALEXANDER’S FEAST, OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC

‘Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip’s warlike son—
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne;
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound,
(So should desert in arms be crown’d);
The lovely Thais by his side
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride
In flower of youth and beauty’s pride:—
Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave
None but the brave
None but the brave deserves the fair!

Timotheus placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire
With flying fingers touch’d the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky
And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove
Who left his blissful seats above—
Such is the power of mighty love!130
A dragon’s fiery form belied the god;
Sublime on radiant spires he rode
When he to fair Olympia prest,
And while he sought her snowy breast,
Then round her slender waist he curl’d,
And stamp’d an image of himself, a sovereign of the world.
—The listening crowd admire the lofty sound;
A present deity! they shout around:
A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound:
With ravish’d ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god;
Affects to nod
And seems to shake the spheres.

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young:
The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums!
Flush’d with a purple grace
He shows his honest face:
Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes!
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;
Bacchus’ blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier’s pleasure:
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain.

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o’er again,
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain!
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he Heaven and Earth defied
Changed his hand and check’d his pride.
He chose a mournful Muse
Soft pity to infuse:
He sung Darius great and good,131
By too severe a fate
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And weltering in his blood;
Deserted at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth exposed he lies
With not a friend to close his eyes.
—With downcast looks the joyless victor sate,
Revolving in his alter’d soul
The various turns of Chance below;
And now and then a sigh he stole,
And tears began to flow.

The mighty master smiled to see
That love was in the next degree;
‘Twas but a kindred-sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble,
Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying;
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think, it worth enjoying:
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee!
—The many rend the skies with loud applause
So Love was crown’d, but Music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gazed on the fair
Who caused his care,
And sigh’d and look’d, sigh’d and look’d,
Sigh’d and look’d, and sigh’d again:
At length with love and wine at once opprest
The vanquish’d victor sunk upon her breast.

Now strike the golden lyre again:
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain!
Break his bands of sleep asunder
And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder.
Hark, hark! the horrid sound132
Has raised up his head:
As awaked from the dead
And amazed he stares around.
Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,
See the Furies arise!
See the snakes that they rear
How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand!
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain
And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain:
Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew!
Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes
And glittering temples of their hostile gods.
—The princes applaud with a furious joy:
And the King seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;
Thais led the way
To light him to his prey,
And like another Helen, fired another Troy!

—Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn’d to blow,
While organs yet were mute,
Timotheus, to his breathing flute
And sounding lyre
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast from her sacred store
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature’s mother-wit, and arts unknown before
—Let old Timotheus yield the prize
Or both divide the crown;
He raised a mortal to the skies;
She drew an angel down!

J. Dryden


The Golden Treasury
Book Third

133


CLII
ODE ON THE PLEASURE ARISING FROM VICISSITUDE

Now the golden Morn aloft
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
With vermeil cheek and whisper soft
She woos the tardy Spring:
Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground,
And lightly o’er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.

New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet;
Forgetful of their wintry trance
The birds his presence greet:
But chief, the sky-lark warbles high
His trembling thrilling ecstasy;
And lessening from the dazzled sight,
Melts into air and liquid light.

Yesterday the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
Mute was the music of the air,
The herd stood drooping by:
Their raptures now that wildly flow
No yesterday nor morrow know;
‘Tis Man alone that joy descries
With forward and reverted eyes.134

Smiles on past misfortune’s brow
Soft reflection’s hand can trace,
And o’er the cheek of sorrow throw
A melancholy grace;
While hope prolongs our happier hour,
Or deepest shades, that dimly lour
And blacken round our weary way,
Gilds with a gleam of distant day.

Still, where rosy pleasure leads,
See a kindred grief pursue;
Behind the steps that misery treads
Approaching comfort view:
The hues of bliss more brightly glow
Chastised by sabler tints of woe,
And blended form, with artful strife,
The strength and harmony of life.

See the wretch that long has tost
On the thorny bed of pain,
At length repair his vigour lost
And breathe and walk again:
The meanest floweret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the gale,
The common sun, the air, the skies,
To him are opening Paradise.

T. Gray


CLIII
ODE TO SIMPLICITY

O Thou, by Nature taught
To breathe her genuine thought
In numbers warmly pure, and sweetly strong;
Who first, on mountains wild,
In Fancy, loveliest child,
Thy babe, or Pleasure’s, nursed the powers of song!

Thou, who with hermit heart,
Disdain’st the wealth of art,
And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailing pall,
But com’st, a decent maid
In Attic robe array’d,
O chaste, unboastful Nymph, to thee I call!135

By all the honey’d store
On Hybla’s thymy shore,
By all her blooms and mingled murmurs dear;
By her whose love-lorn woe
In evening musings slow
Soothed sweetly sad Electra’s poet’s ear:

By old Cephisus deep,
Who spread his wavy sweep
In warbled wanderings round thy green retreat;
On whose enamell’d side,
When holy Freedom died,
No equal haunt allured thy future feet:—

O sister meek of Truth,
To my admiring youth
Thy sober aid and native charms infuse!
The flowers that sweetest breathe,
Though Beauty cull’d the wreath,
Still ask thy hand to range their order’d hues.

While Rome could none esteem
But Virtue’s patriot theme,
You loved her hills, and led her laureat band;
But stay’d to sing alone
To one distinguish’d throne;
And turn’d thy face, and fled her alter’d land.

No more, in hall or bower,
The Passions own thy power;
Love, only Love, her forceless numbers mean:
For thou hast left her shrine;
Nor olive more, nor vine,
Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene.

Though taste, though genius, bless
To some divine excess,
Faints the cold work till thou inspire the whole;
What each, what all supply
May court, may charm our eye;
Thou, only thou, canst raise the meeting soul!

Of these let others ask
To aid some mighty task;
I only seek to find thy temperate vale;136
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
And all thy sons, O Nature! learn my tale.

W. Collins


CLIV
SOLITUDE

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcern’dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixt, sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

A. Pope


CLV
THE BLIND BOY

O say what is that thing call’d Light,
Which I must ne’er enjoy;
What are the blessings of the sight,
O tell your poor blind boy!137

You talk of wondrous things you see,
You say the sun shines bright;
I feel him warm, but how can he
Or make it day or night?

My day or night myself I make
Whene’er I sleep or play;
And could I ever keep awake
With me ‘twere always day.

With heavy sighs I often hear
You mourn my hapless woe;
But sure with patience I can bear
A loss I ne’er can know.

Then let not what I cannot have
My cheer of mind destroy:
Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
Although a poor blind boy.

C. Cibber


CLVI
ON A FAVOURITE CAT, DROWNED IN A TUB OF GOLD FISHES

‘Twas on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow,
Demurest of the tabby kind
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared:
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes—
She saw, and purr’d applause.

Still had she gazed, but ‘midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream:138
Their scaly armour’s Tyrian hue
Through richest purple, to the view
Betray’d a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first, and then a claw
With many an ardent wish
She stretch’d, in vain, to reach the prize—
What female heart can gold despise?
What Cat’s averse to fish?

Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch’d, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between—
Malignant Fate sat by and smiled—
The slippery verge her feet beguiled;
She tumbled headlong in!

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew’d to every watery God
Some speedy aid to send:—
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr’d,
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard—
A favourite has no friend!

From hence, ye Beauties! undeceived
Know one false step is ne’er retrieved,
And be with caution bold:
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize,
Nor all that glisters, gold!

T. Gray


CLVII
TO CHARLOTTE PULTENEY

Timely blossom, Infant fair,
Fondling of a happy pair,
Every morn and every night
Their solicitous delight,
Sleeping, waking, still at ease,
Pleasing, without skill to please;139
Little gossip, blithe and hale,
Tattling many a broken tale,
Singing many a tuneless song,
Lavish of a heedless tongue;
Simple maiden, void of art,
Babbling out the very heart,
Yet abandon’d to thy will,
Yet imagining no ill,
Yet too innocent to blush;
Like the linnet in the bush
To the mother-linnet’s note
Moduling her slender throat;
Chirping forth thy petty joys,
Wanton in the change of toys,
Like the linnet green, in May
Flitting to each bloomy spray;
Wearied then and glad of rest,
Like the linnet in the nest:—
This thy present happy lot
This, in time will be forgot:
Other pleasures, other cares,
Ever-busy Time prepares;
And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.

A. Philips


CLVIII
RULE BRITANNIA

When Britain first at Heaven’s command
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of her land,
And guardian angels sung the strain:
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves!
Britons never shall be slaves.

The nations not so blest as thee
Must in their turn to tyrants fall,
Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free
The dread and envy of them all.140

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies
Serves but to root thy native oak.

Thee haughty tyrants ne’er shall tame;
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame,
And work their woe and thy renown.

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine!

The Muses, still with Freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair;
Blest Isle, with matchless beauty crown’d
And manly hearts to guard the fair:—
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves!
Britons never shall be slaves!

J. Thomson


CLIX
THE BARD

Pindaric Ode

‘Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
Confusion on thy banners wait;
Tho’ fann’d by Conquest’s crimson wing
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk’s twisted mail,
Nor e’en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria’s curse, from Cambria’s tears!’
—Such were the sounds that o’er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scatter’d wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon’s shaggy side
He wound with toilsome march his long array:—
Stout Glo’ster stood aghast in speechless trance;
‘To arms!’, cried Mortimer, and couch’d his quivering lance.141

On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o’er old Conway’s foaming flood,
Robed in the sable garb of woe
With haggard eyes the Poet stood;
(Loose his beard and hoary hair
Stream’d like a meteor to the troubled air)
And with a master’s hand and prophet’s fire
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre:
‘Hark, how each giant-oak and desert-cave
Sighs to the torrent’s awful voice beneath!
O’er thee, oh King! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria’s fatal day,
To high-born Hoel’s harp, or soft Llewellyn’s lay.

‘Cold is Cadwallo’s tongue,
That hush’d the stormy main:
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.
On dreary Arvon’s shore they lie
Smear’d with gore and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail;
The famish’d eagle screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country’s cries—
No more I weep; They do not sleep;
On yonder cliffs, a griesly band,
I see them sit; They linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

Weave the warp and weave the woof
The winding sheet of Edward’s race:
Give ample room and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,142
When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death thro’ Berkley’s roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing king!
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs
That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled mate,
From thee be born, who o’er thy country hangs
The scourge of heaven! What terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with flight combined,
And sorrow’s faded form, and solitude behind.

‘Mighty victor, mighty lord,
Low on his funeral couch he lies!
No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.
Is the sable warrior fled?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born?
—Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o’er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes:
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm:
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind’s sway,
That hush’d in grim repose expects his evening prey.

‘Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest,
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havock urge their destined course,
And thro’ the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London’s lasting shame,
With many afoul and midnight murder fed,
Revere his consort’s faith, his father’s fame,
And spare the meek usurpers holy head!
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:143
The bristled boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o’er the accurséd loom,
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

‘Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof; The thread is spun;)
Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove; The work is done.)
—Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unbless’d, unpitied, here to mourn:
In yon bright track that fires the western skies
They melt, they vanish from my eyes.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon’s height
Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail:—
All hail, ye genuine kings! Britannia’s issue, hail!

‘Girt with many a baron bold
Sublime their starry fronts they rear;
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old
In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a form divine!
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line:
Her lion-port, her awe-commanding face
Attemper’d sweet to virgin-grace.
What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
What strains of vocal transport round her play?
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear;
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.
Bright Rapture calls, and soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of heaven her many-colour’d wings.

‘The verse adorn again
Fierce war, and faithful love,
And truth severe, by fairy fiction drest.
In buskin’d measures move
Pale grief, and pleasing pain,
With horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice as of the cherub-choir
Gales from blooming Eden bear,144
And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
That lost in long futurity expire.
Fond impious man, think’st thou yon sanguine cloud
Raised by thy breath, has quench’d the orb of day?
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see
The different doom our fates assign:
Be thine despair and sceptred care,
To triumph and to die are mine,’
—He spoke, and headlong from the mountain’s height
Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.

T. Gray


CLX
ODE WRITTEN IN 1746

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country’s wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung:
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there!

W. Collins


CLXI
LAMENT FOR CULLODEN

The lovely lass o’ Inverness,
Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
For e’en and morn she cries, Alas!
And aye the saut tear blins her ee:
Drumossie moor—Drumossie day—
A waefu’ day it was to me!145
For there I lost my father dear,
My father dear, and brethren three.

Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
Their graves are growing green to see:
And by them lies the dearest lad
That ever blest a woman’s ee!
Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
A bluidy man I trow thou be;
For mony a heart thou hast made sair
That ne’er did wrang to thine or thee.

R. Burns


CLXII
LAMENT FOR FLODDEN

I’ve heard them lilting at our ewe-milking,
Lasses a’ lilting before dawn o’ day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning—
The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.

At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,
Lasses are lonely and dowie and wae;
Nae daffin’, nae gabbin’, but sighing and sabbing,
Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away.

In har’st, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
Bandsters are lyart, and runkled, and gray;
At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching—
The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.

At e’en, in the gloaming, nae younkers are roaming
‘Bout stacks wi’ the lasses at bogle to play;
But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie—
The Flowers of the Forest are weded away.

Dool and wae for the order, sent our lads to the Border!
The English, for ance, by guile wan the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
The prime of our land, are cauld in the clay.146

We’ll hear nae mair lilting at the ewe-milking;
Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning—
The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.

J. Elliott


CLXIII
THE BRAES OF YARROW

Thy braes were bonny, Yarrow stream,
When first on them I met my lover;
Thy braes how dreary, Yarrow stream,
When now thy waves his body cover!
For ever now, O Yarrow stream!
Thou art to me a stream of sorrow;
For never on thy banks shall I
Behold my Love, the flower of Yarrow!

He promised me a milk-white steed
To bear me to his father’s bowers;
He promised me a little page
To squire me to his father’s towers;
He promised me a wedding-ring,—
The wedding-day was fix’d to-morrow;—
Now he is wedded to his grave,
Alas, his watery grave, in Yarrow!

Sweet were his words when last we met;
My passion I as freely told him;
Clasp’d in his arms, I little thought
That I should never more behold him!
Scarce was he gone, I saw his ghost;
It vanish’d with a shriek of sorrow;
Thrice did the water-wraith ascend,
And gave a doleful groan thro’ Yarrow.

His mother from the window look’d
With all the longing of a mother;
His little sister weeping walk’d
The greenwood path to meet her brother;
They sought him east, they sought him west,
They sought him all the forest thorough;
They only saw the cloud of night,
They only heard the roar of Yarrow.147

No longer from thy window look—
Thou hast no son, thou tender mother!
No longer walk, thou lovely maid;
Alas, thou hast no more a brother!
No longer seek him east or west
And search no more the forest thorough;
For, wandering in the night so dark,
He fell a lifeless corpse in Yarrow.

The tear shall never leave my cheek,
No other youth shall be my marrow—
I’ll seek thy body in the stream,
And then with thee I’ll sleep in Yarrow.
—The tear did never leave her cheek,
No other youth became her marrow;
She found his body in the stream,
And now with him she sleeps in Yarrow.

J. Logan


CLXIV
WILLY DROWNED IN YARROW

Down in yon garden sweet and gay
Where bonnie grows the lily,
I heard a fair maid sighing say,
‘My wish be wi’ sweet Willie!

‘Willie’s rare, and Willie’s fair,
And Willie’s wondrous bonny;
And Willie hecht to marry me
Gin e’er he married ony.

‘O gentle wind, that bloweth south,
From where my Love repaireth,
Convey a kiss frae his dear mouth
And tell me how he fareth!

‘O tell sweet Willie to come doun
And hear the mavis singing,
And see the birds on ilka bush
And leaves around them hinging.148

‘The lav’rock there, wi’ her white breast
And gentle throat sae narrow;
There’s sport eneuch for gentlemen
On Leader haughs and Yarrow.

‘O Leader haughs are wide and braid
And Yarrow haughs are bonny;
There Willie hecht to marry me
If e’er he married ony.

‘But Willie’s gone, whom I thought on,
And does not hear me weeping;
Draws many a tear frae true love’s e’e
When other maids are sleeping.

‘Yestreen I made my bed fu’ braid,
The night I’ll mak’ it narrow,
For a’ the live-lang winter night
I lie twined o’ my marrow.

‘O came ye by yon water-side?
Pou’d you the rose or lily?
Or came you by yon meadow green,
Or saw you my sweet Willie?’

She sought him up, she sought him down,
She sought him braid and narrow;
Syne, in the cleaving of a craig,
She found him drown’d in Yarrow!

Anon.


CLXV
LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE

Toll for the Brave!
The brave that are no more!
All sunk beneath the wave
Fast by their native shore!

Eight hundred of the brave
Whose courage well was tried,
Had made the vessel heel
And laid her on her side.149

A land-breeze shook the shrouds
And she was overset;
Down went the Royal George,
With all her crew complete.

Toll for the brave!
Brave Kempenfelt is gone;
His last sea-fight is fought,
His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle;
No tempest gave the shock;
She sprang no fatal leak,
She ran upon no rock.

His sword was in its sheath,
His fingers held the pen,
When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.

—Weigh the vessel up
Once dreaded by our foes!
And mingle with our cup
The tears that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again
Full charged with England’s thunder,
And plough the distant main:

But Kempenfelt is gone,
His victories are o’er;
And he and his eight hundred
Shall plough the wave no more.

W. Cowper


CLXVI
BLACK-EYED SUSAN

All in the Downs the fleet was moor’d,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard;
‘O! where shall I my true-love find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew.’150

William, who high upon the yard
Rock’d with the billow to and fro,
Soon as her well-known voice he heard
He sigh’d, and cast his eyes below:
The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast
If chance his mate’s shrill call he hear,
And drops at once into her nest:—
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William’s lip those kisses sweet.

‘O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
My vows shall ever true remain;
Let me kiss off that falling tear;
We only part to meet again.
Change as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.

‘Believe not what the landmen say
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind:
They’ll tell thee, sailors, when away,
In every port a mistress find:
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For Thou art present wheresoe’er I go.

‘If to fair India’s coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright,
Thy breath is Afric’s spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

‘Though battle call me from thy arms
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet safe from harms
William shall to his Dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan’s eye.

The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
The sails their swelling bosom spread
No longer must she stay aboard;
They kiss’d, she sigh’d, he hung his head.151
Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land;
‘Adieu!’ she cries; and waved her lily hand.

J. Gay


CLXVII
SALLY IN OUR ALLEY

Of all the girls that are so smart
There’s none like pretty Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.
There is no lady in the land
Is half so sweet as Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.

Her father he makes cabbage-nets
And through the streets does cry ‘em;
Her mother she sells laces long
To such as please to buy ‘em:
But sure such folks could ne’er beget
So sweet a girl as Sally!
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.

When she is by, I leave my work,
I love her so sincerely;
My master comes like any Turk,
And bangs me most severely—
But let him bang his bellyful,
I’ll bear it all for Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.

Of all the days that’s in the week
I dearly love but one day—
And that’s the day that comes betwixt
A Saturday and Monday;
For then I’m drest all in my best
To walk abroad with Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.152

My master carries me to church,
And often am I blamed
Because I leave him in the lurch
As soon as text is named;
I leave the church in sermon-time
And slink away to Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.

