Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

SONNETS BY THE SKETCHER.

THOUGHTS.

Come, living Thoughts-envelope me around
With your voluminous Beings-clear away,

For ye are spirits creative, and ye may
With your ethereal presence this dark ground
Beneath, and my unburthen'd feet surround

With th' unfelt pavement of your golden way,

T'ascend from out the darkness of Earth's day,
That to the Mind's large kingdom we may bound-

To reign, if perfect will and knowledge be
To reign--and aught may reign, but God above;
Where Life, in Spiritual conception free,

Sees all is Beauty, and feels all is Love.
And, ministering Thoughts, ye come more bright
Than wings of Angels glistening in their flight.

THE CONCERT.

Last eve, a Concert gave me such high pleasure

As I can ill express-not as you think

In painted Hall- where painted warblers wink
In ecstasy of some long-dying measure,
Whose silly words bequeath no sense to treasure.

But on a primrose bank, and on the brink

Of a sweet streamlet, whence the pure leaves drink
Their fresliness, lying there in endless leisure.

I felt the boughs o'ershadow me—and closed

Mine eyes—and the quick Spirits that haunt the stream,
Each with his lyre upon my lids reposed
Then floating gently broke into my dream-
Whence in a bark, moor’d by a golden strand,

We sailed right merrily to Fairy-land.

THE GLOW-WORM.

O Gem, more precious than the thrice-tried ore,

And jewels that the cavern'd treasuries hold,
(For what rare diamond ere did life enfold ?)

Thee at her bridal hour the chaste Earth wore,
When Æther, her proud bridegroom, came, and o'er
Heaven's Archway spread his mantle, gemm'd with gold
Of Stars in all their glory manifold-
Yet deem'd Earth's bosom still adornèd more.

They call thee worm, thy love ungently name,

Whilst thou, like Hero, lightest to thy nook
Some bold Leander with thy constant flame,

Whose Hellespont may be this running brook.
O let the wise-man-worm his pride abjure,

And his own love be half as bright and pure!
VOL. XLIV. NO, CCLXXIY.

THE BEST INFANT-SCHOOL.

Nature, best Schoolmistress, I love the book

Thou spreadest in the fields, when children lie Round thee, beneath the blessing of the sky.

Thou biddest some on thy bright pictures look-
For some thou dost attune the play-mate brook ;

For thy sole Ushers are the ear and eye,
That give to growing hearts their due supply,
And cull sweet tastes from every silvan nook.

Dismiss thy Infant-school, good Mistress Starch ;
Absolve nor child nor parent from the ties
That bind with love and duty. Strut and march,
And sing-song knowledge will not make them wise.
Her scholars little know, but love and wonder more-
Nature abhors thy mimic worthless store.

THE SICK DREAM.

A wintry night :---my casement with the blast
Shook, the thin smoke from the dim hearth upcrept,
Like dew of slumber, on my lids--I slept.
Methought my Spirit, to the whirlwind cast,
Was hurl'd to vapoury caverns, thick and vast,
Through which the scourgèd ghosts, all howling, swept,
And forked lightnings pierced them as they pass'd;
And there were angels hid their eyes, and wept.
I woke, and op'd my casement, as if there
Some Spirit escaped for pity moaned loud.
No fierće blast enter'd, but a gentle air ;
And wrathful mutterings ran from cloud to cloud.
If well I did, or ill, He knoweth best
Who made my after-slumbers calm and blest.

HARMONY.

O wouldst thou give me Music, let it be

Now low and soft, in undulating motion,
Now swelling, now subsiding like the Ocean,
And, like it, wild or genıle, ever free-
But add no words- for simple melody
Flows to my heart like an enchanted potion
From Fairy hand—that would expel from me
In potency of Love all earthly notion.

O language is not for the Spirits of Air,

That sing as they awake. They hide themselves From speech and unclosed eyes-wouldst thou repair

To their loved haunts--the woods--the rocky shelves They to thy lute, beside the mountain stream, Will come to thee in Music and in Dream.

THE SUMMER OF 1838.

Ye Summer Winds, ye come upon mine ear
In the vex'd Midnight, more like Spirits unblest,
That shake the wintry drift--there is no rest.

And I am weary of this World of fear ;
Eclipse hath quench'd the beauty of the year ;

And Danger, in the darkness of the breast,

Sits breeding Fiends, that from their teeming nest Of black suggestions growl their birthright cheer.

0, on green Nature's lap to lay one's head,

And in that quiet hear no more the surge
Of men, and things, and winds; by Rivulet's bed,

That Argument of Peace doth ever urge! .. It will not be—methinks sweet Nature's dead

O come, ye gentler airs, and sing her dirge.

FATHER AND SON.

O check not, thoughtless Parent, Childhood's tear;

Let him pour out the sorrows of his breast,

And know that thou, too, feelest them, and best.
Too soon come fron days, and thoughts that sear
Young Virtue such as his ; the Child revere-

That, while his limbs enlarge with man imprest,

His little heart grow freely with the rest,
Nor learn alone one coward lesson- Fear.

Open thy heart to me, ingenuous Boy!

And know by thine own tears what 'tis to weep,
By thine own mirth how blessed to enjoy ;

Truth part thy lips, not niggard Caution keep.
Open thy heart-no narrow door for Sin,
But wide, “ that all the Virtues may rush in,"

NIGHT.

