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WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES.

SONNETS.

Bereave me not of these delightful dreams
Which charm'd my youth; or mid her gay career
Of hope, or when the faintly-paining tear
Sat sad on memory's cheek 1 though loftier themes
Await the awaken'd mind, to the high prize
Of wisdom hardly, earn'd with toil and pain,
Aspiring patient; yet on life's wide plain
Cast friendless, where unheard some suff'rer cries
Hourly, and oft our road is lone and long,
'Twere not a crime, should we awhile delay
Amid the sunny field; and happier they,
Who, as they wander, woo the charm of song
To cheer their path, till they forget to weep;
And the tired sense is hush'd and sinks to sleep.
Languid and sad, and slow, from day to day
Ijourney on, yet pensive turn to view,
Where the rich landscape gleams with softer hue,
The streams and vales and hills that steal away.
So fares it with the children of the earth.
For when life's goodly prospect opens round,
Their spirits beat to tread that fairy ground
Where every vale sounds to the pipe of mirth.
But them vain hope and easy youth beguiles;
And soon a longing look like me they cast
Back o'er the pleasing prospect of the past.
Yet fancy points, where still far onward smiles
Some sunny spot, and her fair colouring blends,
Till cheerless on their path the night descends.

As slow I climb the cliff's ascending side,
Much musing on the track of terror past,
When o'er the dark wave rode the howling blast,
Pleas'd I look back, and view the tranquil tide
That laves the pebbled shores; and now the beam
Of evening smiles on the grey battlement,
And yon forsaken tow'r that time has rent:
The lifted oar far off with silver gleam
Is touch'd, and the hush'd billows seem to sleep.
Sooth'd by the scene e'en thus on sorrow’s breast
A kindred stillness steals, and bids her rest;
Whilst sad airs stilly sigh along the deep,
Like melodies that mourn upon the lyre
Wāked by the breeze, and as they mourn, expire.

TO BAM Borough CASTLE.

Ye holy tow’rs that shade the wave-worn steep, Long may ye rear your aged brows sublime, Though hurrying silent by, relentless time

Assail you, and the wintry whirlwind's sweep.

For, far from blazing grandeur's crowded halls,
Here Charity has fix’d her chosen seat;
Oft listening tearful when the wild winds beat

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ydsdale, as thy romantic vales I leave, And bid farewell to each retiring hill, Where musing Fancy seems to linger still, racing the broad bright landscape; much I grieve hat, mingled with the toiling crowd, no more I may return your varied views to mark Of rocks amid the sunshine tow'ring dark; f rivers winding wild, and mountains hoar, r castle gleaming on the distant steep! Yet still your brightest images shall smile To charm the lingering stranger, and beguile is way; whilst I the poor remembrance keep ike those, that muse on some sweet vision flown, 'o chear me wandering on my way alone.

to the river itchin.

chin, when I behold thy banks again,
Thy crumbling margin, and thy silver breast
On which the self-same tints still seem to rest :
Why feels my heart the shivering sense of pain?
s it, that many a summer's day has past
Since in life's morn. I carol'd on thy side 2
Is it, that oft since then my heart has sigh'd,
\s youth's and hope's delusive gleams flew fast?
Is it, that those who circled on thy shore,
Companions of my youth, now meet no more ?
Whate'er the cause, upon thy banks I bend
Sorrowing, yet feel such solace at my heart,
As at the meeting of some long-lost friend,
From whom in happier hours we wept to part.

Dow ER CLIFFs.

On these white cliffs, that calm above the flood
Uplift their shadowy heads, and at their feet
Scarce hear the surge that has for ages beat,
sure many a lonely wanderer has stood;
And while the distant murmur met his ear,
And o'er the distant billows the still eve
Sail'd slow, has thought of all his heart must leave
To-morrow; of the friends he lov'd most dear;
Of social scenes from which he wept to part.
But if, like me, he knew how fruitless all
The thoughts that would full fain the past recall;
Soon would he quell the risings of his heart,
And brave the wild winds and unhearing tide,
The world his country, and his God his guide.

LANDING AT ostend.

The orient beam illumes the parting oar,
From yonder azure track emerging white
The earliest sail slow gains upon the sight,
And the blue wave comes ripling to the shore.
Meantime far off the rear of darkness flies.
Yet, mid the beauties of the morn unmov’d,
Like one, for ever torn from all he lov’d,
Towards Albion's heights I turn my longing eyes,
Where ev'ry pleasure seem'd ere while to dwell:
Yet boots it not to think or to complain,
Musing sad ditties to the reckless main.
To dreams like these adieu ! the pealing bell
Speaks of the hour that stays not, and the day
To life's sad turmoil calls my heart away.

on the Rhine.

'Twas morn, and beauteous on the mountain's brow
(Hung with the blushes of the bending vine)
Stream'd the blue light, when on the sparkling
Rhine
We bounded, and the white waves round the prow
In murmurs parted; varying as we go,
Lo! the woods open and the rocks retire;
Some convent's ancient walls, or glistening spire
Mid the bright landscape's tract, unfolding slow.
Here dark with furrow'd aspect, like despair,
Hangs the bleak cliff, there on the woodland's side
The shadowy sunshine pours its streaming tide;
Whilst Hope, enchanted with a scene so fair,
Would wish to linger many a summer's day,
Nor heeds how fast the prospect winds away.

wn ITTEN AT ostend.