When Christmas comes about again
O then I shall have money;
I’ll hoard it up, and box it all,
I’ll give it to my honey:
I would it were ten thousand pound,
I’d give it all to Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley.

My master and the neighbours all
Make game of me and Sally,
And, but for her, I’d better be
A slave and row a galley;
But when my seven long years are out
O then I’ll marry Sally,—
O then we’ll wed, and then we’ll bed...
But not in our alley!

H. Carey


CLXVIII
A FAREWELL

Go fetch to me a pint o’ wine,
An’ fill it in a silver tassie;
That I may drink before I go
A service to my bonnie lassie:
The boat rocks at the pier o’ Leith,
Fu’ loud the wind blaws frae the ferry,
The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
And I maun leave my bonnie Mary.153

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The glittering spears are rankéd ready;
The shouts o’ war are heard afar,
The battle closes thick and bloody;
But it’s not the roar o’ sea or shore
Wad make me langer wish to tarry;
Nor shout o’ war that’s heard afar—
It’s leaving thee, my bonnie Mary.

R. Burns


CLXIX

If doughty deeds my lady please
Right soon I’ll mount my steed;
And strong his arm, and fast his seat
That bears frae me the meed.
I’ll wear thy colours in my cap
Thy picture at my heart;
And he that bends not to thine eye
Shall rue it to his smart!
Then tell me how to woo thee, Love;
O tell me how to woo thee!
For thy dear sake, nae care I’ll take
Tho’ ne’er another trow me.

If gay attire delight thine eye
I’ll dight me in array;
I’ll tend thy chamber door all night,
And squire thee all the day.
If sweetest sounds can win thine ear,
These sounds I’ll strive to catch;
Thy voice I’ll steal to woo thysell,
That voice that nane can match.

But if fond love thy heart can gain,
I never broke a vow;
Nae maiden lays her skaith to me,
I never loved but you.
For you alone I ride the ring,
For you I wear the blue;
For you alone I strive to sing,
O tell me how to woo!154

Then tell me how to woo thee, Love;
O tell me how to woo thee!
For thy dear sake, nae care I’ll take,
Tho’ ne’er another trow me.

R. Graham of Gartmore


CLXX
TO A YOUNG LADY

Sweet stream, that winds through yonder glade,
Apt emblem of a virtuous maid—
Silent and chaste she steals along,
Far from the world’s gay busy throng:
With gentle yet prevailing force,
Intent upon her destined course;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where’er she goes;
Pure-bosom’d as that watery glass,
And Heaven reflected in her face.

W. Cowper


CLXXI
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Sleep on, and dream of Heaven awhile—
Tho’ shut so close thy laughing eyes,
Thy rosy lips still wear a smile
And move, and breathe delicious sighs!

Ah, now soft blushes tinge her cheeks
And mantle o’er her neck of snow:
Ah, now she murmurs, now she speaks
What most I wish—and fear to know!

She starts, she trembles, and she weeps!
Her fair hands folded on her breast:
—And now, how like a saint she sleeps!
A seraph in the realms of rest!155

Sleep on secure! Above controul
Thy thoughts belong to Heaven and thee:
And may the secret of thy soul
Remain within its sanctuary!

S. Rogers


CLXXII

For ever, Fortune, wilt thou prove
An unrelenting foe to Love,
And when we meet a mutual heart
Come in between, and bid us part?

Bid us sigh on from day to day,
And wish and wish the soul away;
Till youth and genial years are flown,
And all the life of life is gone?

But busy, busy, still art thou,
To bind the loveless joyless vow,
The heart from pleasure to delude,
To join the gentle to the rude.

For once, O Fortune, hear my prayer,
And I absolve thy future care;
All other blessings I resign,
Make but the dear Amanda mine.

J. Thomson


CLXXIII

The merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrow’d name:
Euphelia serves to grace my measure,
But Cloe is my real flame.

My softest verse, my darling lyre
Upon Euphelia’s toilet lay—
When Cloe noted her desire
That I should sing, that I should play.

My lyre I tune, my voice I raise,
But with my numbers mix my sighs;
And whilst I sing Euphelia’s praise,
I fix my soul on Cloe’s eyes.156

Fair Cloe blush’d: Euphelia frown’d:
I sung, and gazed; I play’d, and trembled:
And Venus to the Loves around
Remark’d how ill we all dissembled.

M. Prior


CLXXIV
LOVE’S SECRET

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears:—
Ah! she did depart.

Soon after she was gone from me
A traveller came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.

W. Blake


CLXXV

When lovely woman stoops to folly
And finds too late that men betray,—
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover
And wring his bosom, is—to die.

O. Goldsmith

157


CLXXVI

Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon
How can ye blume sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu’ o’ care!

Thou’ll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o’ the happy days
When my fause Luve was true.

Thou’ll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o’ my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka bird sang o’ its love;
And sae did I o’ mine.

Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose,
Frae aff its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi’ me.

R. Burns


CLXXVII
THE PROGRESS OF POESY

A Pindaric Ode

Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake,
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings.
From Helicon’s harmonious springs
A thousand rills their mazy progress take;
The laughing flowers that round them blow
Drink life and fragrance as they flow.
Now the rich stream of music winds along
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Thro’ verdant vales, and Ceres’ golden reign;158
Now rolling down the steep amain
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour:
The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar.

Oh! Sovereign of the willing soul,
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs,
Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares
And frantic Passions hear thy soft controul
On Thracia’s hills the Lord of War
Has curb’d the fury of his car
And dropt his thirsty lance at thy command.
Perching on the sceptred hand
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feather’d king
With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing:
Quench’d in dark clouds of slumber lie
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye.

Thee the voice, the dance, obey
Temper’d to thy warbled lay.
O’er Idalia’s velvet-green
The rosy-crownéd Loves are seen
On Cytherea’s day;
With antic Sport, and blue-eyed Pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet:
To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow melting strains their Queen’s approach declare:
Where’er she turns, the Graces homage pay:
With arms sublime that float upon the air
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O’er her warm cheek and rising bosom move
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.

Man’s feeble race what ills await!
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow’s weeping train,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?159
Night, and all her sickly dews,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry
He gives to range the dreary sky:
Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion’s march they spy, and glittering shafts of war.

In climes beyond the solar road
Where shaggy forms o’er ice-built mountains roam,
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native’s dull abode.
And oft, beneath the odorous shade
Of Chili’s boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat
In loose numbers wildly sweet
Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where’er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,
Th’ unconquerable Mind, and Freedom’s holy flame.

Woods, that wave o’er Delphi’s steep,
Isles, that crown th’ Aegean deep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Maeander’s amber waves
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish!
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breathed around;
Every shade and hallow’d fountain
Murmur’d deep a solemn sound:
Till the sad Nine, in Greece’s evil hour
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next, thy sea-encircled coast.

Far from the sun and summer-gale
In thy green lap was Nature’s Darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray’d,
To him the mighty Mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch’d forth his little arms, and smiled.
‘This pencil take’ (she said), ‘whose colours clear160
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine, too, these golden keys, immortal Boy!
This can unlock the gates of joy;
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.’

Nor second He, that rode sublime
Upon the seraph-wings of Extasy
The secrets of the abyss to spy:
He pass’d the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze
Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden’s less presumptuous car
Wide o’er the fields of glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.

Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o’er,
Scatters from her pictured urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! ‘tis heard no more—
Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? Tho’ he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Thro’ the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse’s ray
With orient hues, unborrow’d of the sun:
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate:
Beneath the Good how far—but far above the Great.

T. Gray

161


CLXXVIII
THE PASSIONS

An Ode for Music

When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Throng’d around her magic cell
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possest beyond the Muse’s painting;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined:
‘Till once, ‘tis said, when all were fired,
Fill’d with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatch’d her instruments of sound,
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each (for Madness ruled the hour)
Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder’d laid,
And back recoil’d, he knew not why,
E’en at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rush’d, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings, own’d his secret stings;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre
And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woeful measures wan Despair,
Low sullen sounds, his grief beguiled;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
‘Twas sad by fits, by starts ‘twas wild.

But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure?
Still it whisper’d promised pleasure
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail!
Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale
She call’d on Echo still through all the song;162
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close;
And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair;—

And longer had she sung:—but with a frown
Revenge impatient rose:
He threw his blood-stain’d sword in thunder down;
And with a withering look
The war-denouncing trumpet took
And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne’er prophetic sounds so full of woe!
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unalter’d mien,
While each strain’d ball of sight seem’d bursting from his head.

Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix’d:
Sad proof of thy distressful state!
Of differing themes the veering song was mix’d;
And now it courted Love, now raving call’d on Hate.

With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And from her wild sequester’d seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour’d through the mellow horn her pensive soul:
And dashing soft from rocks around
Bubbling runnels join’d the sound;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or, o’er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.

But O! how alter’d was its sprightlier tone
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,163
Her buskins gemm’d with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
The hunter’s call to Faun and Dryad known!
The oak-crown’d Sisters and their chaste-eyed Queen,
Satyrs and Sylvan Boys, were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green:
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen spear.

Last came Joy’s ecstatic trial:
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest:
But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best:
They would have thought who heard the strain
They saw, in Tempe’s vale, her native maids
Amidst the festal-sounding shades
To some unwearied minstrel dancing;
While, as his flying fingers kiss’d the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round:
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound;
And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.

O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom’s aid!
Why, goddess! why, to us denied,
Lay’st thou thy ancient lyre aside?
As in that loved Athenian bower
You learn’d an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O Nymph endear’d,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energic, chaste, sublime!
Thy wonders, in that god-like age,
Fill thy recording Sister’s page;—
‘Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,164
Than all which charms this laggard age:
E’en all at once together found,
Cecilia’s mingled world of sound:—
O bid our vain endeavours cease:
Revive the just designs of Greece:
Return in all thy simple state!
Confirm the tales her sons relate!

W. Collins


CLXXIX
THE SONG OF DAVID

He sang of God, the mighty source
Of all things, the stupendous force
On which all strength depends:
From Whose right arm, beneath Whose eyes,
All period, power, and enterprise
Commences, reigns, and ends.

The world, the clustering spheres He made,
The glorious light, the soothing shade,
Dale, champaign, grove and hill:
The multitudinous abyss,
Where secrecy remains in bliss,
And wisdom hides her skill.

Tell them, I AM, Jehovah said
To Moses: while Earth heard in dread,
And, smitten to the heart,
At once, above, beneath, around,
All Nature, without voice or sound,
Replied, ‘O Lord, THOU ART.’

C. Smart

165


CLXXX
INFANT JOY

‘I have no name;
I am but two days old.’
—What shall I call thee?
‘I happy am;
Joy is my name.’
—Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy, but two days old;
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile:
I sing the while,
Sweet joy befall thee!

W. Blake


CLXXXI
A CRADLE SONG

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel,
Smiles as of the morning steal
O’er thy cheek, and o’er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

Oh the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful light shall break.

W. Blake

166


CLXXXII
ODE ON THE SPRING

Lo! where the rosy-bosom’d Hours,
Fair Venus’ train, appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers
And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo’s note,
The untaught harmony of Spring:
While, whispering pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs thro’ the clear blue sky
Their gather’d fragrance fling.

Where’er the oak’s thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade,
Where’er the rude and moss-grown beech
O’er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water’s rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclined in rustic state)
How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!

Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose:
Yet hark, how thro’ the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
The insect-youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring
And float amid the liquid noon:
Some lightly o’er the current skim,
Some show their gaily-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.

To Contemplation’s sober eye
Such is the race of Man:
And they that creep, and they that
Shall end where they began.
Alike the Busy and the Gay
But flutter thro’ life’s little day,167
In Fortune’s varying colours drest:
Brush’d by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chill’d by Age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.

Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply:
Poor moralist! and what art thou?
A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display:
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone—
We frolic while ‘tis May.

T. Gray


CLXXXIII
THE POPLAR FIELD

The poplars are fell’d; farewell to the shade
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade;
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew:
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade!

The blackbird has fled to another retreat
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat;
And the scene where his melody charm’d me before
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.168

The change both my heart and my fancy employs;
I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys:
Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.

W. Cowper


CLXXXIV
TO A MOUSE

On turning her up in her nest, with the plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin’, tim’rous beastie,
O what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin’ wi’ the lave,
And never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win’s are strewin:
And naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin’
Baith snell an’ keen!169

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste
An’ weary winter comin’ fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till, crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

R. Burns


CLXXXV
A WISH

Mine be a cot beside the hill;
A bee-hive’s hum shall soothe my ear;
A willowy brook that turns a mill,
With many a fall shall linger near.

The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch
Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,
And share my meal, a welcome guest.170

Around my ivied porch shall spring
Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
In russet-gown and apron blue.

The village-church among the trees,
Where first our marriage-vows were given,
With merry peals shall swell the breeze
And point with taper spire to Heaven.

S. Rogers


CLXXXVI
ODE TO EVENING

If aught of oaten stop or pastoral song
May hope, O pensive Eve, to soothe thine ear
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;

O Nymph reserved,—while now the bright-hair’d sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O’erhang his wavy bed;

Now air is hush’d, save where the weak-eyed bat
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing,
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,

As oft he rises midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum,—
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some soften’d strain

Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit;
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return.171

For when thy folding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day,

And many a Nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge
And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Prepare thy shadowy car.

Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene;
Or find some ruin midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.

Or, if chill blustering winds or driving rain
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut
That, from the mountain’s side,
Views wilds, and swelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discover’d spires;
And hears their simple bell; and marks o’er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.

While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light;

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train
And rudely rends thy robes;

So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,
Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!

W. Collins

172


CLXXXVII
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.173

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:—
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault
If memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or waked to extasy the living lyre:

But knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne’er unroll;
Chill penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country’s blood.

Th’ applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation’s eyes

Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbad to wade thro’ slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;174

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

Yet e’en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E’en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who, mindful of th’ unhonour’d dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate,—

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
‘Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;

‘There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.175

‘Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful-wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

‘One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

‘The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,—
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.’

THE EPITAPH

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair science frown’d not on his humble birth
And melancholy mark’d him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to misery (all he had) a tear,
He gain’d from Heaven (‘twas all he wish’d) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his Father and his God.

T. Gray


CLXXXVIII
MARY MORISON

O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish’d, the trysted hour!
Those smiles and glances let me see
That make the miser’s treasure poor:
How blithely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.176

Yestreen when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro’ the lighted ha’,
To thee my fancy took its wing,—
I sat, but neither heard nor saw:
Tho’ this was fair, and that was braw,
And yon the toast of a’ the town,
I sigh’d, and said amang them a’,
‘Ye are na Mary Morison.’

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace
Wha for thy sake wad gladly dee?
Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee?
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown;
A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o’ Mary Morison.

R. Burns


CLXXXIX
BONNIE LESLEY

O saw ye bonnie Lesley
As she gaed o’er the border?
She’s gane, like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther.

To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever;
For Nature made her what she is,
And ne’er made sic anither!

Thou art a queen, Fair Lesley,
Thy subjects we, before thee;
Thou art divine, Fair Lesley,
The hearts o’ men adore thee.

The Deil he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee;
He’d look into thy bonnie face,
And say ‘I canna wrang thee!’177

The Powers aboon will tent thee;
Misfortune sha’ na steer thee;
Thou’rt like themselves sae lovely
That ill they’ll ne’er let near thee.

Return again, Fair Lesley,
Return to Caledonie!
That we may brag we hae a lass
There’s nane again sae bonnie.

R. Burns


CXC

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

R. Burns


CXCI
HIGHLAND MARY

Ye banks and braes and streams around
The castle o’ Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,178
And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last fareweel
O’ my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloom’d the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn’s blossom,
As underneath their fragrant shade
I clasp’d her to my bosom!
The golden hours on angel wings
Flew o’er me and my dearie;
For dear to me as light and life
Was my sweet Highland Mary.

Wi’ mony a vow and lock’d embrace
Our parting was fu’ tender;
And pledging aft to meet again,
We tore oursels asunder;
But, Oh! fell Death’s untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae early!
Now green’s the sod, and cauld’s the clay,
That wraps my Highland Mary!

O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
I aft hae kiss’d sae fondly!
And closed for aye the sparkling glance
That dwelt on me sae kindly;
And mouldering now in silent dust
That heart that lo’ed me dearly!
But still within my bosom’s core
Shall live my Highland Mary.

R. Burns


CXCII
AULD ROBIN GRAY

When the sheep are in the fauld, and the kye a hame,
And a’ the warld to rest are gane,
The waes o’ my heart fa’ in showers frae my e’e,
While my gudeman lies sound by me.179

Young Jamie lo’ed me weel, and sought me for his bride;
But saving a croun he had naething else beside:
To make the croun a pund, young Jamie gaed to sea;
And the croun and the pund were baith for me.

He hadna been awa’ a week but only twa,
When my father brak his arm, and the cow was stown awa;
My mother she fell sick, and my Jamie at the sea—
And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin’ me.

My father couldna work, and my mother couldna spin;
I toil’d day and night, but their bread I couldna win;
Auld Rob maintain’d them baith, and wi’ tears in his e’e
Said, Jennie, for their sakes, O, marry me!

My heart it said nay; I look’d for Jamie back;
But the wind it blew high, and the ship it was a wrack;
His ship it was a wrack—why didna Jamie dee?
Or why do I live to cry, Wae’s me?

My father urgit sair: my mother didna speak;
But she look’d in my face till my heart was like to break:
They gi’ed him my hand, but my heart was at the sea;
Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman to me.

I hadna been a wife a week but only four,
When mournfu’ as I sat on the stane at the door,
I saw my Jamie’s wraith, for I couldna think it he
Till he said, I’m come hame to marry thee.

O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle did we say;
We took but ae kiss, and I bad him gang away;
I wish that I were dead, but I’m no like to dee;
And why was I born to say, Wae’s me!

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
But I’ll do my best a gude wife aye to be,
For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto me.

Lady A. Lindsay.

180


CXCIII
DUNCAN GRAY

Duncan Gray cam here to woo,
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t;
On blythe Yule night when we were fou,
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t:
Maggie coost her head fu’ high,
Look’d asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!

Duncan fleech’d, and Duncan pray’d;
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig;
Duncan sigh’d baith out and in,
Grat his een baith bleer’t and blin’,
Spak o’ lowpin ower a linn!

Time and chance are but a tide,
Slighted love is sair to bide;
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie dee?
She may gae to—France for me!

How it comes let doctors tell,
Meg grew sick—as he grew well;
Something in her bosom wrings,
For relief a sigh she brings;
And O, her een, they spak sic things!

Duncan was a lad o’ grace;
Maggie’s was a piteous case;
Duncan couldna be her death,
Swelling pity smoor’d his wrath;
Now they’re crouse and canty baith:
Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!

R. Burns

181


CXCIV
THE SAILOR’S WIFE

And are ye sure the news is true?
And are ye sure he’s weel?
Is this a time to think o’ wark?
Ye jades, lay by your wheel;
Is this the time to spin a thread,
When Colin’s at the door?
Reach down my cloak, I’ll to the quay,
And see him come ashore.
For there’s nae luck about the house,
There’s nae luck at a’;
There’s little pleasure in the house
When our gudeman’s awa’.

