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The little cloud-it floats away,
Away it goes; away so soon?
Away it passes from the moon!
Ever fading more and more, To joyless regions of the sky,
And now 't is whiter than before !
When, Lewti! on my couch I lie,
O'er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot
I know not, ask not whither! A new joy,
And gladsome as the first-born of the spring,
Playmate, or guide! The master-passion quell'd,
I saw a vapor in the sky,
Here Wisdom might resort, and here Remorse ; Thin, and white, and very high;
Here too the lovelorn man who, sick in soul, I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud :
And of this busy human heart aweary, Perhaps the breezes that can fly
Worships the spirit of unconscious life Now below and now above,
In tree or wild-flower.-Gentle Lunatic! Have snatch'd aloft the lawny shroud
If so he might not wholly cease to be, Of Lady fair—that died for love.
He would far raiher not be that, he is ; For maids, as well as youths, have perish'd
But would be something, that he knows not of, From fruitless love too fondly cherish'd.
In winds or waters, or among the rocks!
But hence, fond wretch ! breathe not contagion Hush! my heedless feet from under
here! Slip the crumbling banks for ever:
No myrtle-walks are these: these are no groves Like echoes to a distant thunder,
Where Love dare loiter! If in sullen mood They plunge into the gentle river.
He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore The river-swans have heard my tread,
His dainty feet, the brier and the thorn And startle from their reedy bed.
Make his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird O beauteous Birds! methinks ye measure
Easily caught, ensnare him, O ye Nymphs,
And you, ye Earth-winds ! you that make at morn | To see you move beneath the moon,
The dew-drops quiver on the spiders' webs! I would it were your true delight
You, O ye wingless Airs ! that creep between To sleep by day and wake all night.
The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze,
Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon, I know the place where Lewti lies,
The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bedWhen silent night has closed her eyes :
Ye, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, It is a breezy jasmine-bower,
Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. The nightingale sings o'er her head :
Chase, chase him, all ye Fays, and ellin Gnomes ! Voice of the Night! had I the power
With prickles sharper than his darts bemock That leafy labyrinth to thread,
His little Godship, making him perforce And creep, like thee, with soundless tread, Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's back I then might view her bosom white Heaving lovely to my sight,
This is my hour of triumph! I can now As these two swans together heave
With my own fancies play the merry fool, On the gently swelling wave.
And laugh away worse folly, being free. Oh! that she saw me in a dream,
Here will I seat myself, beside this old, And dreamt that I had died for care ;
Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine
Clothes as with net-work : here will I couch my All pale and wasted I would seem,
limbs, Yet fair withal, as spirits are! I'd die indeed, if I might see
Close by this river, in this silent shade, Her bosom beave, and heave for me!
As safe and sacred from the step of man
As an invisible world—unheard, unseen,
And list'ning only to the pebbly brook
That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound; 1795.
Or to the bees, that in the neighboring trunk
The tendril ringlets from the maiden's brow,
Ne'er play'd the wanton-never half-disclosed
The maiden's snowy bosom, scattering thence THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted underwood Eye-poisons for some love-distemper’d youth, I force my way; now climb, and now descend
Who ne'er henceforth may see an aspen-grove
Shiver in sunshine, but his feeble heart
Placeless, as spirits, one soft water-sun Shall flow away like a dissolving thing.
Throbbing within them, Heart at once and Eye!
With its soft neighborhood of filmy clouds, Sweet breeze! thou only, if I guess aright,
The stains and shadings of forgotten tears, Liftest the feathers of the robin's breast,
Dimness o'erswum with lustre ! Such the hour That swells its little breast, so full of song,
of deep enjoyment, following love's brief feuds ; Singing above me, on the mountain-ash.