Mysterious hour, that wrappest me around

With the dark mantle of ill-boding Night;
Thou dost awake within more ghastly bright
The Mind's eye to discern the prison ground,

Where, with far worse than iron fetters bound

Its own sad thoughts-it seeks, yet loathes the sight, What lies between me and yon casement light,

Blank solitude, invisible, profound.

Yon little beam tells of a gentle Home,
Looks that the Night illume, and Love's warm breath-
Dark is the gulf between us—and this dome
Of starry Heaven wears now a pall of Death.
I stand, enclosed in nights and thoughts forlorn
But thou wilt beam on me again, sweet Morn!

THE BROOK-THE WATERS OF CONSOLATION.

Ah! well do I remember thee, sweet Brook,

How on thy margin once I did complain,

When Grief was at my heart, and in my brain ;
How thou didst pour thy song, that gently shook

The curious boughs that into thee did look;
That sometimes Pity 'twas—sometimes 'twas Pain,
And now 'twas changed to prattling sport again ;
Now low, like evening hymn from Holy book.

That Grief has left no trace_thy banks I tread-
And hear those tones that rise through all thy way,

Like Memory's Music from enchanted bed.
So when some gusty Storm bath passed away,

This little Flower uplifts its humbled head,
In thankful wonder at thy water's play.

THE LOVER'S MOONLIGHT,

I saw a Lover-on his upraised brow

The Midnight Moon had in sweet token lighted.

Then knew he that his absent Love, his plighted,
Was present-in her thought and in her vow.
Blest Creatures ! whom night-wandering Angels bow

To bless, and leave the low sunk world benighted :
Love knows no Time--for it is ever-Now!
Love knows no space-for Hearts must live united !

Blest Creatures ye! for Nature's self doth plot

Your communing, and levels this terrene,

And prostrates all it holds, as it were not ;
And lifts her lamp up in the sky serene,
That both might gaze upon one Heavenly spot,
And Love alone might live and breathe between.

THE CONTRAST.

Ungentle Love wakes Love of gentler mood,

As tenderest Pity liveth link'd to Pain.

What else shall soothe the frenzy of the brain ?
Once I remember on a cliff I stood,
And gave a name out to the winds. The Wood
Down the ravine moan'd with it to the plain

The river bore it onward to the main
That roll'd it back again in every flood.

It called the Fiends out of the passing clouds,

As they th' uprooted rocks would on me cast, And the dim wood gleamed pale with ghostly shrouds. Then Laura came—she smil'd--the Frenzy pass'd. She kneel'd to me—and laid upon her breast My aching head--and look'd me into rest.

MIDNIGHT.

Soft be thy step! Night, the meek mother, lies
In the deep bosom of the silent wood,
Around her nestled all the feather'd brood;
The sainted stars, that sentinel the skies,
Take watchword from the River Mysteries
(Whose streamlets skirt this silvan neighbourhood,
Tuning their music to their dreamiest mood),
To shed their influence on her sleeping eyes.

So some pale Abbess, in her shadowed cell

While all around her the pure sisters rest-
Blends in her dreams the organ's distant swell

And bright-eyed Angels hovering o'er her breast.
Here Heavenly Peace, and Peace on Earth combine-
Night be thy pillow too, their guarded shrine.

NOVEMBER.

She was a lusty maid, to Winter wed,
Young Winter, a fresh bridegroom-yet full soon
Came Sorrow, ere 'twas half the honeymoon;
And gusty Passion stormed-then tears she shed
And when she fain would smile, she hung her head.
Overseer Poverty, a surly loon,
Knocked at the door, and chilled their sunless noon;
Hard was their fare, and harder still their bed
Then Winter rigorous was. This ill she brooked,
And in her pinched consumption, as she bowed,
The impatient Bridegroom daily on her looked,
And soon he wrapped her in her snowy shroud ;
Then, while the winds moaned o'er her lonely grave,
He sped-and tuned his voice to many a merry stave.

INFINITY OF ART.

Say what is Art? Th'acquirement of a sense
Discoverable, dormant, incomplete-
Poetry, Painting, Music; do they cheat
The understanding with false ravishments
Of things that are not? No: when man invents
He but discovers ; and, with favoured feet,
Walks privileged where Angels pass and meet-
And bringeth back, as 'twere, the rudiments
Of their high language, that in perfect state
Of Being transformed celestial shall be ours;
With thorough knowledge to communicate,
Though there were neithor Eye nor Ear. O Powers
Illimitable!—'tis but the outer hem
Of God's great mantle our poor stars do gem.

DEATH

Time was that Death and I were bitterest foes,
And oft I pictured him with noiseless feet

Threading the busy crowds from street to street, While his fell finger touch'd and thinn'd their rows-

And still the waves of Life did round him close. And then the Tyrant left his wonted beat, Stealing 'mong children at their play, unmeet

For his strong grasp-and chill'd their verval rose.

But now methinks a kinder form he takes

The good Physician, bringing anodyne
For aching hearts—and oft his glass he shakes
To speed Life's woes, that with the sands combine.
Now, like a gentle friend, my pillow makes,
And with soft pressure lays his hand in mine.

« ПредишнаНапред »