And gie to me my bigonet,
My bishop’s satin gown;
For I maun tell the baillie’s wife
That Colin’s in the town.
My Turkey slippers maun gae on,
My stockins pearly blue;
It’s a’ to pleasure our gudeman,
For he’s baith leal and true.

Rise, lass, and mak a clean fireside,
Put on the muckle pot;
Gie little Kate her button gown
And Jock his Sunday coat;
And mak their shoon as black as slaes,
Their hose as white as snaw;
It’s a’ to please my ain gudeman,
For he’s been long awa.

There’s twa fat hens upo’ the coop
Been fed this month and mair;
Mak haste and thraw their necks about,
That Colin weel may fare;
And spread the table neat and clean,
Gar ilka thing look braw,
For wha can tell how Colin fared
When he was far awa?182

Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
His breath like caller air;
His very foot has music in’t
As he comes up the stair—
And will I see his face again?
And will I hear him speak?
I’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought,
In troth I’m like to greet!

If Colin’s weel, and weel content,
I hae nae mair to crave:
And gin I live to keep him sae,
I’m blest aboon the lave:
And will I see his face again,
And will I hear him speak?
I’m downright dizzy wi’ the thought,
In troth I’m like to greet.
For there’s nae luck about the house,
There’s nae luck at a’;
There’s little pleasure in the house
When our gudeman’s awa’.

W. J. Mickle


CXCV
ABSENCE

When I think on the happy days
I spent wi’ you, my dearie;
And now what lands between us lie,
How can I be but eerie!

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,
As ye were wae and weary!
It was na sae ye glinted by
When I was wi’ my dearie.

Anon.

183


CXCVI
JEAN

Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw
I dearly like the West,
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo’e best:
There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between;
But day and night my fancy’s flight
Is ever wi’ my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu’ birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There’s not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green,
There’s not a bonnie bird that sings
But minds me o’ my Jean.

O blaw ye westlin winds, blaw saft
Amang the leafy trees;
Wi’ balmy gale, frae hill and dale
Bring hame the laden bees;
And bring the lassie back to me
That’s aye sae neat and clean;
Ae smile o’ her wad banish care,
Sae charming is my Jean.

What sighs and vows amang the knowes
Hae pass’d atween us twa!
How fond to meet, how wae to part
That night she gaed awa!
The Powers aboon can only ken
To whom the heart is seen,
That nane can be sae dear to me
As my sweet lovely Jean!

R. Burns

184


CXCVII
JOHN ANDERSON

John Anderson my jo, John,
When we were first acquent
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonnie brow was brent;
But now your brow is bald, John,
Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson my jo.

John Anderson my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither,
And mony a canty day, John,
We’ve had wi’ ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
But hand in hand we’ll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson my jo.

R. Burns


CXCVIII
THE LAND O’ THE LEAL

I’m wearing awa’, Jean,
Like snaw when its thaw, Jean,
I’m wearing awa’
To the land o’ the leal.
There’s nae sorrow there, Jean,
There’s neither cauld nor care, Jean,
The day is aye fair
In the land o’ the leal.

Ye were aye leal and true, Jean,
Your task’s ended noo, Jean,
And I’ll welcome you
To the land o’ the leal.
Our bonnie bairn’s there, Jean,185
She was baith guid and fair, Jean;
O we grudged her right sair
To the land o’ the leal!

Then dry that tearfu’ e’e, Jean,
My soul langs to be free, Jean,
And angels wait on me
To the land o’ the leal.
Now fare ye weel, my ain Jean,
This warld’s care is vain, Jean;
We’ll meet and aye be fain
In the land o’ the leal.

Lady Nairn


CXCIX
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers
That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry’s holy shade;
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor’s heights th’ expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way:

Ah happy hills! ah pleasing shade!
Ah fields beloved in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray’d,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.186

Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green
The paths of pleasure trace;
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm, thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthral?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle’s speed
Or urge the flying ball?

While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labours ply
‘Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.

Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possest;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue,
Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer, of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light
That fly th’ approach of morn.

Alas! regardless of their doom
The little victims play;
No sense have they of ills to come
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see how all around ‘em wait
The ministers of human fate
And black Misfortune’s baleful train!
Ah show them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey, the murderous band!
Ah, tell them they are men!187

These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that sculks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow’s piercing dart.

Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try
And hard Unkindness’ alter’d eye,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.

Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A griesly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.

To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemn’d alike to groan;
The tender for another’s pain,
Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more;—where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.

T. Gray

188


CC
THE SHRUBBERY

O happy shades! to me unblest!
Friendly to peace, but not to me!
How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree!

This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze,
Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if anything could please.

But fix’d unalterable Care
Foregoes not what she feels within,
Shows the same sadness everywhere,
And slights the season and the scene.

For all that pleased in wood or lawn
While Peace possess’d these silent bowers,
Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.

The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley, musing, slow,
They seek like me the secret shade,
But not, like me, to nourish woe!

Me, fruitful scenes and prospects waste
Alike admonish not to roam;
These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.

W. Cowper


CCI
HYMN TO ADVERSITY

Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and torturing hour
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.189

When first thy Sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design’d,
To thee he gave the heavenly birth
And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern, rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore;
What sorrow was, thou bad’st her know,
And from her own she learn’d to melt at others’ woe.

Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly’s idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer friend, the flattering foe;
By vain Prosperity received,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.

Wisdom in sable garb array’d
Immersed in rapturous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the general friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.

Oh! gently on thy suppliant’s head
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
With screaming Horror’s funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty;—

Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart.
The generous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are to feel, and know myself a Man.

T. Gray

190


CCII

THE SOLITUDE OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK

I am monarch of all I survey;
My right there is none to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O Solitude! where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.

I am out of humanity’s reach,
I must finish my journey alone,
Never hear the sweet music of speech;
I start at the sound of my own.
The beasts that roam over the plain
My form with indifference see;
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.

Society, Friendship, and Love
Divinely bestow’d upon man,
Oh, had I the wings of a dove
How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage
In the ways of religion and truth,
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And be cheer’d by the sallies of youth.

Ye winds that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial endearing report
Of a land I shall visit no more:
My friends, do they now and then send
A wish or a thought after me?
O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.191

How fleet is a glance of the mind!
Compared with the speed of its flight,
The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-wingéd arrows of light.
When I think of my own native land
In a moment I seem to be there;
But alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.

But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
Even here is a season of rest,
And I to my cabin repair.
There’s mercy in every place,
And mercy, encouraging thought!
Gives even affliction a grace
And reconciles man to his lot.

W. Cowper


CCIII
TO MARY UNWIN

Mary! I want a lyre with other strings,
Such aid from Heaven as some have feign’d they drew,
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new
And undebased by praise of meaner things,

That ere through age or woe I shed my wings
I may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true,
And that immortalizes whom it sings:—

But thou hast little need. There is a Book
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
On which the eyes of God not rarely look,

A chronicle of actions just and bright—
There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine;
And since thou own’st that praise, I spare thee mine.

W. Cowper

192


CCIV
TO THE SAME

The twentieth year is well-nigh past
Since first our sky was overcast;
Ah would that this might be the last!
My Mary!

Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow—
‘Twas my distress that brought thee low,
My Mary!

Thy needles, once a shining store,
For my sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disused, and shine no more;
My Mary!

For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
The same kind office for me still,
Thy sight now seconds not thy will,
My Mary!

But well thou play’dst the housewife’s part,
And all thy threads with magic art
Have wound themselves about this heart,
My Mary!

Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language utter’d in a dream;
Yet me they charm, whate’er the theme,
My Mary!

Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,
My Mary!

For could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me,
My Mary!193

Partakers of thy sad decline
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet, gently prest, press gently mine,
My Mary!

Such feebleness of limbs thou prov’st
That now at every step thou mov’st
Upheld by two; yet still thou lov’st,
My Mary!

And still to love, though prest with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,
My Mary!

But ah! by constant heed I know
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,
My Mary!

And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last—
My Mary!

W. Cowper


CCV
THE CASTAWAY

Obscurest night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roar’d,
When such a destined wretch as I,
Wash’d headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.

No braver chief could Albion boast
Than he with whom he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion’s coast
With warmer wishes sent.
He loved them both, but both in vain,
Nor him beheld, nor her again.194

Not long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay;
Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
Or courage die away;
But waged with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.

He shouted: nor his friends had fail’d
To check the vessel’s course,
But so the furious blast prevail’d,
That, pitiless perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.

Some succour yet they could afford;
And such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
Delay’d not to bestow.
But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore,
Whate’er they gave, should visit more.

Nor, cruel as it seem’d, could he
Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,
Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld;
And so long he, with unspent power,
His destiny repell’d;
And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried ‘Adieu!’

At length, his transient respite past,
His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in every blast,
Could catch the sound no more;
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.195

No poet wept him; but the page
Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,
Is wet with Anson’s tear:
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme
A more enduring date:
But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another’s case.

No voice divine the storm allay’d,
No light propitious shone,
When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,
We perish’d, each alone:
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelm’d in deeper gulfs than he.

W. Cowper


CCVI
TOMORROW

In the downhill of life, when I find I’m declining,
May my fate no less fortunate be
Than a snug elbow-chair will afford for reclining,
And a cot that o’erlooks the wide sea;
With an ambling pad-pony to pace o’er the lawn,
While I carol away idle sorrow,
And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn
Look forward with hope for Tomorrow.

With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too,
As the sunshine or rain may prevail;
And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade too,
With a barn for the use of the flail:
A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,
And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
I’ll envy no Nabob his riches or fame,
Or what honours may wait him Tomorrow.196

From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
Secured by a neighbouring hill;
And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
By the sound of a murmuring rill:
And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends may I share what Today may afford,
And let them spread the table Tomorrow.

And when I at last must throw off this frail cov’ring
Which I’ve worn for three-score years and ten,
On the brink of the grave I’ll not seek to keep hov’ring,
Nor my thread wish to spin o’er again:
But my face in the glass I’ll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow;
As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare Today,
May become Everlasting Tomorrow.

J. Collins


CCVII

Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me’s a secret yet.

Life! we’ve been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
‘Tis hard to part when friends are dear—
Perhaps ‘twill cost a sigh, a tear;
—Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night,—but in some brighter clime
Bid me Good Morning.

A. L. Barbauld


The Golden Treasury
Book Fourth

197


CCVIII
TO THE MUSES

Whether on Ida’s shady brow,
Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceased;

Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,
Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove
Beneath the bosom of the sea,
Wandering in many a coral grove,—
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoy’d in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move,
The sound is forced, the notes are few.

W. Blake


CCIX
ODE ON THE POETS

Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Have ye souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new?198

—Yes, and those of heaven commune
With the spheres of sun and moon;
With the noise of fountains wond’rous
And the parle of voices thund’rous;
With the whisper of heaven’s trees
And one another, in soft ease
Seated on Elysian lawns
Browsed by none but Dian’s fawns;
Underneath large blue-bells tented,
Where the daisies are rose-scented,
And the rose herself has got
Perfume which on earth is not;
Where the nightingale doth sing
Not a senseless, trancéd thing,
But divine melodious truth;
Philosophic numbers smooth;
Tales and golden histories
Of heaven and its mysteries.

Thus ye live on high, and then
On the earth ye live again;
And the souls ye left behind you
Teach us, here, the way to find you,
Where your other souls are joying,
Never slumber’d, never cloying.
Here, your earth-born souls still speak
To mortals, of their little week;
Of their sorrows and delights;
Of their passions and their spites;
Of their glory and their shame;
What doth strengthen and what maim:—
Thus ye teach us, every day,
Wisdom, though fled far away.

Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Ye have souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new!

J. Keats

199


CCX
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN’S HOMER

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:

—Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes

He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

J. Keats


CCXI
LOVE

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o’er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay,
Beside the ruin’d tower.

The moonshine stealing o’er the scene
Had blended with the lights of eve;
And she was there, my hope, my joy,
My own dear Genevieve!200

She lean’d against the arméd man,
The statue of the arméd knight;
She stood and listen’d to my lay,
Amid the lingering light.

Few sorrows hath she of her own,
My hope! my joy! my Genevieve!
She loves me best, whene’er I sing
The songs that make her grieve.

I play’d a soft and doleful air,
I sang an old and moving story—
An old rude song, that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.

She listen’d with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace;
For well she knew, I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand;
And that for ten long years he woo’d
The Lady of the Land.

I told her how he pined: and ah!
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another’s love
Interpreted my own.

She listen’d with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes, and modest grace;
And she forgave me, that I gazed
Too fondly on her face!

But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight,
And that he cross’d the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night;

That sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade,
And sometimes starting up at once
In green and sunny glade,—201

There came and look’d him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright;
And that he knew it was a Fiend,
This miserable Knight!

And that unknowing what he did,
He leap’d amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The Lady of the Land;—

And how she wept, and clasp’d his knees;
And how she tended him in vain—
And ever strove to expiate
The scorn that crazed his brain;—

And that she nursed him in a cave,
And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest-leaves
A dying man he lay;—

His dying words—but when I reach’d
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering voice and pausing harp
Disturb’d her soul with pity!

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrill’d my guileless Genevieve;
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng,
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherish’d long!

She wept with pity and delight,
She blush’d with love, and virgin shame;
And like the murmur of a dream,
I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved—she stepp’d aside,
As conscious of my look she stept—
Then suddenly, with timorous eye
She fled to me and wept.202

She half inclosed me with her arms,
She press’d me with a meek embrace;
And bending back her head, look’d up,
And gazed upon my face.

‘Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And partly ‘twas a bashful art
That I might rather feel, than see,
The swelling of her heart.

I calm’d her fears, and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride;
And so I won my Genevieve,
My bright and beauteous Bride.

S. T. Coleridge


CCXII
ALL FOR LOVE

O talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled:
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary—
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

Oh Fame!—if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.

Lord Byron

203


CCXIII
THE OUTLAW

O Brignall banks are wild and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there
Would grace a summer-queen.
And as I rode by Dalton-Hall
Beneath the turrets high,
A Maiden on the castle-wall
Was singing merrily:
‘O Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green;
I’d rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English queen.’

‘If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me,
To leave both tower and town,
Thou first must guess what life lead we
That dwell by dale and down.
And if thou canst that riddle read,
As read full well you may,
Then to the greenwood shalt thou speed
As blithe as Queen of May.’
Yet sung she, ‘Brignall banks are fair,
And Greta woods are green;
I’d rather rove with Edmund there
Than reign our English queen.

‘I read you, by your bugle-horn
And by your palfrey good,
I read you for a ranger sworn
To keep the king’s greenwood.’
‘A Ranger, lady, winds his horn,
And ‘tis at peep of light;
His blast is heard at merry morn,
And mine at dead of night.’
Yet sung she, ‘Brignall banks are fair,
And Greta woods are gay;
I would I were with Edmund there
To reign his Queen of May!204

‘With burnish’d brand and musketoon
So gallantly you come,
I read you for a bold Dragoon
That lists the tuck of drum.’
‘I list no more the tuck of drum,
No more the trumpet hear;
But when the beetle sounds his hum
My comrades take the spear.
And O! though Brignall banks be fair
And Greta woods be gay,
Yet mickle must the maiden dare
Would reign my Queen of May!

‘Maiden! a nameless life I lead,
A nameless death I’ll die;
The fiend whose lantern lights the mead
Were better mate than I!
And when I’m with my comrades met
Beneath the greenwood bough,—
What once we were we all forget,
Nor think what we are now.’

Chorus

‘Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there
Would grace a summer-queen.’

Sir W. Scott


CCXIV

There be none of Beauty’s daughters
With a magic like Thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean’s pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull’d winds seem dreaming:205

And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o’er the deep,
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant’s asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer’s ocean.

Lord Byron


CCXV
THE INDIAN SERENADE

I arise from dreams of Thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me—who knows how?
To thy chamber-window, Sweet!

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream—
The champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale’s complaint
It dies upon her heart,
As I must die on thine
O belovéd as thou art!

Oh lift me from the grass!
I die, I faint, I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast;
Oh! press it close to thine again
Where it will break at last.

P. B. Shelley

206


CCXVI

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o’er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o’er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

Lord Byron


CCXVII

She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like Twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty;
A countenance in which did meet207
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food,
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death:
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann’d
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel-light.

W. Wordsworth


CCXVIII

She is not fair to outward view
As many maidens be;
Her loveliness I never knew
Until she smiled on me.
O then I saw her eye was bright,
A well of love, a spring of light.

But now her looks are coy and cold,
To mine they ne’er reply,
And yet I cease not to behold
The love-light in her eye:
Her very frowns are fairer far
Than smiles of other maidens are.

H. Coleridge

208


CCXIX

I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden;
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
Ever to burthen thine.

I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion;
Thou needest not fear mine;
Innocent is the heart’s devotion
With which I worship thine.

P. B. Shelley


CCXX

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove;
A maid whom there were none to praise,
And very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the eye!
—Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

W. Wordsworth


CCXXI

I travell’d among unknown men
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.209

‘Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherish’d turn’d her wheel
Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings show’d, thy nights conceal’d
The bowers where Lucy play’d;
And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy’s eyes survey’d.

W. Wordsworth


CCXXII
THE EDUCATION OF NATURE

Three years she grew in sun and shower;
Then Nature said, ‘A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown:
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own.

‘Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

‘She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And her’s shall be the breathing balm,
And her’s the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.210

‘The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Ev’n in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden’s form
By silent sympathy.

‘The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

‘And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell.’

Thus Nature spake—The work was done—
How soon my Lucy’s race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.

W. Wordsworth


CCXXIII

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seem’d a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Roll’d round in earth’s diurnal course
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

W. Wordsworth

211


CCXXIV
A LOST LOVE

I meet thy pensive, moonlight face;
Thy thrilling voice I hear;
And former hours and scenes retrace,
Too fleeting, and too dear!

Then sighs and tears flow fast and free,
Though none is nigh to share;
And life has nought beside for me
So sweet as this despair.

There are crush’d hearts that will not break;
And mine, methinks, is one;
Or thus I should not weep and wake,
And thou to slumber gone.

I little thought it thus could be
In days more sad and fair—
That earth could have a place for me,
And thou no longer there.

Yet death cannot our hearts divide,
Or make thee less my own:
‘Twere sweeter sleeping at thy side
Than watching here alone.

Yet never, never can we part,
While Memory holds her reign:
Thine, thine is still this wither’d heart
Till we shall meet again.

H. F. Lyte


CCXXV
LORD ULLIN’S DAUGHTER

A Chieftain to the Highlands bound
Cries ‘Boatman, do not tarry!
And I’ll give thee a silver pound
To row us o’er the ferry!’212

‘Now who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,
This dark and stormy water?’
‘O I’m the chief of Ulva’s isle,
And this, Lord Ullin’s daughter.

‘And fast before her father’s men
Three days we’ve fled together,
For should he find us in the glen,
My blood would stain the heather.

‘His horsemen hard behind us ride—
Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride,
When they have slain her lover?’

Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,
‘I’ll go, my chief, I’m ready:
It is not for your silver bright,
But for your winsome lady:—

‘And by my word! the bonny bird
In danger shall not tarry;
So though the waves are raging white
I’ll row you o’er the ferry.’

By this the storm grew loud apace,
The water-wraith was shrieking;
And in the scowl of Heaven each face
Grew dark as they were speaking.

But still as wilder blew the wind,
And as the night grew drearer,
Adown the glen rode arméd men,
Their trampling sounded nearer.

‘O haste thee, haste!’ the lady cries,
‘Though tempests round us gather;
I’ll meet the raging of the skies,
But not an angry father.’

The boat has left a stormy land,
A stormy sea before her,—
When, oh! too strong for human hand
The tempest gather’d o’er her.213

And still they row’d amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing:
Lord Ullin reach’d that fatal shore,—
His wrath was changed to wailing.

For, sore dismay’d, through storm and shade
His child he did discover:—
One lovely hand she stretch’d for aid,
And one was round her lover.

‘Come back! come back!’ he cried in grief
‘Across this stormy water:
And I’ll forgive your Highland chief,
My daughter!—Oh, my daughter!’

‘Twas vain: the loud waves lash’d the shore,
Return or aid preventing:
The waters wild went o’er his child,
And he was left lamenting.

T. Campbell


CCXXVI
LUCY GRAY

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
And when I cross’d the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,
The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

‘To-night will be a stormy night—
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, Child, to light
Your mother through the snow.’214

‘That, Father! will I gladly do:
‘Tis scarcely afternoon—
The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon!’

At this the father raised his hook,
And snapp’d a faggot-band;
He plied his work;—and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe:
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:
She wander’d up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb:
But never reach’d the town.

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlook’d the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood
A furlong from their door.

They wept—and, turning homeward, cried
‘In heaven we all shall meet!’
—When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy’s feet.

Then downwards from the steep hill’s edge
They track’d the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone-wall:

And then an open field they cross’d:
The marks were still the same;
They track’d them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came:215

They follow’d from the snowy bank
Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none!

—Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

O’er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.

W. Wordsworth


CCXXVII
JOCK OF HAZELDEAN

‘Why weep ye by the tide, ladie?
Why weep ye by the tide?
I’ll wed ye to my youngest son,
And ye sall be his bride:
And ye sall be his bride, ladie,
Sae comely to be seen’—
But aye she loot the tears down fa’
For Jock of Hazeldean.

‘Now let this wilfu’ grief be done,
And dry that cheek so pale;
Young Frank is chief of Errington
And lord of Langley-dale;
His step is first in peaceful ha’,
His sword in battle keen’—
But aye she loot the tears down fa’
For Jock of Hazeldean.

‘A chain of gold ye sall not lack,
Nor braid to bind your hair,
Nor mettled hound, nor managed hawk,
Nor palfrey fresh and fair;
And you the foremost o’ them a’216
Shall ride our forest-queen’—
But aye she loot the tears down fa’
For Jock of Hazeldean.

The kirk was deck’d at morning-tide,
The tapers glimmer’d fair;
The priest and bridegroom wait the bride,
And dame and knight are there:
They sought her baith by bower and ha’;
The ladie was not seen!
She’s o’er the Border, and awa’
Wi’ Jock of Hazeldean.

Sir W. Scott


CCXXVIII
LOVE’S PHILOSOPHY

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain’d its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

P. B. Shelley

217


CCXXIX
ECHOES

How sweet the answer Echo makes
To Music at night
When, roused by lute or horn, she wakes,
And far away o’er lawns and lakes
Goes answering light!

Yet Love hath echoes truer far
And far more sweet
Than e’er, beneath the moonlight’s star,
Of horn or lute or soft guitar
The songs repeat.

‘Tis when the sigh,—in youth sincere
And only then,
The sigh that’s breathed for one to hear—
Is by that one, that only Dear
Breathed back again.

T. Moore


CCXXX
A SERENADE

Ah! County Guy, the hour is nigh,
The sun has left the lea,
The orange-flower perfumes the bower,
The breeze is on the sea.
The lark, his lay who thrill’d all day,
Sits hush’d his partner nigh;
Breeze, bird, and flower confess the hour,
But where is County Guy?

The village maid steals through the shade
Her shepherd’s suit to hear;
To Beauty shy, by lattice high,
Sings high-born Cavalier.
The star of Love, all stars above,218
Now reigns o’er earth and sky,
And high and low the influence know—
But where is County Guy?

Sir W. Scott


CCXXXI
TO THE EVENING STAR

Gem of the crimson-colour’d Even,
Companion of retiring day,
Why at the closing gates of heaven,
Beloved Star, dost thou delay?

So fair thy pensile beauty burns
When soft the tear of twilight flows;
So due thy plighted love returns
To chambers brighter than the rose;

To Peace, to Pleasure, and to Love
So kind a star thou seem’st to be,
Sure some enamour’d orb above
Descends and burns to meet with thee.

Thine is the breathing, blushing hour
When all unheavenly passions fly,
Chased by the soul-subduing power
Of Love’s delicious witchery.

O! sacred to the fall of day
Queen of propitious stars, appear,
And early rise, and long delay,
When Caroline herself is here!

Shine on her chosen green resort
Whose trees the sunward summit crown,
And wanton flowers, that well may court
An angel’s feet to tread them down:—

Shine on her sweetly scented road
Thou star of evening’s purple dome,
That lead’st the nightingale abroad,
And guid’st the pilgrim to his home.219

Shine where my charmer’s sweeter breath
Embalms the soft exhaling dew,
Where dying winds a sigh bequeath
To kiss the cheek of rosy hue:—

Where, winnow’d by the gentle air,
Her silken tresses darkly flow
And fall upon her brow so fair,
Like shadows on the mountain snow.

Thus, ever thus, at day’s decline
In converse sweet to wander far—
O bring with thee my Caroline,
And thou shalt be my Ruling Star!

T. Campbell


CCXXXII
TO THE NIGHT

Swiftly walk over the western wave,
Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear
Which make thee terrible and dear,—
Swift be thy flight!

Wrap thy form in a mantle gray
Star-inwrought;
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day,
Kiss her until she be wearied out:
Then wander o’er city and sea and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand—
Come, long-sought!

When I arose and saw the dawn,
I sigh’d for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turn’d to his rest
Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sigh’d for thee.220

Thy brother Death came, and cried
Wouldst thou me?
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmur’d like a noon-tide bee
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?—And I replied
No, not thee!

Death will come when thou art dead,
Soon, too soon—
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, belovéd Night—
Swift be thine approaching flight,
Come soon, soon!

P. B. Shelley


CCXXXIII
TO A DISTANT FRIEND

Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?

Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant,
Bound to thy service with unceasing care—
The mind’s least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.

Speak!—though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold

Than a forsaken bird’s-nest fill’d with snow
‘Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine—
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!

W. Wordsworth

221


CCXXXIV

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this!

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow;
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me—
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met:
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?—
With silence and tears.

Lord Byron

222


CCXXXV
HAPPY INSENSIBILITY

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them,
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would ‘twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passéd joy?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbéd sense to steal it—
Was never said in rhyme.

J. Keats


CCXXXVI

Where shall the lover rest
Whom the fates sever
From his true maiden’s breast
Parted for ever?
Where, through groves deep and high223
Sounds the far billow,
Where early violets die
Under the willow.
Eleu loro
Soft shall be his pillow.

There through the summer day
Cool streams are laving:
There, while the tempests sway,
Scarce are boughs waving;
There thy rest shalt thou take,
Parted for ever,
Never again to wake
Never, O never!
Eleu loro
Never, O never!

Where shall the traitor rest,
He, the deceiver,
Who could win maiden’s breast,
Ruin, and leave her?
In the lost battle,
Borne down by the flying,
Where mingles war’s rattle
With groans of the dying;
Eleu loro
There shall he be lying.

Her wing shall the eagle flap
O’er the falsehearted;
His warm blood the wolf shall lap
Ere life be parted:
Shame and dishonour sit
By his grave ever;
Blessing shall hallow it
Never, O never!
Eleu loro
Never, O never!

Sir W. Scott

224


CCXXXVII
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI

‘O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.

‘O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms!
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

‘I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.’

‘I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

‘I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She look’d at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

‘I set her on my pacing steed
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

‘She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said
“I love thee true.”

‘She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sigh’d full sore;
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.225

‘And there she lulléd me asleep,
And there I dream’d—Ah! woe betide!
The latest dream I ever dream’d
On the cold hill’s side.

‘I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all:
They cried—“La belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!”

‘I saw their starved lips in the gloam
With horrid warning gapéd wide,
And I awoke and found me here
On the cold hill’s side.

‘And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.’

J. Keats


CCXXXVIII
THE ROVER

A weary lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier’s mien,
A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green—
No more of me you knew
My Love!
No more of me you knew.

‘This morn is merry June, I trow,
The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
Ere we two meet again.’
He turn’d his charger as he spake226
Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,
Said ‘Adieu for evermore
My Love!
And adieu for evermore.’

Sir W. Scott


CCXXXIX
THE FLIGHT OF LOVE

When the lamp is shatter’d
The light in the dust lies dead—
When the cloud is scatter’d,
The rainbow’s glory is shed.
When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remember’d not;
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.

As music and splendour
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The heart’s echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute—
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruin’d cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman’s knell.

When hearts have once mingled,
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possesst.
O Love! who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?227

Its passions will rock thee
As the storms rock the ravens on high;
Bright reason will mock thee
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.

P. B. Shelley


CCXL
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH

O lovers’ eyes are sharp to see,
And lovers’ ears in hearing;
And love, in life’s extremity,
Can lend an hour of cheering.
Disease had been in Mary’s bower
And slow decay from mourning,
Though now she sits on Neidpath’s tower
To watch her Love’s returning.

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Her form decay’d by pining,
Till through her wasted hand, at night,
You saw the taper shining.
By fits a sultry hectic hue
Across her cheek was flying;
By fits so ashy pale she grew
Her maidens thought her dying.

Yet keenest powers to see and hear
Seem’d in her frame residing;
Before the watch-dog prick’d his ear
She heard her lover’s riding;
Ere scarce a distant form was kenn’d
She knew and waved to greet him,
And o’er the battlement did bend
As on the wing to meet him.228

He came—he pass’d—an heedless gaze
As o’er some stranger glancing;
Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,
Lost in his courser’s prancing—
The castle-arch, whose hollow tone
Returns each whisper spoken,
Could scarcely catch the feeble moan
Which told her heart was broken.

Sir W. Scott


CCXLI

Earl March look’d on his dying child,
And, smit with grief to view her—
The youth, he cried, whom I exiled
Shall be restored to woo her.

She’s at the window many an hour
His coming to discover:
And he look’d up to Ellen’s bower
And she look’d on her lover—

But ah! so pale, he knew her not,
Though her smile on him was dwelling—
And am I then forgot—forgot?
It broke the heart of Ellen.

In vain he weeps, in vain he sighs,
Her cheek is cold as ashes;
Nor love’s own kiss shall wake those eyes
To lift their silken lashes.

T. Campbell


CCXLII

Bright Star! would I were steadfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite,229

The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors:—

No—yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair Love’s ripening breast
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest;

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever,—or else swoon to death.

J. Keats


CCXLIII
THE TERROR OF DEATH

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piléd books, in charact’ry
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;

When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair Creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love—then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

Keats

230


CCXLIV
DESIDERIA

Surprized by joy—impatient as the wind—
I turn’d to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee—deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?

Love, faithful love recall’d thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee? Through what power
Even for the least division of an hour
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind

To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,

Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

W. Wordsworth


CCXLV

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly
To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye;
And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air
To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there
And tell me our love is remember’d, even in the sky!

Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear
When our voices, commingling, breathed like one on the ear;
And as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,
I think, oh my Love! ‘tis thy voice, from the Kingdom of Souls231
Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.

T. Moore


CCXLVI
ELEGY ON THYRZA

And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And forms so soft and charms so rare
Too soon return’d to Earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o’er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low
Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow
So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell
‘Tis Nothing that I loved so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last,
As fervently as thou
Who didst not change through all the past
And canst not alter now.
The love where Death has set his seal
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.232

The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:
The sun that cheers, the storm that lours,
Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have pass’d away
I might have watch’d through long decay.

The flower in ripen’d bloom unmatch’d
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch’d,
The leaves must drop away.
And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it pluck’d today;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.

I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow’d such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath past,
And thou wert lovely to the last,
Extinguish’d, not decay’d;
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.

As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed
To think I was not near, to keep
One vigil o’er thy bed:
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head;
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die233
Through dark and dread Eternity
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught except its living years.

Lord Byron


CCXLVII

One word is too often profaned
For me to profane it,
One feeling too falsely disdain’d
For thee to disdain it.
One hope is too like despair
For prudence to smother,
And pity from thee more dear
Than that from another.

I can give not what men call love;
But wilt thou accept not
The worship the heart lifts above
And the Heavens reject not:
The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow?

P. B. Shelley


CCXLVIII
GATHERING SONG OF DONALD THE BLACK

Pibroch of Donuil Dhu
Pibroch of Donuil
Wake thy wild voice anew,
Summon Clan Conuil.
Come away, come away,234
Hark to the summons!
Come in your war-array,
Gentles and commons.

Come from deep glen, and
From mountain so rocky;
The war-pipe and pennon
Are at Inverlocky.
Come every hill-plaid, and
True heart that wears one,
Come every steel blade, and
Strong hand that bears one.

Leave untended the herd,
The flock without shelter;
Leave the corpse uninterr’d,
The bride at the altar;
Leave the deer, leave the steer,
Leave nets and barges:
Come with your fighting gear,
Broadswords and targes.

Come as the winds come, when
Forests are rended,
Come as the waves come, when
Navies are stranded:
Faster come, faster come,
Faster and faster,
Chief, vassal, page and groom,
Tenant and master.

Fast they come, fast they come;
See how they gather!
Wide waves the eagle plume
Blended with heather.
Cast your plaids, draw your blades
Forward each man set!
Pibroch of Donuil Dhu
Knell for the onset!

Sir W. Scott

235


CCXLIX

A wet sheet and a flowing sea,
A wind that follows fast
And fills the white and rustling sail
And bends the gallant mast;
And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
While like the eagle free
Away the good ship flies, and leaves
Old England on the lee.

O for a soft and gentle wind!
I heard a fair one cry;
But give to me the snoring breeze
And white waves heaving high;
And white waves heaving high, my lads,
The good ship tight and free—
The world of waters is our home,
And merry men are we.

There’s tempest in yon hornéd moon,
And lightning in yon cloud;
But hark the music, mariners!
The wind is piping loud;
The wind is piping loud, my boys,
The lightning flashes free—
While the hollow oak our palace is,
Our heritage the sea.

A. Cunningham


CCL

Ye Mariners of England
That guard our native seas!
Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze!
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe:
And sweep through the deep,236
While the stormy winds do blow;
While the battle rages loud and long
And the stormy winds do blow.

The spirits of your fathers
Shall start from every wave—
For the deck it was their field of fame,
And Ocean was their grave:
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
Your manly hearts shall glow,
As ye sweep through the deep,
While the stormy winds do blow;
While the battle rages loud and long
And the stormy winds do blow.

Britannia needs no bulwarks,
No towers along the steep;
Her march is o’er the mountain-waves,
Her home is on the deep.
With thunders from her native oak
She quells the floods below—
As they roar on the shore,
When the stormy winds do blow;
When the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow.

The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn;
Till danger’s troubled night depart
And the star of peace return.
Then, then, ye ocean-warriors!
Our song and feast shall flow
To the fame of your name,
When the storm has ceased to blow;
When the fiery fight is heard no more,
And the storm has ceased to blow.

T. Campbell

237


CCLI
BATTLE OF THE BALTIC

Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day’s renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark’s crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand
In a bold determined hand,
And the Prince of all the land
Led them on.

Like leviathans afloat
Lay their bulwarks on the brine;
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line:
It was ten of April morn by the chime:
As they drifted on their path
There was silence deep as death,
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.

But the might of England flush’d
To anticipate the scene;
And her van the fleeter rush’d
O’er the deadly space between.
‘Hearts of oak!’ our captains cried, when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.

Again! again! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back;—
Their shots along the deep slowly boom:—
Then ceased—and all is wail,
As they strike the shatter’d sail;
Or in conflagration pale
Light the gloom.238

Out spoke the victor then
As he hail’d them o’er the wave,
‘Ye are brothers! ye are men!
And we conquer but to save:—
So peace instead of death let us bring:
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet
With the crews, at England’s feet,
And make submission meet
To our King.’

Then Denmark bless’d our chief
That he gave her wounds repose;
And the sounds of joy and grief
From her people wildly rose,
As death withdrew his shades from the day:
While the sun look’d smiling bright
O’er a wide and woeful sight,
Where the fires of funeral light
Died away.

Now joy, old England, raise!
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities’ blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light;
And yet amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep
Full many a fathom deep
By thy wild and stormy steep,
Elsinore!

Brave hearts! to Britain’s pride
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died,
With the gallant good Riou:
Soft sigh the winds of Heaven o’er their grave!
While the billow mournful rolls
And the mermaid’s song condoles
Singing glory to the souls
Of the brave!

T. Campbell

239


CCLII
ODE TO DUTY

Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove;
Thou who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost set free,
And calm’st the weary strife of frail humanity!

There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth:
Glad hearts! without reproach or blot,
Who do thy work, and know it not:
Oh! if through confidence misplaced
They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast.

Serene will be our days and bright
And happy will our nature be
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Ev’n now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.

I, loving freedom, and untried,
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust:
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferr’d
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.240

Through no disturbance of my soul
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy controul,
But in the quietness of thought:
Me this uncharter’d freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance-desires:
My hopes no more must change their name;
I long for a repose that ever is the same.

Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead’s most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face:
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
And fragrance in thy footing treads;
Thou dost preserve the Stars from wrong;
And the most ancient Heavens, through Thee, are fresh and strong.

To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee: I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
Oh let my weakness have an end!
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy Bondman let me live.

W. Wordsworth.


CCLIII
ON THE CASTLE OF CHILLON

Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
For there thy habitation is the heart—
The heart which love of Thee alone can bind;

And when thy sons to fetters are consign’d,
To fetters, and the damp vault’s dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
And Freedom’s fame finds wings on every wind.241

Chillon! thy prison is a holy place
And thy sad floor an altar, for ‘twas trod,
Until his very steps have left a trace

Worn as if thy cold pavement were a sod,
By Bonnivard! May none those marks efface!
For they appeal from tyranny to God.

Lord Byron


CCLIV
ENGLAND AND SWITZERLAND, 1802

Two Voices are there; one is of the Sea,
One of the Mountains; each a mighty voice:
In both from age to age thou didst rejoice,
They were thy chosen music, Liberty!

There came a tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou fought’st against him,—but hast vainly striven:
Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven,
Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.

—Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft;
Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left—
For, high-soul’d Maid, what sorrow would it be

That Mountain floods should thunder as before,
And Ocean bellow from his rocky shore,
And neither awful Voice be heard by Thee!