And hark, the noise of a near waterfall! And thou too, desert Stream! no pool of thine,
I pass forth into light-I find myself Though clear as lake in latest summer-eve,
Beneath a weeping birch (most beautiful Did e'er reflect the stately virgin's robe,
Of forest-trees, the Lady of the woods), The face, the form divine, the downcast look
Hard by the brink of a tall weedy rock Contemplative! Behold! her open palm
That overbrows the cataract. How bursts Presses her cheek and brow! her elbow rests The landscape on my sight! Two crescent hills On the bare branch of half-uprooted tree,
Fold in behind each other, and so make That leans towards its mirror! Who erewhile
A circular vale, and land-lock'd, as might seem, Had from her countenance turn'd, or look'd by With brook and bridge, and gray stone cottages, stealth
Half hid by rocks and fruit-trees. At my feel, (For fear is true love's cruel nurse), he now
The whortle-berries are bedew'd with spray, With stedfast gaze and unoffending eye,
Dash'd upwards by the furious waterfall. Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes
How solemnly the pendent ivy mass Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain,
Swings in its winnow: all the air is calm. E'en as that phantom-world on which he gazed,
The smoke from cottage-chimneys, tinged with But not unheeded gazed : for see, ah! see,
light, The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks
Rises in columns ; from this house alone, The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow,
Close by the waterfall, the column slants, Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glove bells:
And feels its ceaseless breeze. But what is this? And suddenly, as one that toys with time,
That cottage, with its slanting chimney-smoke, Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm
And close beside its porch a sleeping child, Is broken-all that phantom-world so fair
His dear head pillow'd on a sleeping dogVanishes, and a thousand circlets spread,
One arm between its fore-legs, and the hand And each misshapes the other. Stay awhile,
Holds loosely its small handful of wild-flowers, Poor youth, who scarcely darest lift up thine eyes! Unfilleted, and of unequal lengths. The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon
A curious picture, with a master's haste The visions will return! And lo! he stays :
Sketch'd on a strip of pinky-silver skin, And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms
Peeld from the birchen bark! Divinest maid ! Come trembling back, unite, and now once more
Yon bark her canvas, and those purple berries The pool becomes a mirror; and behold
Her pencil! See, the juice is scarcely dried Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there,
On the fine skin! She has been newly here ; And there the half-uprooted tree-but where,
And lo! yon patch of heath has been her couchO where the virgin's snowy arm, that lean'd
The pressure still remains! O blessed couch! On its bare branch ? He turns, and she is gone! For this mayst thou flower early, and the Sun, Homeward she steals through many a woodland Slanting at eve, rest bright, and linger long
Upon thy purple bells! O Isabel ! Which he shall seek in vain. Il-fated youth!
Daughter of genius! stateliest of our maids ! Go, day by day, and waste thy manly prime
More beautiful than whom Alcæus wooed, In mad love-yearning by the vacant brook,
The Lesbian woman of immortal song! Till sickly thoughts bewitch thine eyes, and thou
O child of genius! stately, beautiful, Behold'st her shadow still abiding there,
And full of love to all, save only me, The Naiad of the Mirror!
And not ungentle e'en to me! My heart,
Why beats it thus ? Through yonder coppice-wood Not to thee,
Needs must the pathway turn, that leads straightway
On to her father's house. She is alone! O wild and desert Stream! belongs this tale :
The night draws on-such ways are hard to hitGloomy and dark art thou—the crowded firs
And fit it is I should restore this sketch, Spire from thy shores, and stretch across thy bed,
Dropt unawares, no doubt. Why should I yearn Making thee doleful as a cavern-well:
To keep the relic? 't will but idly feed
The passion that consumes me. Let me haste !
She cannot blame me that I follow'd her; This be my chosen haunt-emancipate
And I may be her guide the long wood through.
A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT.
You loved the daughter of Don Manrique ?
Relapses into blessedness, I vowd it:
Did you not say you woo'd her ?
SANDOVAL (with a sarcastic smile).
Once I loved No other than as eastern sages paint, Her whom I dared not woo!
The God, who floats upon a lotos leaf,
Dreams for a thousand ages; then awaking,
Creates a world, and smiling at the bubble,
And woo'd, perchance, Relapses into bliss.
Ah! was that bliss
Fear'd as an alien, and too vast for man?
Oh! I were most base, For suddenly, impatient of its silence, Not loving Oropeza. True, I woo'd her,
Did Oropeza, starting, grasp my forehead. Hoping to heal a deeper wound ; but she
I caught her arms; the veins were swelling on them
Through the dark bower she sent a hollow voice,
I swore, and with an inward thought that seemd
The purpose and the substance of my being, of ancient feuds pour'd curses on my head,
I swore to her, that were she red with guilt,
I would exchange my unblench'd state with hersHer blessings overtook and baffled them! But thou art stern, and with unkindly countenance
Friend ! by that winding passage, to that bower
I now will go-all objects there will teach me
Go, Sandoval! I am prepared to meet her-
Say nothing of me, I myself will seek her-
Nay, leave me, friend! I cannot bear the torment
And keen inquiry of that scanning eye-
[Earl Henry retires into the wood. Blessings gather round her! Within this wood there winds a secret passage,
SANDOVAL (alone). Beneath the walls, which opens out at length
O Henry! always strivest thou to be great Into the gloomiest covert of the garden
By thine own act-yet art thou never great The night ere my departure to the army,
But by the inspiration of great passion.
The whirl-blast comes, the desert-sands rise up
stand, Was the sole object visible around me.
As though they were the pillars of a temple, No leaflet stirr'd; the air was almost sultry;
Built by Omnipotence in its own honor ! So deep, so dark, so close, the umbrage o'er us !
But the blast pauses, and their shaping spirit No leaflet stirr'd ;-yet pleasure hung upon
Is fled: the mighty columns were but sand,
And lazy snakes trail o'er the level ruins !
TO AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN,
MYRTLE-LEAF that, ill besped,
Pinest in the gladsome ray,
Soil'd beneath the common tread,
Far from thy protecting spray!
When the Partridge o'er the sheaf
Whirr'd along the yellow vale,
Sad I saw thee, heedless leaf!
Love the dalliance of the gale.
Lightly didst thou, foolish thing!
Heave and flutter to his sighs,
While the flatterer, on his wing,
Wood and whisper'd thee to rise.
Gaily from thy mother-stalk
O give me, from this heartless scene released, Wert thou danced and wasted high
To hear our old musician, blind and gray Soon on this unshelter'd walk
(Whom stretching from my nurse's arms I kiss'd), Flung to fade, to rot and die.
His Scottish tunes and warlike marches play By moonshine, on the balmy summer-night,
The while I dance amid the tedded hay
With merry maids, whose ringlets toss in light TO AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN AT THE Or lies the purple evening on the bay THEATRE.
or the calm glossy lake, O let me hide
Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees,
For round their roots the fisher's boat is tied,
On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at ease, Like a scorch'd and mildew'd bough,
And while the lazy boat sways to and fro,
Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow,
That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears.
But 0, dear Anne! when midnight wind careers, Fearful saw his pleading look,
And the gust pelting on the out-house shed
Makes the cock shrilly on the rain-storm crow,
To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe,
Ballad of shipwreck'd sailor floating dead,
Whom his own true-love buried in the sands ! But no sound like simple truth,
Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice remeasures But no true love in his eye.
Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures
The things of Nature utter; birds or trees,
Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves,
Or where the stiff grass 'mid the heath-plant waves, Seek thy weeping Mother's cot,
Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze.
The tedded hay, the first fruits of the soil,
The tedded hay and corn-sheaves in one field, Firm thy steps, 0 Melancholy!
Show summer gone, ere come. The foxglove tall
Sheds its loose purple bells, or in the gust, The strongest plume in wisdom's pinion
Or when it bends beneath the up-springing lark, Is the memory of past folly.
Or mountain-finch alighting. And the rose Mute the sky-lark and forlorn,
(In vain the darling of successful love) While she moults the firstling plumes,
Stands, like some boasted beauty of past years, That had skimm'd the tender corn,
The thorns remaining, and the flowers all gone. Or the bean-field's odorous blooms : Nor can I find, amid my lonely walk
By rivulet, or spring, or wet road-side, Soon with renovated wing
That blue and bright-eyed foweret of the brook, Shall she dare a loftier flight,
Hope's gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not!* Upward to the day-star spring,
So will not fade the flowers which Emmeline
With delicate fingers on the snow-white silk
LINES COMPOSED IN A CONCERT-ROOM. In the cool morning twilight, early waked
By her full bosom's joyous restlessness, Nor cold, nor stern, my soul! yet I detest
Softly she rose, and lightly stole along, These scented Rooms, where, to a gaudy throng, Down the slope coppice to the woodbine bower, Heaves the proud Harlot her distended breast,
Whose rich flowers, swinging in the morning breeze, In intricacies of laborious song.