W. Wordsworth


CCLV
ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE VENETIAN REPUBLIC.

Once did She hold the gorgeous East in fee
And was the safeguard of the West; the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest child of Liberty.242

She was a maiden city, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And when she took unto herself a mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.

And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay,—
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid

When her long life hath reach’d its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade
Of that which once was great is pass’d away.

W. Wordsworth


CCLVI
LONDON, 1802

O Friend! I know not which way I must look
For comfort, being, as I am, opprest
To think that now our life is only drest
For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,

Or groom!—We must run glittering like a brook
In the open sunshine, or we are unblest;
The wealthiest man among us is the best:
No grandeur now in nature or in book

Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
This is idolatry; and these we adore:
Plain living and high thinking are no more:

The homely beauty of the good old cause
Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,
And pure religion breathing household laws.

W. Wordsworth


CCLVII
THE SAME

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,243

Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men:
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea,
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free;

So didst thou travel on life’s common way
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

W. Wordsworth


CCLVIII

When I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great nations; how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change swords for ledgers, and desert
The student’s bower for gold,—some fears unnamed

I had, my Country!—am I to be blamed?
Now, when I think of thee, and what thou art,
Verily, in the bottom of my heart
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.

For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
In thee a bulwark for the cause of men;
And I by my affection was beguiled:

What wonder if a Poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
Felt for thee as a lover or a child!

W. Wordsworth


CCLIX
HOHENLINDEN

On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow;
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.244

But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.

By torch and trumpet fast array’d
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh’d
To join the dreadful revelry.

Then shook the hills with thunder riven;
Then rush’d the steed, to battle driven;
And louder than the bolts of Heaven
Far flash’d the red artillery.

But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden’s hills of stainéd snow;
And bloodier yet the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

‘Tis morn; but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

The combat deepens. On, ye Brave
Who rush to glory, or the grave!
Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave,
And charge with all thy chivalry!

Few, few shall part, where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier’s sepulchre.

T. Campbell


CCLX
AFTER BLENHEIM

It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar’s work was done,
And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun;
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.245

She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round
Which he beside the rivulet
In playing there had found;
He came to ask what he had found
That was so large and smooth and round.

Old Kaspar took it from the boy
Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh
‘’Tis some poor fellow’s skull,’ said he,
‘Who fell in the great victory.

‘I find them in the garden,
For there’s many here about;
And often when I go to plough
The ploughshare turns them out.
For many thousand men,’ said he,
‘Were slain in that great victory.’

‘Now tell us what ‘twas all about,’
Young Peterkin he cries;
And little Wilhelmine looks up
With wonder-waiting eyes;
‘Now tell us all about the war,
And what they fought each other for.’

‘It was the English,’ Kaspar cried,
‘Who put the French to rout;
But what they fought each other for
I could not well make out.
But every body said,’ quoth he,
‘That ‘twas a famous victory.

‘My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly:
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.

‘With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then246
And new-born baby died:
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.

‘They say it was a shocking sight
After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here
Lay rotting in the sun:
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.

‘Great praise the Duke of Marlbro’ won
And our good Prince Eugene;’
‘Why ‘twas a very wicked thing!’
Said little Wilhelmine;
‘Nay ... nay ... my little girl,’ quoth he,
‘It was a famous victory.

‘And every body praised the Duke
Who this great fight did win.’
‘But what good came of it at last?’
Quoth little Peterkin:—
‘Why that I cannot tell,’ said he,
‘But ‘twas a famous victory.’

R. Southey


CCLXI
PRO PATRIA MORI

When he who adores thee has left out the name
Of his fault and his sorrows behind,
Oh! say wilt thou weep, when they darken the fame
Of a life that for thee was resign’d!
Yes, weep, and however my foes may condemn,
Thy tears shall efface their decree;
For, Heaven can witness, though guilty to them,
I have been but too faithful to thee.247

With thee were the dreams of my earliest love;
Every thought of my reason was thine:
In my last humble prayer to the Spirit above
Thy name shall be mingled with mine!
Oh! blest are the lovers and friends who shall live
The days of thy glory to see;
But the next dearest blessing that Heaven can give
Is the pride of thus dying for thee.

T. Moore


CCLXII
THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE AT CORUNNA

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corpse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light
And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollow’d his narrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone
And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him,—
But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.248

But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring:
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.

C. Wolfe


CCLXIII
SIMON LEE THE OLD HUNTSMAN

In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Not far from pleasant Ivor Hall,
An old man dwells, a little man,—
‘Tis said he once was tall.
Full five-and-thirty years he lived
A running huntsman merry;
And still the centre of his cheek
Is red as a ripe cherry.

No man like him the horn could sound,
And hill and valley rang with glee,
When Echo bandied, round and round,
The halloo of Simon Lee.
In those proud days he little cared
For husbandry or tillage;
To blither tasks did Simon rouse
The sleepers of the village.

He all the country could outrun,
Could leave both man and horse behind;
And often, ere the chase was done,
He reel’d and was stone-blind.
And still there’s something in the world
At which his heart rejoices;
For when the chiming hounds are out,
He dearly loves their voices.249

But oh the heavy change!—bereft
Of health, strength, friends and kindred, see!
Old Simon to the world is left
In liveried poverty:—
His master’s dead, and no one now
Dwells in the Hall of Ivor;
Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead;
He is the sole survivor.

And he is lean and he is sick,
His body, dwindled and awry,
Rests upon ankles swoln and thick;
His legs are thin and dry.
One prop he has, and only one,—
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village common.

Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
A scrap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.
This scrap of land he from the heath
Enclosed when he was stronger;
But what to them avails the land
Which he can till no longer?

Oft, working by her husband’s side,
Ruth does what Simon cannot do;
For she, with scanty cause for pride,
Is stouter of the two.
And, though you with your utmost skill
From labour could not wean them,
‘Tis little, very little, all
That they can do between them.

Few months of life has he in store
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ankles swell.
My gentle Reader, I perceive
How patiently you’ve waited,
And now I fear that you expect
Some tale will be related.250

O Reader! had you in your mind
Such stores as silent thought can bring,
O gentle Reader! you would find
A tale in every thing.
What more I have to say is short,
And you must kindly take it:
It is no tale; but, should you think,
Perhaps a tale you’ll make it.

One summer-day I chanced to see
This old Man doing all he could
To unearth the root of an old tree,
A stump of rotten wood.
The mattock totter’d in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour
That at the root of the old tree
He might have work’d for ever.

‘You’re overtask’d, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool,’ to him I said;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffer’d aid.
I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I sever’d,
At which the poor old man so long
And vainly had endeavour’d.

The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seem’d to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done.
—I’ve heard of hearts unkind, kind deed
With coldness still returning;
Alas! the gratitude of men
Hath oftener left me mourning.

W. Wordsworth


CCLXIV
THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES

I have had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.251

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women:
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her—
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem’d a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father’s dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces,

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

C. Lamb


CCLXV
THE JOURNEY ONWARDS

As slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look’d back
To that dear isle ‘twas leaving.
So loth we part from all we love,
From all the links that bind us;
So turn our hearts, as on we rove,
To those we’ve left behind us!

When, round the bowl, of vanish’d years
We talk with joyous seeming—
With smiles that might as well be tears,
So faint, so sad their beaming;
While memory brings us back again252
Each early tie that twined us,
Oh, sweet’s the cup that circles then
To those we’ve left behind us!

And when, in other climes, we meet
Some isle or vale enchanting,
Where all looks flowery, wild, and sweet,
And nought but love is wanting;
We think how great had been our bliss
If Heaven had but assign’d us
To live and die in scenes like this,
With some we’ve left behind us!

As travellers oft look back at eve
When eastward darkly going,
To gaze upon that light they leave
Still faint behind them glowing,—
So, when the close of pleasure’s day
To gloom hath near consign’d us,
We turn to catch one fading ray
Of joy that’s left behind us.

T. Moore


CCLXVI
YOUTH AND AGE

There’s not a joy the world can give like that it takes away
When the glow of early thought declines in feeling’s dull decay;
‘Tis not on youth’s smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast,
But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past.

Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of happiness
Are driven o’er the shoals of guilt, or ocean of excess:
The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in vain
The shore to which their shiver’d sail shall never stretch again.253

Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself comes down;
It cannot feel for others’ woes, it dare not dream its own;
That heavy chill has frozen o’er the fountain of our tears,
And though the eye may sparkle still, ‘tis where the ice appears.

Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth distract the breast,
Through midnight hours that yield no more their former hope of rest;
‘Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin’d turret wreathe,
All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and gray beneath.

Oh could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been,
Or weep as I could once have wept o’er many a vanish’d scene,—
As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish though they be,
So midst the wither’d waste of life, those tears would flow to me!

Lord Byron


CCLXVII
A LESSON

There is a Flower, the lesser Celandine,
That shrinks like many more from cold and rain,
And the first moment that the sun may shine,
Bright as the sun himself, ‘tis out again!

When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm,
Or blasts the green field and the trees distrest,
Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm
In close self-shelter, like a thing at rest.

But lately, one rough day, this Flower I past,
And recognized it, though an alter’d form,
Now standing forth an offering to the blast,
And buffeted at will by rain and storm.254

I stopp’d and said, with inly-mutter’d voice,
‘It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold;
This neither is its courage nor its choice,
But its necessity in being old.

‘The sunshine may not cheer it, nor the dew;
It cannot help itself in its decay;
Stiff in its members, wither’d, changed of hue,’—
And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was gray.

To be a prodigal’s favourite—then, worse truth,
A miser’s pensioner—behold our lot!
O Man! that from thy fair and shining youth
Age might but take the things Youth needed not!

W. Wordsworth


CCLXVIII
PAST AND PRESENT

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember
The roses, red and white,
The violets, and the lily-cups—
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birth-day,—
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.255

I remember, I remember
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ‘tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

T. Hood


CCLXIX
THE LIGHT OF OTHER DAYS

Oft in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me:
The smiles, the tears
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimm’d and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

When I remember all
The friends so link’d together
I’ve seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather,
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

T. Moore

256


CCLXX

STANZAS WRITTEN IN DEJECTION NEAR NAPLES

The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon’s transparent might:
The breath of the moist earth is light
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight—
The winds’, the birds’, the ocean-floods’—
The city’s voice itself is soft like Solitude’s.

I see the deep’s untrampled floor
With green and purple sea-weeds strown;
I see the waves upon the shore
Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown:
I sit upon the sands alone;
The lightning of the noon-tide ocean
Is flashing round me, and a tone
Arises from its measured motion—
How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion.

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Nor peace within nor calm around,
Nor that content, surpassing wealth,
The sage in meditation found,
And walk’d with inward glory crown’d—
Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure;
Others I see whom these surround—
Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;
To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.

Yet now despair itself is mild
Even as the winds and waters are;
I could lie down like a tired child,
And weep away the life of care
Which I have borne, and yet must bear,—
Till death like sleep might steal on me,
And I might feel in the warm air
My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea
Breathe o’er my dying brain its last monotony.

P. B. Shelley

257


CCLXXI
THE SCHOLAR

My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where’er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old:
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew’d
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

R. Southey


CCLXXII
THE MERMAID TAVERN

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?258

Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his Maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host’s sign-board flew away
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer’s old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new-old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

J. Keats


CCLXXIII
THE PRIDE OF YOUTH

Proud Maisie is in the wood,
Walking so early;
Sweet Robin sits on the bush,
Singing so rarely.

‘Tell me, thou bonny bird,
When shall I marry me?’
—‘When six braw gentlemen
Kirkward shall carry ye.’

‘Who makes the bridal bed,
Birdie, say truly?’
—‘The gray-headed sexton
That delves the grave duly259

‘The glowworm o’er grave and stone
Shall light thee steady;
The owl from the steeple sing
Welcome, proud lady.’

Sir W. Scott


CCLXXIV
THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS

One more Unfortunate
Weary of breath
Rashly importunate,
Gone to her death!
Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion’d so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements;
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing;
Take her up instantly,
Loving, not loathing.

Touch her not scornfully;
Think of her mournfully,
Gently and humanly;
Not of the stains of her—
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly.

Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful:
Past all dishonour,
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful.

Still, for all slips of hers,
One of Eve’s family—
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily.260

Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one
Still, and a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
Oh! it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God’s providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river,
With many a light
From window and casement,
From garret to basement,
She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver
But not the dark arch,
Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life’s history,
Glad to death’s mystery261
Swift to be hurl’d—
Any where, any where
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly,
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran,—
Over the brink of it,
Picture it—think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion’d so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!

Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,
Decently, kindly,
Smooth and compose them,
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!

Dreadfully staring
Thro’ muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix’d on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurr’d by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest.
—Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,
Her evil behaviour,
And leaving, with meekness,
Her sins to her Saviour!

T. Hood

262


CCLXXV
ELEGY

Oh snatch’d away in beauty’s bloom!
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year,
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
And feed deep thought with many a dream,
And lingering pause and lightly tread;
Fond wretch! as if her step disturb’d the dead!

Away! we know that tears are vain,
That Death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou, who tell’st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

Lord Byron


CCLXXVI
HESTER

When maidens such as Hester die
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try
With vain endeavour.
A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed
And her together.

A springy motion in her gait,
A rising step, did indicate
Of pride and joy no common rate
That flush’d her spirit:
I know not by what name beside
I shall it call: if ‘twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied
She did inherit.263

Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool;
But she was train’d in Nature’s school,
Nature had blest her.
A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind;
A hawk’s keen sight ye cannot blind,
Ye could not Hester.

My sprightly neighbour! gone before
To that unknown and silent shore,
Shall we not meet, as heretofore
Some summer morning—
When from thy cheerful eyes a ray
Hath struck a bliss upon the day,
A bliss that would not go away,
A sweet fore-warning?

C. Lamb


CCLXXVII
TO MARY

If I had thought thou couldst have died,
I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,
That thou couldst mortal be:
It never through my mind had past
The time would e’er be o’er,
And I on thee should look my last,
And thou shouldst smile no more!

And still upon that face I look,
And think ‘twill smile again;
And still the thought I will not brook
That I must look in vain!
But when I speak—thou dost not say
What thou ne’er left’st unsaid;
And now I feel, as well I may,
Sweet Mary! thou art dead!264

If thou wouldst stay, e’en as thou art,
All cold and all serene—
I still might press thy silent heart,
And where thy smiles have been.
While e’en thy chill, bleak corse I have,
Thou seemest still mine own;
But there I lay thee in thy grave—
And I am now alone!

I do not think, where’er thou art,
Thou hast forgotten me;
And I, perhaps, may soothe this heart,
In thinking too of thee:
Yet there was round thee such a dawn
Of light ne’er seen before,
As fancy never could have drawn,
And never can restore!

C. Wolfe


CCLXXVIII
CORONACH

He is gone on the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
Like a summer-dried fountain,
When our need was the sorest.
The font reappearing
From the raindrops shall borrow,
But to us comes no cheering,
To Duncan no morrow!

The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary,
But the voice of the weeper
Wails manhood in glory.
The autumn winds rushing
Waft the leaves that are searest,
But our flower was in flushing
When blighting was nearest.

Fleet foot on the correi,
Sage counsel in cumber,
Red hand in the foray,
How sound is thy slumber!
Like the dew on the mountain,265
Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,
Thou art gone; and for ever!

Sir W. Scott


CCLXXIX
THE DEATH BED

We watch’d her breathing thro’ the night,
Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life
Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seem’d to speak,
So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers
To eke her living out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,
Our fears our hopes belied—
We thought her dying when she slept,
And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came dim and sad
And chill with early showers,
Her quiet eyelids closed—she had
Another morn than ours.

T. Hood


CCLXXX
AGNES

I saw her in childhood—
A bright, gentle thing,
Like the dawn of the morn,
Or the dews of the spring:
The daisies and hare-bells
Her playmates all day;
Herself as light-hearted
And artless as they.266

I saw her again—
A fair girl of eighteen,
Fresh glittering with graces
Of mind and of mien.
Her speech was all music;
Like moonlight she shone;
The envy of many,
The glory of one.

Years, years fleeted over—
I stood at her foot:
The bud had grown blossom,
The blossom was fruit.
A dignified mother,
Her infant she bore;
And look’d, I thought, fairer
Than ever before.

I saw her once more—
‘Twas the day that she died;
Heaven’s light was around her,
And God at her side;
No wants to distress her,
No fears to appal—
O then, I felt, then
She was fairest of all!

H. F. Lyte


CCLXXXI
ROSABELLE

O listen, listen, ladies gay!
No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note, and sad the lay
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.

‘Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.267

‘The blackening wave is edged with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite,
Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.

‘Last night the gifted Seer did view
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?’

‘’Tis not because Lord Lindesay’s heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye-mother there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

‘Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide
If ‘tis not fill’d by Rosabelle.’

—O’er Roslin all that dreary night
A wondrous blaze was seen to gleam;
‘Twas broader than the watch-fire’s light,
And redder than the bright moonbeam.

It glared on Roslin’s castled rock,
It ruddied all the copse-wood glen;
‘Twas seen from Dryden’s groves of oak,
And seen from cavern’d Hawthornden.

Seem’d all on fire that chapel proud
Where Roslin’s chiefs uncoffin’d lie,
Each Baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheathed in his iron panoply.

Seem’d all on fire within, around,
Deep sacristy and altar’s pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
And glimmer’d all the dead men’s mail.

Blazed battlement and pinnet high,
Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair—
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high Saint Clair.268

There are twenty of Roslin’s barons bold—
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold—
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle.

And each Saint Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell;
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.

Sir W. Scott


CCLXXXII
ON AN INFANT DYING AS SOON AS BORN

I saw where in the shroud did lurk
A curious frame of Nature’s work;
A flow’ret crushéd in the bud,
A nameless piece of Babyhood,
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb!
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne’er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?
Shall we say, that Nature blind
Check’d her hand, and changed her mind
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finish’d pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lack’d she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons’ long workings sicken’d)
That should thy little limbs have quicken’d?
Limbs so firm, they seem’d to assure
Life of health, and days mature:
Woman’s self in miniature!
Limbs so fair, they might supply269
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock
And cut the branch; to save the shock
Of young years widow’d, and the pain
When Single State comes back again
To the lone man who, reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maiméd life?
The economy of Heaven is dark,
And wisest clerks have miss’d the mark
Why human buds, like this, should fall,
More brief than fly ephemeral
That has his day; while shrivell’d crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones;
And crabbéd use the conscience sears
In sinners of an hundred years.
—Mother’s prattle, mother’s kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne’er wilt miss:
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells, and baby clothes;
Coral redder than those lips
Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infants’ glee,
Whistle never tuned for thee;
Though thou want’st not, thou shalt have them,
Loving hearts were they which gave them.
Let not one be missing; nurse,
See them laid upon the hearse
Of infant slain by doom perverse.
Why should kings and nobles have
Pictured trophies to their grave,
And we, churls, to thee deny
Thy pretty toys with thee to lie—
A more harmless vanity?

C. Lamb

270


CCLXXXIII
IN MEMORIAM

A child’s a plaything for an hour;
Its pretty tricks we try
For that or for a longer space,—
Then tire, and lay it by.

But I knew one that to itself
All seasons could control;
That would have mock’d the sense of pain
Out of a grievéd soul.

Thou straggler into loving arms,
Young climber up of knees,
When I forget thy thousand ways
Then life and all shall cease!

M. Lamb


CCLXXXIV
THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET

Where art thou, my beloved Son,
Where art thou, worse to me than dead?
Oh find me, prosperous or undone!
Or if the grave be now thy bed,
Why am I ignorant of the same
That I may rest; and neither blame
Nor sorrow may attend thy name?

Seven years, alas! to have received
No tidings of an only child—
To have despair’d, have hoped, believed,
And been for evermore beguiled,—
Sometimes with thoughts of very bliss!
I catch at them, and then I miss;
Was ever darkness like to this?

He was among the prime in worth,
An object beauteous to behold;
Well born, well bred; I sent him forth
Ingenuous, innocent, and bold:
If things ensued that wanted grace
As hath been said, they were not base;
And never blush was on my face.271

Ah! little doth the young-one dream
When full of play and childish cares,
What power is in his wildest scream
Heard by his mother unawares!
He knows it not, he cannot guess;
Years to a mother bring distress;
But do not make her love the less.

Neglect me! no, I suffer’d long
From that ill thought; and being blind
Said ‘Pride shall help me in my wrong:
Kind mother have I been, as kind
As ever breathed:’ and that is true;
I’ve wet my path with tears like dew,
Weeping for him when no one knew.

My Son, if thou be humbled, poor,
Hopeless of honour and of gain,
Oh! do not dread thy mother’s door;
Think not of me with grief and pain:
I now can see with better eyes;
And worldly grandeur I despise
And fortune with her gifts and lies.

Alas! the fowls of heaven have wings,
And blasts of heaven will aid their flight;
They mount—how short a voyage brings
The wanderers back to their delight!
Chains tie us down by land and sea;
And wishes, vain as mine, may be
All that is left to comfort thee.

Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan
Maim’d, mangled by inhuman men;
Or thou upon a desert thrown
Inheritest the lion’s den;
Or hast been summon’d to the deep
Thou, thou, and all thy mates, to keep
An incommunicable sleep.

I look for ghosts: but none will force
Their way to me; ‘tis falsely said
That there was ever intercourse
Between the living and the dead;
For surely then I should have sight272
Of him I wait for day and night
With love and longings infinite.

My apprehensions come in crowds;
I dread the rustling of the grass;
The very shadows of the clouds
Have power to shake me as they pass:
I question things, and do not find
One that will answer to my mind;
And all the world appears unkind.

Beyond participation lie
My troubles, and beyond relief:
If any chance to heave a sigh
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my Son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end!
I have no other earthly friend.

W. Wordsworth


CCLXXXV
HUNTING SONG

Waken, lords and ladies gay,
On the mountain dawns the day;
All the jolly chase is here
With hawk and horse and hunting-spear;
Hounds are in their couples yelling,
Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling,
Merrily merrily mingle they,
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’

Waken, lords and ladies gay,
The mist has left the mountain gray,
Springlets in the dawn are steaming,
Diamonds on the brake are gleaming;
And foresters have busy been
To track the buck in thicket green;
Now we come to chant our lay
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’273

Waken, lords and ladies gay,
To the greenwood haste away;
We can show you where he lies,
Fleet of foot and tall of size;
We can show the marks he made
When ‘gainst the oak his antlers fray’d;
You shall see him brought to bay;
‘Waken, lords and ladies gay.’

Louder, louder chant the lay
Waken, lords and ladies gay!
Tell them youth and mirth and glee
Run a course as well as we;
Time, stern huntsman! who can baulk,
Stanch as hound and fleet as hawk;
Think of this, and rise with day,
Gentle lords and ladies gay!

Sir W. Scott


CCLXXXVI
TO THE SKYLARK

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

To the last point of vision, and beyond
Mount, daring warbler!—that love-prompted strain
—‘Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond—
Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
Yet might’st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing
All independent of the leafy Spring.

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine,
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam—
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home.

W. Wordsworth

274


CCLXXXVII
TO A SKYLARK

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire,
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun
O’er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven
In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight:

Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow’d.

What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody;—275

Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden
Its aerial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

Like a rose embower’d
In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower’d,
Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-wingéd thieves.

Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken’d flowers,
All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal
Or triumphal chaunt
Match’d with thine, would be all
But an empty vaunt—
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.276

What objects are the fountains
Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

With thy clear keen joyance
Languor cannot be:
Shadow of annoyance
Never came near thee:
Thou lovest; but ne’er knew love’s sad satiety.

Waking or asleep
Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep
Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now!

P. B. Shelley

277


CCLXXXVIII
THE GREEN LINNET

Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of Spring’s unclouded weather,
In this sequester’d nook how sweet
To sit upon my orchard-seat!
And flowers and birds once more to greet,
My last year’s friends together.

One have I mark’d, the happiest guest
In all this covert of the blest:
Hail to Thee, far above the rest
In joy of voice and pinion!
Thou, Linnet! in thy green array
Presiding Spirit here to-day
Dost lead the revels of the May;
And this is thy dominion.

While birds, and butterflies, and flowers,
Make all one band of paramours,
Thou, ranging up and down the bowers,
Art sole in thy employment;
A Life, a Presence like the air,
Scattering thy gladness without care,
Too blest with any one to pair;
Thyself thy own enjoyment.

Amid yon tuft of hazel trees
That twinkle to the gusty breeze,
Behold him perch’d in ecstasies
Yet seeming still to hover;
There! where the flutter of his wings
Upon his back and body flings
Shadows and sunny glimmerings,
That cover him all over.

My dazzled sight he oft deceives—
A brother of the dancing leaves;
Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves
Pours forth his song in gushes;
As if by that exulting strain278
He mock’d and treated with disdain
The voiceless Form he chose to feign,
While fluttering in the bushes.

W. Wordsworth


CCLXXXIX
TO THE CUCKOO

O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice:
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.

Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;

The same whom in my school-boy days
I listen’d to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still long’d for, never seen!

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.279

O blesséd Bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faery place,
That is fit home for Thee!

W. Wordsworth


CCXC
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-wingéd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delvéd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainéd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.280

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalméd darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a muséd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;281
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hillside; and now ‘tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

J. Keats


CCXCI
UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,—
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

W. Wordsworth

282


CCXCII

To one who has been long in city pent,
‘Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

Who is more happy, when, with heart’s content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?

Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet’s bright career,

He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E’en like the passage of an angel’s tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

J. Keats


CCXCIII
OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

P. B. Shelley

283


CCXCIV

COMPOSED AT NEIDPATH CASTLE, THE PROPERTY OF LORD QUEENSBERRY, 1803

Degenerate Douglas! oh, the unworthy lord!
Whom mere despite of heart could so far please
And love of havoc, (for with such disease
Fame taxes him,) that he could send forth word

To level with the dust a noble horde,
A brotherhood of venerable trees,
Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like these,
Beggar’d and outraged!—Many hearts deplored

The fate of those old trees; and oft with pain
The traveller at this day will stop and gaze
On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed:

For shelter’d places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,
And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed,
And the green silent pastures, yet remain.

W. Wordsworth


CCXCV
THE BEECH TREE’S PETITION

O leave this barren spot to me!
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!
Though bush or floweret never grow
My dark unwarming shade below;
Nor summer bud perfume the dew
Of rosy blush, or yellow hue;
Nor fruits of autumn, blossom-born,
My green and glossy leaves adorn;
Nor murmuring tribes from me derive
Th’ ambrosial amber of the hive;
Yet leave this barren spot to me:
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!284

Thrice twenty summers I have seen
The sky grow bright, the forest green;
And many a wintry wind have stood
In bloomless, fruitless solitude,
Since childhood in my pleasant bower
First spent its sweet and sportive hour;
Since youthful lovers in my shade
Their vows of truth and rapture made,
And on my trunk’s surviving frame
Carved many a long-forgotten name.
Oh! by the sighs of gentle sound,
First breathed upon this sacred ground;
By all that Love has whisper’d here,
Or Beauty heard with ravish’d ear;
As Love’s own altar honour me:
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!

T. Campbell


CCXCVI
ADMONITION TO A TRAVELLER

Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eye!
—The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirr’d thee deeply; with its own dear brook,
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!

But covet not the abode; forbear to sigh
As many do, repining while they look;
Intruders—who would tear from Nature’s book
This precious leaf with harsh impiety.

—Think what the home must be if it were thine,
Even thine, though few thy wants!—Roof, window, door,
The very flowers are sacred to the Poor,

The roses to the porch which they entwine:
Yea, all that now enchants thee, from the day
On which it should be touch’d, would melt away!

W. Wordsworth

285


CCXCVII
TO THE HIGHLAND GIRL OF INVERSNEYDE

Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head:
And these gray rocks, that household lawn,
Those trees—a veil just half withdrawn,
This fall of water that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake,
This little bay, a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy abode;
In truth together ye do seem
Like something fashion’d in a dream;
Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
But O fair Creature! in the light
Of common day, so heavenly bright,
I bless Thee, Vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart:
God shield thee to thy latest years!
Thee neither know I nor thy peers:
And yet my eyes are fill’d with tears.

With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away;
For never saw I mien or face
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scatter’d, like a random seed,
Remote from men, Thou dost not need
The embarrass’d look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacédness:
Thou wear’st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a Mountaineer:
A face with gladness overspread;
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred;
And seemliness complete, that sways286
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech:
A bondage sweetly brook’d, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind—
Thus beating up against the wind.

What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful?
O happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess!
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality:
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea: and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see!
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father—anything to thee.

Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place:
Joy have I had; and going hence
I bear away my recompence.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes:
Then why should I be loth to stir?
I feel this place was made for her;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old
As fair before me shall behold287
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
And Thee, the Spirit of them all!

W. Wordsworth


CCXCVIII
THE REAPER

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again!

Whate’er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,288
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.

W. Wordsworth


CCXCIX
THE REVERIE OF POOR SUSAN

At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight appears,
Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three years:
Poor Susan has pass’d by the spot, and has heard
In the silence of morning the song of the bird.

‘Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees
A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide,
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale
Down which she so often has tripp’d with her pail;
And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove’s,
The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.

She looks, and her heart is in heaven: but they fade,
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade;
The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
And the colours have all pass’d away from her eyes!

W. Wordsworth


CCC
TO A LADY, WITH A GUITAR

Ariel to Miranda:—Take
This slave of music, for the sake
Of him, who is the slave of thee;
And teach it all the harmony
In which thou canst, and only thou,
Make the delighted spirit glow,
Till joy denies itself again
And, too intense, is turn’d to pain.
For by permission and command289
Of thine own Prince Ferdinand,
Poor Ariel sends this silent token
Of more than ever can be spoken;
Your guardian spirit, Ariel, who
From life to life must still pursue
Your happiness, for thus alone
Can Ariel ever find his own.
From Prospero’s enchanted cell,
As the mighty verses tell,
To the throne of Naples he
Lit you o’er the trackless sea,
Flitting on, your prow before,
Like a living meteor.
When you die, the silent Moon
In her interlunar swoon
Is not sadder in her cell
Than deserted Ariel:—
When you live again on earth,
Like an unseen Star of birth
Ariel guides you o’er the sea
Of life from your nativity:—
Many changes have been run
Since Ferdinand and you begun
Your course of love, and Ariel still
Has track’d your steps and served your will.
Now in humbler, happier lot,
This is all remember’d not;
And now, alas! the poor Sprite is
Imprison’d for some fault of his
In a body like a grave—
From you he only dares to crave,
For his service and his sorrow
A smile to-day, a song to-morrow.

The artist who this idol wrought
To echo all harmonious thought,
Fell’d a tree, while on the steep
The woods were in their winter sleep,
Rock’d in that repose divine
On the wind-swept Apennine;
And dreaming, some of Autumn past,
And some of Spring approaching fast,290
And some of April buds and showers,
And some of songs in July bowers,
And all of love: And so this tree,—
Oh that such our death may be!—
Died in sleep, and felt no pain,
To live in happier form again:
From which, beneath heaven’s fairest star,
The artist wrought this loved Guitar;
And taught it justly to reply
To all who question skilfully
In language gentle as thine own;
Whispering in enamour’d tone
Sweet oracles of woods and dells,
And summer winds in sylvan cells:
—For it had learnt all harmonies
Of the plains and of the skies,
Of the forests and the mountains,
And the many-voicéd fountains;
The clearest echoes of the hills,
The softest notes of falling rills,
The melodies of birds and bees,
The murmuring of summer seas,
And pattering rain, and breathing dew,
And airs of evening; and it knew
That seldom-heard mysterious sound
Which, driven on its diurnal round,
As it floats through boundless day,
Our world enkindles on its way:
—All this it knows, but will not tell
To those who cannot question well
The Spirit that inhabits it;
It talks according to the wit
Of its companions; and no more
Is heard than has been felt before
By those who tempt it to betray
These secrets of an elder day.
But, sweetly as its answers will
Flatter hands of perfect skill,
It keeps its highest holiest tone
For our beloved Friend alone.

P. B. Shelley

291


CCCI
THE DAFFODILS

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:—
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought;

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

W. Wordsworth


CCCII
TO THE DAISY

With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy! oft I talk to thee
For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming Common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace
Which Love makes for thee!292

Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit and play with similes,
Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising;
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame
As is the humour of the game,
While I am gazing.

A nun demure, of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of Love’s court,
In thy simplicity the sport
Of all temptations;
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,
Thy appellations.

A little Cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next—and instantly
The freak is over,
The shape will vanish, and behold!
A silver shield with boss of gold
That spreads itself, some faery bold
In fight to cover.

I see thee glittering from afar—
And then thou art a pretty star,
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem’st to rest;—
May peace come never to his nest
Who shall reprove thee!

Sweet Flower! for by that name at last
When all my reveries are past
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet silent Creature!
That breath’st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature!

W. Wordsworth

293


CCCIII
ODE TO AUTUMN

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o’erbrimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barréd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

J. Keats

294


CCCIV
ODE TO WINTER

Germany, December, 1800

When first the fiery-mantled Sun
His heavenly race began to run,
Round the earth and ocean blue
His children four the Seasons flew.
First, in green apparel dancing,
The young Spring smiled with angel-grace;
Rosy Summer next advancing,
Rush’d into her sire’s embrace—
Her bright-hair’d sire, who bade her keep
For ever nearest to his smiles,
On Calpe’s olive-shaded steep
Or India’s citron-cover’d isles:
More remote, and buxom-brown,
The Queen of vintage bow’d before his throne;
A rich pomegranate gemm’d her crown,
A ripe sheaf bound her zone.

But howling Winter fled afar
To hills that prop the polar star;
And loves on deer-borne car to ride
With barren darkness by his side,
Round the shore where loud Lofoden
Whirls to death the roaring whale;
Round the hall where Runic Odin
Howls his war-song to the gale;
Save when adown the ravaged globe
He travels on his native storm,
Deflowering Nature’s grassy robe
And trampling on her faded form:—
Till light’s returning Lord assume
The shaft that drives him to his polar field,
Of power to pierce his raven plume
And crystal-cover’d shield.

Oh, sire of storms! whose savage ear
The Lapland drum delights to hear,
When Frenzy with her blood-shot eye
Implores thy dreadful deity—
Archangel! Power of desolation!295
Fast descending as thou art,
Say, hath mortal invocation
Spells to touch thy stony heart?
Then, sullen Winter! hear my prayer,
And gently rule the ruin’d year;
Nor chill the wanderer’s bosom bare
Nor freeze the wretch’s falling tear:
To shuddering Want’s unmantled bed
Thy horror-breathing agues cease to lend,
And gently on the orphan head
Of Innocence descend.

But chiefly spare, O king of clouds!
The sailor on his airy shrouds,
When wrecks and beacons strew the steep,
And spectres walk along the deep.
Milder yet thy snowy breezes
Pour on yonder tented shores,
Where the Rhine’s broad billow freezes,
Or the dark-brown Danube roars.
Oh, winds of Winter! list ye there
To many a deep and dying groan?
Or start, ye demons of the midnight air,
At shrieks and thunders louder than your own?
Alas! ev’n your unhallow’d breath
May spare the victim fallen low;
But Man will ask no truce to death,—
No bounds to human woe.

T. Campbell


CCCV
YARROW UNVISITED

1803

From Stirling Castle we had seen
The mazy Forth unravell’d,
Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay,
And with the Tweed had travell’d;
And when we came to Clovenford,
Then said my ‘winsome Marrow,’
‘Whate’er betide, we’ll turn aside,
And see the Braes of Yarrow.’296

‘Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
Who have been buying, selling,
Go back to Yarrow, ‘tis their own,
Each maiden to her dwelling!
On Yarrow’s banks let herons feed,
Hares couch, and rabbits burrow;
But we will downward with the Tweed,
Nor turn aside to Yarrow.

‘There’s Gala Water, Leader Haughs,
Both lying right before us;
And Dryburgh, where with chiming Tweed
The lintwhites sing in chorus;
There’s pleasant Tiviot-dale, a land
Made blithe with plough and harrow:
Why throw away a needful day
To go in search of Yarrow?

‘What’s Yarrow but a river bare
That glides the dark hills under?
There are a thousand such elsewhere
As worthy of your wonder.’
—Strange words they seem’d of slight and scorn;
My True-love sigh’d for sorrow,
And look’d me in the face, to think
I thus could speak of Yarrow!

‘O green,’ said I, ‘are Yarrow’s holms,
And sweet is Yarrow flowing!
Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,
But we will leave it growing.
O’er hilly path and open strath
We’ll wander Scotland thorough;
But, though so near, we will not turn
Into the dale of Yarrow.

‘Let beeves and home-bred kine partake
The sweets of Burn-mill meadow;
The swan on still Saint Mary’s Lake
Float double, swan and shadow!
We will not see them; will not go
To-day, nor yet to-morrow;
Enough if in our hearts we know
There’s such a place as Yarrow.297

‘Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown!
It must, or we shall rue it:
We have a vision of our own,
Ah! why should we undo it?
The treasured dreams of times long past,
We’ll keep them, winsome Marrow!
For when we’re there, although ‘tis fair,
‘Twill be another Yarrow!

‘If Care with freezing years should come
And wandering seem but folly,—
Should we be loth to stir from home,
And yet be melancholy;
Should life be dull, and spirits low,
‘Twill soothe us in our sorrow
That earth has something yet to show,
The bonny holms of Yarrow!’

W. Wordsworth


CCCVI
YARROW VISITED

September, 1814

And is this—Yarrow?—This the stream
Of which my fancy cherish’d
So faithfully, a waking dream,
An image that hath perish’d?
O that some minstrel’s harp were near
To utter notes of gladness
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!

Yet why?—a silvery current flows
With uncontroll’d meanderings;
Nor have these eyes by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary’s Lake
Is visibly delighted;
For not a feature of those hills
Is in the mirror slighted.298

A blue sky bends o’er Yarrow Vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
Is round the rising sun diffused,
A tender hazy brightness;
Mild dawn of promise! that excludes
All profitless dejection;
Though not unwilling here to admit
A pensive recollection.

Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding?
His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
On which the herd is feeding:
And haply from this crystal pool,
Now peaceful as the morning,
The Water-wraith ascended thrice,
And gave his doleful warning.

Delicious is the lay that sings
The haunts of happy lovers,
The path that leads them to the grove,
The leafy grove that covers:
And pity sanctifies the verse
That paints, by strength of sorrow,
The unconquerable strength of love;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow!

But thou that didst appear so fair
To fond imagination,
Dost rival in the light of day
Her delicate creation:
Meek loveliness is round thee spread,
A softness still and holy:
The grace of forest charms decay’d,
And pastoral melancholy.

That region left, the vale unfolds
Rich groves of lofty stature,
With Yarrow winding through the pomp
Of cultivated nature;
And rising from those lofty groves
Behold a ruin hoary,
The shatter’d front of Newark’s towers,
Renown’d in Border story.299

Fair scenes for childhood’s opening bloom,
For sportive youth to stray in,
For manhood to enjoy his strength,
And age to wear away in!
Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss,
A covert for protection
Of tender thoughts that nestle there—
The brood of chaste affection.

How sweet on this autumnal day
The wild-wood fruits to gather,
And on my True-love’s forehead plant
A crest of blooming heather!
And what if I enwreathed my own?
‘Twere no offence to reason;
The sober hills thus deck their brows
To meet the wintry season.

I see—but not by sight alone,
Loved Yarrow, have I won thee;
A ray of Fancy still survives—
Her sunshine plays upon thee!
Thy ever-youthful waters keep
A course of lively pleasure;
And gladsome notes my lips can breathe
Accordant to the measure.

The vapours linger round the heights,
They melt, and soon must vanish;
One hour is theirs, nor more is mine—
Sad thought! which I would banish,
But that I know, where’er I go,
Thy genuine image, Yarrow!
Will dwell with me, to heighten joy,
And cheer my mind in sorrow.

W. Wordsworth


CCCVII
THE INVITATION

Best and brightest, come away,—
Fairer far than this fair Day,
Which, like thee, to those in sorrow300
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
To the rough year just awake
In its cradle on the brake.
The brightest hour of unborn Spring
Through the winter wandering,
Found, it seems, the halcyon morn
To hoar February born;
Bending from heaven, in azure mirth,
It kiss’d the forehead of the earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains,
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strew’d flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.

Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs—
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music, lest it should not find
An echo in another’s mind,
While the touch of Nature’s art
Harmonizes heart to heart.

Radiant Sister of the Day
Awake! arise! and come away!
To the wild woods and the plains,
To the pools where winter rains
Image all their roof of leaves,
Where the pine its garland weaves
Of sapless green, and ivy dun,
Round stems that never kiss the sun;
Where the lawns and pastures be
And the sandhills of the sea;
Where the melting hoar-frost wets
The daisy-star that never sets,
And wind-flowers and violets
Which yet join not scent to hue
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind301
In the deep east, dim and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal Sun.

P. B. Shelley


CCCVIII
THE RECOLLECTION

Now the last day of many days
All beautiful and bright as thou,
The loveliest and the last, is dead:
Rise, Memory, and write its praise!
Up—to thy wonted work! come, trace
The epitaph of glory fled,
For now the earth has changed its face,
A frown is on the heaven’s brow.

We wander’d to the Pine Forest
That skirts the Ocean’s foam;
The lightest wind was in its nest,
The tempest in its home.
The whispering waves were half asleep,
The clouds were gone to play,
And on the bosom of the deep
The smile of heaven lay;
It seem’d as if the hour were one
Sent from beyond the skies
Which scatter’d from above the sun
A light of Paradise!

We paused amid the pines that stood
The giants of the waste,
Tortured by storms to shapes as rude
As serpents interlaced,—
And soothed by every azure breath
That under heaven is blown,
To harmonies and hues beneath,302
As tender as its own:
Now all the tree-tops lay asleep
Like green waves on the sea,
As still as in the silent deep
The ocean-woods may be.

How calm it was!—The silence there
By such a chain was bound,
That even the busy woodpecker
Made stiller with her sound
The inviolable quietness;
The breath of peace we drew
With its soft motion made not less
The calm that round us grew.
There seem’d, from the remotest seat
Of the white mountain waste
To the soft flower beneath our feet,
A magic circle traced,—
A spirit interfused around,
A thrilling silent life;
To momentary peace it bound
Our mortal nature’s strife;—
And still I felt the centre of
The magic circle there
Was one fair form that fill’d with love
The lifeless atmosphere.

We paused beside the pools that lie
Under the forest bough;
Each seem’d as ‘twere a little sky
Gulf’d in a world below;
A firmament of purple light
Which in the dark earth lay,
More boundless than the depth of night
And purer than the day—
In which the lovely forests grew
As in the upper air,
More perfect both in shape and hue
Than any spreading there.
There lay the glade and neighbouring lawn,
And through the dark-green wood
The white sun twinkling like the dawn303
Out of a speckled cloud.
Sweet views which in our world above
Can never well be seen
Were imaged in the water’s love
Of that fair forest green:
And all was interfused beneath
With an Elysian glow,
An atmosphere without a breath,
A softer day below.
Like one beloved, the scene had lent
To the dark water’s breast
Its every leaf and lineament
With more than truth exprest;
Until an envious wind crept by,
Like an unwelcome thought
Which from the mind’s too faithful eye
Blots one dear image out.
—Though thou art ever fair and kind,
The forests ever green,
Less oft is peace in Shelley’s mind
Than calm in waters seen!

P. B. Shelley


CCCIX
BY THE SEA

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.

Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouch’d by solemn thought
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:304

Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year,
And worshipp’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

W. Wordsworth


CCCX
SONG TO THE EVENING STAR

Star that bringest home the bee,
And sett’st the weary labourer free!
If any star shed peace, ‘tis Thou
That send’st it from above,
Appearing when Heaven’s breath and brow
Are sweet as hers we love.

Come to the luxuriant skies,
Whilst the landscape’s odours rise,
Whilst far-off lowing herds are heard
And songs when toil is done,
From cottages whose smoke unstirr’d
Curls yellow in the sun.

Star of love’s soft interviews,
Parted lovers on thee muse;
Their remembrancer in Heaven
Of thrilling vows thou art,
Too delicious to be riven
By absence from the heart.

T. Campbell


CCCXI
DATUR HORA QUIETI

The sun upon the lake is low,
The wild birds hush their song,
The hills have evening’s deepest glow,
Yet Leonard tarries long.
Now all whom varied toil and care
From home and love divide,
In the calm sunset may repair
Each to the loved one’s side.305

The noble dame, on turret high,
Who waits her gallant knight,
Looks to the western beam to spy
The flash of armour bright.
The village maid, with hand on brow
The level ray to shade,
Upon the footpath watches now
For Colin’s darkening plaid.

Now to their mates the wild swans row,
By day they swam apart,
And to the thicket wanders slow
The hind beside the hart.
The woodlark at his partner’s side
Twitters his closing song—
All meet whom day and care divide,
But Leonard tarries long!

Sir W. Scott


CCCXII
TO THE MOON

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,—
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

P. B. Shelley


CCCXIII
TO SLEEP

A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky:

I’ve thought of all by turns, and yet do lie
Sleepless; and soon the small birds’ melodies
Must hear, first utter’d from my orchard trees,
And the first cuckoo’s melancholy cry.306

Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth:
So do not let me wear to-night away:

Without Thee what is all the morning’s wealth?
Come, blesséd barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!

W. Wordsworth


CCCXIV
THE SOLDIER’S DREAM

Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lower’d,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpower’d,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw
By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet Vision I saw;
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.

Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array
Far, far, I had roam’d on a desolate track:
‘Twas Autumn,—and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.

I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life’s morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friends never to part;
My little ones kiss’d me a thousand times o’er,
And my wife sobb’d aloud in her fulness of heart.

‘Stay—stay with us!—rest!—thou art weary and worn!’—
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;—
But sorrow return’d with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

T. Campbell

307


CCCXV
A DREAM OF THE UNKNOWN

I dream’d that as I wander’d by the way
Bare Winter suddenly was changed to Spring,
And gentle odours led my steps astray,
Mix’d with a sound of waters murmuring
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,
But kiss’d it and then fled, as Thou mightest in dream.

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
Daisies, those pearl’d Arcturi of the earth,
The constellated flower that never sets;
Faint oxlips; tender blue-bells, at whose birth
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets
Its mother’s face with heaven-collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate’s voice, it hears.

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,
Green cow-bind and the moonlight-colour’d May,
And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine
Was the bright dew yet drain’d not by the day;
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine
With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray;
And flowers azure, black, and streak’d with gold,
Fairer than any waken’d eyes behold.

And nearer to the river’s trembling edge
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank’d with white,
And starry river-buds among the sedge,
And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,
Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge
With moonlight beams of their own watery light;
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

Methought that of these visionary flowers
I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
That the same hues, which in their natural bowers308
Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Kept these imprison’d children of the Hours
Within my hand,—and then, elate and gay,
I hasten’d to the spot whence I had come
That I might there present it—O! to Whom?

P. B. Shelley


CCCXVI
KUBLA KHAN

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where blossom’d many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail.
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reach’d the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!309

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she play’d,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

S. T. Coleridge


CCCXVII
THE INNER VISION

Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path be there or none,
While a fair region round the traveller lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;

Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.

—If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:
With Thought and Love companions of our way—310

Whate’er the senses take or may refuse,—
The Mind’s internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXVIII
THE REALM OF FANCY

Ever let the Fancy roam;
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let wingéd Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter’s night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the cakéd snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overaw’d,
Fancy, high-commission’d:—send her!
She has vassals to attend her:
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May,
From dewy sward or thorny spray;311
All the heapéd Autumn’s wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth:
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:—thou shalt hear
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reapéd corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
And, in the same moment—hark!
‘Tis the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plumed lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower
Pearléd with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celléd sleep;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down-pattering,
While the autumn breezes sing.

Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Everything is spoilt by use:
Where’s the cheek that doth not fade,
Too much gazed at? Where’s the maid
Whose lip mature is ever new?
Where’s the eye, however blue,
Doth not weary? Where’s the face
One would meet in every place?
Where’s the voice, however soft,
One would hear so very oft?312
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
Let then wingéd Fancy find
Thee a mistress to thy mind:
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres’ daughter,
Ere the God of Torment taught her
How to frown and how to chide;
With a waist and with a side
White as Hebe’s, when her zone
Slipt its golden clasp, and down
Fell her kirtle to her feet,
While she held the goblet sweet,
And Jove grew languid.—Break the mesh
Of the Fancy’s silken leash;
Quickly break her prison-string,
And such joys as these she’ll bring.
—Let the wingéd Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.

J. Keats


CCCXIX
WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING

I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What Man has made of Man.

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ‘tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp’d and play’d,
Their thoughts I cannot measure,—
But the least motion which they made
It seem’d a thrill of pleasure.313

The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What Man has made of Man?

W. Wordsworth


CCCXX
RUTH: OR THE INFLUENCES OF NATURE

When Ruth was left half desolate
Her father took another mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
Went wandering over dale and hill,
In thoughtless freedom, bold.

And she had made a pipe of straw,
And music from that pipe could draw
Like sounds of winds and floods;
Had built a bower upon the green,
As if she from her birth had been
An infant of the woods.

Beneath her father’s roof, alone
She seem’d to live; her thoughts her own;
Herself her own delight:
Pleased with herself, nor sad nor gay;
And passing thus the live-long day,
She grew to woman’s height.

There came a youth from Georgia’s shore—
A military casque he wore
With splendid feathers drest;
He brought them from the Cherokees;
The feathers nodded in the breeze
And made a gallant crest.314

From Indian blood you deem him sprung:
But no! he spake the English tongue
And bore a soldier’s name;
And, when America was free
From battle and from jeopardy,
He ‘cross the ocean came.

With hues of genius on his cheek,
In finest tones the youth could speak:
—While he was yet a boy
The moon, the glory of the sun,
And streams that murmur as they run
Had been his dearest joy.

He was a lovely youth! I guess
The panther in the wilderness
Was not so fair as he;
And when he chose to sport and play,
No dolphin ever was so gay
Upon the tropic sea.

Among the Indians he had fought;
And with him many tales he brought
Of pleasure and of fear;
Such tales as, told to any maid
By such a youth, in the green shade,
Were perilous to hear.

He told of girls, a happy rout!
Who quit their fold with dance and shout,
Their pleasant Indian town,
To gather strawberries all day long;
Returning with a choral song
When daylight is gone down.

He spake of plants that hourly change
Their blossoms, through a boundless range
Of intermingling hues;
With budding, fading, faded flowers,
They stand the wonder of the bowers
From morn to evening dews.

He told of the magnolia, spread
High as a cloud, high over head!
The cypress and her spire;
—Of flowers that with one scarlet gleam315
Cover a hundred leagues, and seem
To set the hills on fire.

The youth of green savannahs spake,
And many an endless, endless lake
With all its fairy crowds
Of islands, that together lie
As quietly as spots of sky
Among the evening clouds.

‘How pleasant,’ then he said, ‘it were
A fisher or a hunter there,
In sunshine or in shade
To wander with an easy mind,
And build a household fire, and find
A home in every glade!

‘What days and what bright years! Ah me!
Our life were life indeed, with thee
So pass’d in quiet bliss;
And all the while,’ said he, ‘to know
That we were in a world of woe,
On such an earth as this!’

And then he sometimes interwove
Fond thoughts about a father’s love,
‘For there,’ said he, ‘are spun
Around the heart such tender ties,
That our own children to our eyes
Are dearer than the sun.

‘Sweet Ruth! and could you go with me
My helpmate in the woods to be,
Our shed at night to rear;
Or run, my own adopted bride,
A sylvan huntress at my side,
And drive the flying deer!

‘Beloved Ruth!’—No more he said,
The wakeful Ruth at midnight shed
A solitary tear:
She thought again—and did agree
With him to sail across the sea,
And drive the flying deer.316

‘And now, as fitting is and right,
We in the church our faith will plight,
A husband and a wife.’
Even so they did; and I may say
That to sweet Ruth that happy day
Was more than human life.

Through dream and vision did she sink,
Delighted all the while to think
That, on those lonesome floods
And green savannahs, she should share
His board with lawful joy, and bear
His name in the wild woods.

But, as you have before been told,
This Stripling, sportive, gay, and bold,
And with his dancing crest
So beautiful, through savage lands
Had roam’d about, with vagrant bands
Of Indians in the West.

The wind, the tempest roaring high,
The tumult of a tropic sky
Might well be dangerous food
For him, a youth to whom was given
So much of earth—so much of heaven,
And such impetuous blood.

Whatever in those climes he found
Irregular in sight or sound
Did to his mind impart
A kindred impulse, seem’d allied
To his own powers, and justified
The workings of his heart.

Nor less, to feed voluptuous thought,
The beauteous forms of Nature wrought,—
Fair trees and gorgeous flowers;
The breezes their own languor lent;
The stars had feelings, which they sent
Into those favour’d bowers.

Yet, in his worst pursuits, I ween
That sometimes there did intervene
Pure hopes of high intent:
For passions link’d to forms so fair317
And stately, needs must have their share
Of noble sentiment.

But ill he lived, much evil saw,
With men to whom no better law
Nor better life was known;
Deliberately and undeceived
Those wild men’s vices he received,
And gave them back his own.

His genius and his moral frame
Were thus impair’d, and he became
The slave of low desires:
A man who without self-control
Would seek what the degraded soul
Unworthily admires.

And yet he with no feign’d delight
Had woo’d the maiden, day and night
Had loved her, night and morn:
What could he less than love a maid
Whose heart with so much nature play’d—
So kind and so forlorn?

Sometimes most earnestly he said,
‘O Ruth! I have been worse than dead;
False thoughts, thoughts bold and vain
Encompass’d me on every side
When I, in confidence and pride,
Had cross’d the Atlantic main.

‘Before me shone a glorious world
Fresh as a banner bright, unfurl’d
To music suddenly:
I look’d upon those hills and plains,
And seem’d as if let loose from chains
To live at liberty!

‘No more of this—for now, by thee,
Dear Ruth! more happily set free,
With nobler zeal I burn;
My soul from darkness is released
Like the whole sky when to the east
The morning doth return.’318

Full soon that better mind was gone;
No hope, no wish remain’d, not one,—
They stirr’d him now no more;
New objects did new pleasure give,
And once again he wish’d to live
As lawless as before.

Meanwhile, as thus with him it fared,
They for the voyage were prepared,
And went to the sea-shore:
But, when they thither came, the youth
Deserted his poor bride, and Ruth
Could never find him more.

God help thee, Ruth!—Such pains she had
That she in half a year was mad
And in a prison housed;
And there, with many a doleful song
Made of wild words, her cup of wrong
She fearfully caroused.

Yet sometimes milder hours she knew,
Nor wanted sun, nor rain, nor dew,
Nor pastimes of the May,
—They all were with her in her cell;
And a clear brook with cheerful knell
Did o’er the pebbles play.

When Ruth three seasons thus had lain,
There came a respite to her pain;
She from her prison fled;
But of the Vagrant none took thought;
And where it liked her best she sought
Her shelter and her bread.

Among the fields she breathed again:
The master-current of her brain
Ran permanent and free;
And, coming to the banks of Tone,
There did she rest; and dwell alone
Under the greenwood tree.

The engines of her pain, the tools
That shaped her sorrow, rocks and pools,
And airs that gently stir
The vernal leaves—she loved them still,319
Nor ever tax’d them with the ill
Which had been done to her.

A barn her Winter bed supplies;
But, till the warmth of Summer skies
And Summer days is gone,
(And all do in this tale agree)
She sleeps beneath the greenwood tree,
And other home hath none.

An innocent life, yet far astray!
And Ruth will, long before her day,
Be broken down and old.
Sore aches she needs must have! but less
Of mind, than body’s wretchedness,
From damp, and rain, and cold.

If she is prest by want of food
She from her dwelling in the wood
Repairs to a road-side;
And there she begs at one steep place,
Where up and down with easy pace
The horsemen-travellers ride.

That oaten pipe of hers is mute
Or thrown away: but with a flute
Her loneliness she cheers;
This flute, made of a hemlock stalk,
At evening in his homeward walk
The Quantock woodman hears.

I, too, have pass’d her on the hills
Setting her little water-mills
By spouts and fountains wild—
Such small machinery as she turn’d
Ere she had wept, ere she had mourn’d,—
A young and happy child!

Farewell! and when thy days are told,
Ill-fated Ruth! in hallow’d mould
Thy corpse shall buried be;
For thee a funeral bell shall ring,
And all the congregation sing
A Christian psalm for thee.

W. Wordsworth

320


CCCXXI
WRITTEN AMONG THE EUGANEAN HILLS

Many a green isle needs must be
In the deep wide sea of Misery,
Or the mariner, worn and wan,
Never thus could voyage on
Day and night, and night and day,
Drifting on his dreary way,
With the solid darkness black
Closing round his vessel’s track;
Whilst above, the sunless sky
Big with clouds, hangs heavily,
And behind the tempest fleet
Hurries on with lightning feet,
Riving sail, and cord, and plank,
Till the ship has almost drank
Death from the o’er-brimming deep;
And sinks down, down, like that sleep
When the dreamer seems to be
Weltering through eternity;
And the dim low line before
Of a dark and distant shore
Still recedes, as ever still
Longing with divided will,
But no power to seek or shun,
He is ever drifted on
O’er the unreposing wave,
To the haven of the grave.