Over their dim fast-moving shadows hung,
Making a quiet image of disquiet
To melt at Nature's passion-warbled plaint ; There, in that bower where first she own'd her love,
From off her glowing cheek, she sate and stretch'd Hark the deep buzz of Vanity and Hate ! Scornful, yet envious, with self-torturing sneer
* One of the names (and meriting to be the only one of the My lady eyes some maid of humbler state,
Myosotis Scorpioides Palustris, a flower from six to twelve
inches high, with blue blogsom and bright yellow eye. It has While the pert Captain, or the primmer Priest,
the same name over the whole Empire of Germany (Vergiss, Prattles accordant scandal in her ear.
mein nicht) and, we believe, in Denmark and Sweden.
The silk upon the frame, and work'd her name
Believe me, while in bed you lay,
You made us grow devouter!
How can we do without her? Besides, what vex'd us worse, we knew, They have no need of such as you
In the place where you were going ; This World has angels all too few,
And Heaven is overflowing !
SOMETHING CHILDISH, BUT VERY
TO A LADY.
WITH FALCONER'S “SHIPWRECK."
WRITTEN IN GERMANY.
An! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams,
In arched groves, the youthful poet's choice ; Nor while half-listening, 'mid delicious dreams,
To harp and song from lady's hand and voice ; Nor yet while gazing in sublimer mood
On cliff, or cataract, in Alpine dell; Nor in dim cave with bladdery sea-weed strew'd,
Framing wild fancies to the ocean's swell; Our sea-bard sang this song! which still he sings,
And sings for thee, sweet friend! Hark, Pity, hark! Now mounts, now totters on the Tempest's wings,
Now groans, and shivers, the replunging Bark! Cling to the shrouds !” In vain! The breakers
If I had but two little wings,
To you I'd fly, my dear!
And I stay here.
The world is all one's own.
All, all alone.
For though my sleep be gone, Yet, while 't is dark, one shuts one's lids,
And still dreams on.
Death shrieks! With two alone of all his clan Forlorn the poet paced the Grecian shore,
No classic roamer, but a shipwreck'd man ! Say then, what muse inspired these genial strains,
And lit his spirit to so bright a flame? The elevating thought of suffer'd pains,
Which gentle hearts shall mourn; but chief, the
WRITTEN IN GERMANY.
Of Gratitude! Remembrances of Friend,
Or absent or no more! Shades of the Past, Which Love makes Substance! Hence to thee I send,
O dear as long as life and memory last ! I send with deep regards of heart and head, Sweet maid, for friendship form'd! this work to
thee : And thou, the while thou canst not choose but shed
A tear for Falconer, wilt remember me.
'Tis sweet to him, who all the week
Through city-crowds must push his way, To stroll alone through fields and woods,
And hallow thus the Sabbath-Day
Sincere, affectionate, and gay,
To celebrate one's marriage-day.
Who having long been doom'd to roam, Throws off the bundle from his back,
Before the door of his own home? Home-sickness is a wasting pang ;
This feel I hourly more and more : There's Healing only in thy wings,
Thou Breeze that playest on Albion's shore !
TO A YOUNG LADY. ON HER RECOVERY FROM A FEVER.
Why need I say, Louisa dear!
A lovely convalescent;
And feverish heat incessant. The sunny Showers, the dappled Sky, The little Birds that warble high,
Their vernal loves commencing, Will better welcome you than I
With their sweet influencing.
ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION. Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the
Dove, The Linnet and Thrush, say, “ I love and I love!” In the winter they 're silent—the wind is so strong, What it says, I don't know, but it sings a loud song. But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm
weather, And singing, and loving--all come back together