Ah, many flowering islands lie
In the waters of wide Agony:
To such a one this morn was led
My bark, by soft winds piloted.
—‘Mid the mountains Euganean
I stood listening to the paean
With which the legion’d rooks did hail
The Sun’s uprise majestical:
Gathering round with wings all hoar,
Through the dewy mist they soar321
Like gray shades, till the eastern heaven
Bursts; and then,—as clouds of even
Fleck’d with fire and azure, lie
In the unfathomable sky,—
So their plumes of purple grain
Starr’d with drops of golden rain
Gleam above the sunlight woods,
As in silent multitudes
On the morning’s fitful gale
Through the broken mist they sail;
And the vapours cloven and gleaming
Follow down the dark steep streaming,
Till all is bright, and clear, and still
Round the solitary hill.

Beneath is spread like a green sea
The waveless plain of Lombardy,
Bounded by the vaporous air,
Islanded by cities fair;
Underneath Day’s azure eyes,
Ocean’s nursling, Venice lies,—
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite’s destined halls,
Which her hoary sire now paves
With his blue and beaming waves.
Lo! the sun upsprings behind,
Broad, red, radiant, half-reclined
On the level quivering line
Of the waters crystalline;
And before that chasm of light,
As within a furnace bright,
Column, tower, and dome, and spire,
Shine like obelisks of fire,
Pointing with inconstant motion
From the altar of dark ocean
To the sapphire-tinted skies;
As the flames of sacrifice
From the marble shrines did rise
As to pierce the dome of gold
Where Apollo spoke of old.

Sun-girt City! thou hast been
Ocean’s child, and then his queen;322
Now is come a darker day,
And thou soon must be his prey,
If the power that raised thee here
Hallow so thy watery bier.
A less drear ruin then than now,
With thy conquest-branded brow
Stooping to the slave of slaves
From thy throne among the waves
Wilt thou be,—when the sea-mew
Flies, as once before if flew,
O’er thine isles depopulate,
And all is in its ancient state,
Save where many a palace-gate
With green sea-flowers overgrown
Like a rock of ocean’s own,
Topples o’er the abandon’d sea
As the tides change sullenly.
The fisher on his watery way
Wandering at the close of day,
Will spread his sail and seize his oar
Till he pass the gloomy shore,
Lest thy dead should, from their sleep,
Bursting o’er the starlight deep,
Lead a rapid masque of death
O’er the waters of his path.

Noon descends around me now:
‘Tis the noon of autumn’s glow,
When a soft and purple mist
Like a vaporous amethyst,
Or an air-dissolvéd star
Mingling light and fragrance, far
From the curved horizon’s bound
To the point of heaven’s profound,
Fills the overflowing sky;
And the plains that silent lie
Underneath; the leaves unsodden
Where the infant Frost has trodden
With his morning-wingéd feet
Whose bright print is gleaming yet;
And the red and golden vines
Piercing with their trellised lines323
The rough, dark-skirted wilderness;
The dun and bladed grass no less,
Pointing from this hoary tower
In the windless air; the flower
Glimmering at my feet; the line
Of the olive-sandall’d Apennine
In the south dimly islanded;
And the Alps, whose snows are spread
High between the clouds and sun;
And of living things each one;
And my spirit, which so long
Darken’d this swift stream of song,—
Interpenetrated lie
By the glory of the sky;
Be it love, light, harmony,
Odour, or the soul of all
Which from heaven like dew doth fall,
Or the mind which feeds this verse,
Peopling the lone universe.

Noon descends, and after noon
Autumn’s evening meets me soon,
Leading the infantine moon
And that one star, which to her
Almost seems to minister
Half the crimson light she brings
From the sunset’s radiant springs:
And the soft dreams of the morn
(Which like wingéd winds had borne
To that silent isle, which lies
‘Mid remember’d agonies,
The frail bark of this lone being),
Pass, to other sufferers fleeing,
And its ancient pilot, Pain,
Sits beside the helm again.

Other flowering isles must be
In the sea of Life and Agony:
Other spirits float and flee
O’er that gulf: Ev’n now, perhaps,
On some rock the wild wave wraps,
With folded wings they waiting sit324
For my bark, to pilot it
To some calm and blooming cove;
Where for me, and those I love,
May a windless bower be built,
Far from passion, pain, and guilt,
In a dell ‘mid lawny hills
Which the wild sea-murmur fills,
And soft sunshine, and the sound
Of old forests echoing round,
And the light and smell divine
Of all flowers that breathe and shine.
—We may live so happy there,
That the Spirits of the Air
Envying us, may ev’n entice
To our healing paradise
The polluting multitude:
But their rage would be subdued
By that clime divine and calm,
And the winds whose wings rain balm
On the uplifted soul, and leaves
Under which the bright sea heaves;
While each breathless interval
In their whisperings musical
The inspired soul supplies
With its own deep melodies;
And the Love which heals all strife
Circling, like the breath of life,
All things in that sweet abode
With its own mild brotherhood:—
They, not it, would change; and soon
Every sprite beneath the moon
Would repent its envy vain,
And the Earth grow young again.

P. B. Shelley

325


CCCXXII
ODE TO THE WEST WIND

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The wingéd seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and Preserver; Hear, oh hear!

Thou on whose stream, ‘mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of heaven and ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning! there are spread
On the blue surface of thine airy surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Maenad, ev’n from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height—
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst: Oh hear!

Thou who didst waken from his summer-dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull’d by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss, and flowers326
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear
And tremble and despoil themselves: Oh hear!

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than Thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem’d a vision,—I would ne’er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud.

Make me thy lyre, ev’n as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like wither’d leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

P. B. Shelley

327


CCCXXIII
NATURE AND THE POET

Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle in a Storm, painted by Sir George Beaumont

I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged Pile!
Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee:
I saw thee every day; and all the while
Thy Form was sleeping on a glassy sea.

So pure the sky, so quiet was the air!
So like, so very like, was day to day!
Whene’er I look’d, thy image still was there;
It trembled, but it never pass’d away.

How perfect was the calm! It seem’d no sleep,
No mood, which season takes away, or brings:
I could have fancied that the mighty Deep
Was even the gentlest of all gentle things.

Ah! then—if mine had been the painter’s hand
To express what then I saw; and add the gleam,
The light that never was on sea or land,
The consecration, and the Poet’s dream,—

I would have planted thee, thou hoary pile,
Amid a world how different from this!
Beside a sea that could not cease to smile;
On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss.

Thou shouldst have seem’d a treasure-house divine
Of peaceful years; a chronicle of heaven;—
Of all the sunbeams that did ever shine
The very sweetest had to thee been given.

A picture had it been of lasting ease,
Elysian quiet, without toil or strife;
No motion but the moving tide; a breeze;
Or merely silent Nature’s breathing life.328

Such, in the fond illusion of my heart,
Such picture would I at that time have made;
And seen the soul of truth in every part,
A steadfast peace that might not be betray’d.

So once it would have been,—‘tis so no more;
I have submitted to a new control:
A power is gone, which nothing can restore;
A deep distress hath humanized my soul.

Not for a moment could I now behold
A smiling sea, and be what I have been:
The feeling of my loss will ne’er be old;
This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.

Then, Beaumont, Friend! who would have been the friend
If he had lived, of Him whom I deplore,
This work of thine I blame not, but commend;
This sea in anger, and that dismal shore.

O ‘tis a passionate work!—yet wise and well,
Well chosen is the spirit that is here;
That hulk which labours in the deadly swell,
This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear!

And this huge Castle, standing here sublime,
I love to see the look with which it braves,
—Cased in the unfeeling armour of old time—
The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves.

—Farewell, farewell the heart that lives alone,
Housed in a dream, at distance from the Kind!
Such happiness, wherever it be known,
Is to be pitied; for ‘tis surely blind.

But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer,
And frequent sights of what is to be borne!
Such sights, or worse, as are before me here:—
Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.

W. Wordsworth

329


CCCXXIV
THE POET’S DREAM

On a Poet’s lips I slept
Dreaming like a love-adept
In the sound his breathing kept;
Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses,
But feeds on the aërial kisses
Of shapes that haunt Thought’s wildernesses.
He will watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom,
Nor heed nor see what things they be—
But from these create he can
Forms more real than living Man,
Nurslings of Immortality!

P. B. Shelley


CCCXXV
GLEN-ALMAIN, THE NARROW GLEN

In this still place, remote from men,
Sleeps Ossian, in the Narrow Glen;
In this still place, where murmurs on
But one meek streamlet, only one:
He sang of battles, and the breath
Of stormy war, and violent death;
And should, methinks, when all was past,
Have rightfully been laid at last
Where rocks were rudely heap’d, and rent
As by a spirit turbulent;
Where sights were rough, and sounds were wild,
And everything unreconciled;
In some complaining, dim retreat,
For fear and melancholy meet;
But this is calm; there cannot be
A more entire tranquillity.330

Does then the Bard sleep here indeed?
Or is it but a groundless creed?
What matters it?—I blame them not
Whose fancy in this lonely spot
Was moved; and in such way express’d
Their notion of its perfect rest.
A convent, even a hermit’s cell,
Would break the silence of this Dell:
It is not quiet, is not ease;
But something deeper far than these;
The separation that is here
Is of the grave; and of austere
Yet happy feelings of the dead:
And, therefore, was it rightly said
That Ossian, last of all his race!
Lies buried in this lonely place.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXXVI

The World is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours
And are up-gather’d now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn,—
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathéd horn.

W. Wordsworth

331


CCCXXVII

WITHIN KING’S COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE

Tax not the royal Saint with vain expense,
With ill-match’d aims the Architect who plann’d
(Albeit labouring for a scanty band
Of white-robed Scholars only) this immense

And glorious work of fine intelligence!
—Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more:—
So deem’d the man who fashion’d for the sense

These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scoop’d into ten thousand cells
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells

Lingering—and wandering on as loth to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXXVIII
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempé or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave332
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unweariéd,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

J. Keats

333


CCCXXIX
YOUTH AND AGE

Verse, a breeze ‘mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee—
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
When I was young?—Ah, woful when!
Ah! for the change ‘twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands
How lightly then it flash’d along:
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in’t together.

Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O! the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth’s no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
‘Tis known that Thou and I were one,
I’ll think it but a a fond conceit—
It cannot be, that Thou art gone!
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll’d:—
And thou wert aye a masker bold!
What strange disguise hast now put on
To make believe that Thou art gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this alter’d size:
But Springtide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but Thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.334

Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life’s a warning
That only serves to make us grieve
When we are old:
—That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest
That may not rudely be dismist,
Yet hath out-stay’d his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.

S. T. Coleridge


CCCXXX
THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS

We walked along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun;
And Matthew stopp’d, he look’d, and said
‘The will of God be done!’

A village schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering gray;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.

And on that morning, through the grass
And by the steaming rills
We travell’d merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.

‘Our work,’ said I, ‘was well begun;
Then, from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought?’

A second time did Matthew stop;
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top,
To me he made reply:335

‘Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this, which I have left
Full thirty years behind.

‘And just above yon slope of corn
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky that April morn,
Of this the very brother.

‘With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And to the church-yard come, stopp’d short
Beside my daughter’s grave.

‘Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale;
And then she sang,—she would have been
A very nightingale.

‘Six feet in earth my Emma lay;
And yet I loved her more—
For so it seem’d,—than till that day
I e’er had loved before.

‘And turning from her grave, I met,
Beside the churchyard yew,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.

‘A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!

‘No fountain from its rocky cave
E’er tripp’d with foot so free;
She seem’d as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.

‘There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine;
I look’d at her, and look’d again:
And did not wish her mine!’336

—Matthew is in his grave, yet now
Methinks I see him stand
As at that moment, with a bough
Of wilding in his hand.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXXXI
THE FOUNTAIN

A Conversation

We talk’d with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true,
A pair of friends, though I was young,
And Matthew seventy-two.

We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat;
And from the turf a fountain broke
And gurgled at our feet.

‘Now, Matthew!’ said I, ‘let us match
This water’s pleasant tune
With some old border-song, or catch
That suits a summer’s noon;

‘Or of the church-clock and the chimes
Sing here beneath the shade
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
Which you last April made!’

In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath the tree;
And thus the dear old man replied,
The gray-hair’d man of glee:

‘No check, no stay, this Streamlet fears,
How merrily it goes!
‘Twill murmur on a thousand years
And flow as now it flows.337

‘And here, on this delightful day,
I cannot choose but think
How oft, a vigorous man, I lay
Beside this fountain’s brink.

‘My eyes are dim with childish tears,
My heart is idly stirr’d,
For the same sound is in my ears
Which in those days I heard.

‘Thus fares it still in our decay:
And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what Age takes away,
Than what it leaves behind.

‘The blackbird amid leafy trees,
The lark above the hill,
Let loose their carols when they please,
Are quiet when they will.

‘With Nature never do they wage
A foolish strife; they see
A happy youth, and their old age
Is beautiful and free:

‘But we are press’d by heavy laws;
And often, glad no more,
We wear a face of joy, because
We have been glad of yore.

‘If there be one who need bemoan
His kindred laid in earth,
The household hearts that were his own,—
It is the man of mirth.

‘My days, my friend, are almost gone,
My life has been approved,
And many love me; but by none
Am I enough beloved.’

‘Now both himself and me he wrongs,
The man who thus complains!
I live and sing my idle songs
Upon these happy plains:338

‘And Matthew, for thy children dead
I’ll be a son to thee!’
At this he grasp’d my hand and said,
‘Alas! that cannot be.’

—We rose up from the fountain-side;
And down the smooth descent
Of the green sheep-track did we glide;
And through the wood we went;

And ere we came to Leonard’s rock
He sang those witty rhymes
About the crazy old church-clock,
And the bewilder’d chimes.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXXXII
THE RIVER OF LIFE

The more we live, more brief appear
Our life’s succeeding stages:
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.

The gladsome current of our youth,
Ere passion yet disorders,
Steals lingering like a river smooth
Along its grassy borders.

But as the care-worn cheek grows wan,
And sorrow’s shafts fly thicker,
Ye Stars, that measure life to man,
Why seem your courses quicker?

When joys have lost their bloom and breath
And life itself is vapid,
Why, as we reach the Falls of Death,
Feel we its tide more rapid?

It may be strange—yet who would change
Time’s course to slower speeding,
When one by one our friends have gone
And left our bosoms bleeding?339

Heaven gives our years of fading strength
Indemnifying fleetness;
And those of youth, a seeming length,
Proportion’d to their sweetness.

T. Campbell


CCCXXXIII
THE HUMAN SEASONS

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:

He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring’s honey’d cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves

His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.

He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

J. Keats


CCCXXXIV
A DIRGE

Rough wind, that meanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;
Sad storm whose tears are vain,
Bare woods whose branches stain,
Deep caves and dreary main,—
Wail for the world’s wrong!

P. B. Shelley

340


CCCXXXV
THRENOS

O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more—Oh, never more!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more—Oh, never more!

P. B. Shelley


CCCXXXVI
THE TROSACHS

There’s not a nook within this solemn Pass,
But were an apt confessional for One
Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That Life is but a tale of morning grass

Wither’d at eve. From scenes of art which chase
That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
Feed it ‘mid Nature’s old felicities,
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass

Untouch’d, unbreathed upon:—Thrice happy quest,
If from a golden perch of aspen spray
(October’s workmanship to rival May),

The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!

W. Wordsworth

341


CCCXXXVII

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXXXVIII

ODE ON INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:342
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong.
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;—
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong:
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity.
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou child of joy
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy!

Ye blesséd Creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
Oh evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning
This sweet May-morning;
And the children are culling
On every side
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm
And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:—
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look’d upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,343
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother’s mind
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ darling of a pigmy size:
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnéd art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;344
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul’s immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal Mind,—
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave:
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the day, a master o’er a slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;
Thou little child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That Nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest,
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:
—Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,345
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprized:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor man nor boy
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence, in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither;
Can in a moment travel thither—
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then, sing ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We, in thought, will join your throng
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring346
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forbode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish’d one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway:
I love the brooks which down their channels fret
Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

W. Wordsworth


CCCXXXIX

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory—
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap’d for the beloved’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when Thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

P. B. Shelley



Notes

Notes

(1861—1891)349

Summary of Book First

The Elizabethan Poetry, as it is rather vaguely termed, forms the substance of this Book, which contains pieces from Wyat under Henry VIII to Shakespeare midway through the reign of James I, and Drummond who carried on the early manner to a still later period. There is here a wide range of style;—from simplicity expressed in a language hardly yet broken-in to verse,—through the pastoral fancies and Italian conceits of the strictly Elizabethan time,—to the passionate reality of Shakespeare: yet a general uniformity of tone prevails. Few readers can fail to observe the natural sweetness of the verse, the single-hearted straightforwardness of the thoughts:—nor less, the limitation of subject to the many phases of one passion, which then characterized our lyrical poetry,—unless when, as in especial with Shakespeare, the ‘purple light of Love’ is tempered by a spirit of sterner reflection. For the didactic verse of the century, although lyrical in form, yet very rarely rises to the pervading emotion, the golden cadence, proper to the lyric.

It should be observed that this and the following Summaries apply in the main to the Collection here presented, in which (besides its restriction to Lyrical Poetry) a strictly representative or historical Anthology has not been aimed at. Great excellence, in human art as in human character, has from the beginning of things been even more uniform than mediocrity, by virtue of the closeness of its approach to Nature:—and so far as the standard of Excellence kept in view has been attained in this volume, a comparative absence of extreme or temporary phases in style, a similarity of tone and manner, will be found throughout:—something neither modern nor ancient, but true and speaking to the heart of man alike throughout all ages.350

Page 2

3 whist: hushed, quieted.

Page 2

4 Rouse Memnon’s mother: Awaken the Dawn from the dark Earth and the clouds where she is resting. This is one of that limited class of early mythes which may be reasonably interpreted as representations of natural phenomena. Aurora in the old mythology is mother of Memnon (the East), and wife of Tithonus (the appearances of Earth and Sky during the last hours of Night). She leaves him every morning in renewed youth, to prepare the way for Phoebus (the Sun), whilst Tithonus remains in perpetual old age and grayness.

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l. 23 by Peneus’ stream: Phoebus loved the Nymph Daphne whom he met by the river Peneus in the vale of Tempe. L. 27 Amphion’s lyre: He was said to have built the walls of Thebes to the sound of his music. L. 35 Night like a drunkard reels: Compare Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 3: ‘The grey-eyed morn smiles,’ &c.—It should be added that three lines, which appeared hopelessly misprinted, have been omitted in this Poem.

Page 4

6 Time’s chest: in which he is figuratively supposed to lay up past treasures. So in Troilus, Act III, Scene 3, ‘Time hath a wallet at his back’ &c