How sweet the tuneful bells responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel !
And harks with lessening cadence now they fall,
And now along the white and level tide
They fling their melancholy music wide,
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer days, and those delightful years,
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
The mournful magic of their mingling chime
First wak'd my wondering childhood into tears;
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er,
The sounds of joy, once heard and heard no more.

If chance some pensive stranger hither led,
His bosom glowing from romantic views,
The gorgeous palace or proud landscape's hues,
Should ask who sleeps beneath this lowly bed
'Tis poor Matilda!—to the cloister'd scene
A mourner beauteous, and unknown she came
To shed her secret tears, and quench the flame
Of hopeless love! yet was her look serene
As the pale moonlight in the midnight aisle.
Her voice was soft, which yet a charm could lend,
Like that which spake of a departed friend:
And a meek sadness sat upon her smile !
Ah, be the spot by passing pity blest,
Where husht to long repose the wretched rest.

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O Time, who know'st a lenient hand to lay, Softest on sorrow's wounds, and slowly thence (Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)

The faint pang stealest unperceiv'd away:

On thee I rest my only hopes at last;
And think when thou hast dried the bitter tear,
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,

I may look back on many a sorrow past,

And greet life's peaceful evening with a smile. As some lone bird, at day's departing hour, Sings in the sunshine of the transient show'r,

Forgetful, though its wings be wet the while.

But ah! what ills must that poor heart endure, Who hopes from thee, and thee alone a cure.

on A distant wiew or eNGLANd.

Ah, from my eyes the tears unbidden start,
Albion as now thy cliffs (that white appear
Far o'er the wave, and their proud summits rear
To meet the beams of morn) my beating heart
With eager hope and filial transport hails!
Scenes of my youth, reviving gales ye bring,
As when erewhile the tuneful morn of spring
Joyous awoke amid your blooming vales,
And fill'd with fragrance every painted plain:
Fled are those hours and all the joys they gave:
Yet still I sigh, and count each rising wave
That bears me nearer to your haunts again;
If haply, mid those woods and vales so fair,
Stranger to peace, I yet may meet her there.

NetLEY Abbey.

Fallen pile ! I ask not what has been thy fate,
But when the weak winds wasted from the main,
Through each lone arch, like spirits that complain,
Come mourning to my ear, I meditate
On this world's passing pageant, and on those
Who once like thee majestic and sublime
Have stood; till bow'd beneath the hand of time,
Or hard mishap, at their sad evening's close,
Their bold and beauteous port has sunk forlorn 1
Yet, wearing still a charm, that age and cares
Could ne'er subdue, decking the silver hairs
Of sorrow, as with short-liv'd gleam the morn

Illumines, whilst it weeps, the rested tower [shower. That lifts its forehead grey, and smiles amidst the

O Harmony! thou tenderest nurse of pain,
If that thy note's sweet magic e'er can heal
Griefs, which the patient spirit of may see,
Oh, let me listen to thy songs again;
Till memory her fairest tints shall bring,
Hope wake with brighter eye, and listening seem |
With smiles to think on some delightful dream,
That wav'd o'er the charm'd sense with gladone

For when thou leadest all thy soothingstrains swing J. More smooth along, the silent passions meet Wh In one suspended transport, sad and sweet; She And nought but sorrow's softest touch remains, Aft That, when the transitory charm is o'er, From Just wakes a tear, and then is felt no more, Stre - And

to THE RIVER chenwell. How Cherwell, how pleas'd along thy willow'd edge Tho Erewhile I stray'd, or when the morn began Plac To tinge the distant turret's gloomy san, Bes: Or evening glimmer'd o'er the sighing sedge' To And now repos'd on thy lorn banks, once more Gre I bid the pipe farewell, and that sadly And Whose music on thy melancholy way o I wood, amid thy waving willows hoar; s Seeking awhile to rest, till the bright sun Syl Ofjoy returns, as when heaven's beauto bow s Beams on the night-storm's passing wingsbelow: J Whate'er betide, yet something have I won S

Of solace, that may bear me on settle,
Till eve's last hush shall close the silent”

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To darkness, and the wide and billowy seas Grew tranquil, was a spotted leper to her :

And never in such pure divinity
Could sway the wanton blood as she did—Hark!

She murmurs like a cradled child. How soft 'tis. Sylvestra!

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Sylv. Ha! who's there Jeron. "Tis I. Sylv. Who is it? Jeron. Must 1 then speak, and tell my name to you? Sylvestra, fair Sylvestra! know me now: Not now and is my very voice so chang'd By wretchedness, that you—you know me not? Alas! Sylv. Begone. I'll wake my husband, if You tread a step. Begone. Jeron. Jeronymo. Sylv. Ha! speak. Jeron. Jeronymo. Sylv. Oh Jeron. Hide your eyes: Aye, hide them, married woman—lest you see The wreck of him that lov'd you. Sylv. Not me. Jeron. Yes. Lov’d you like life; like heaven and happiness: Lov'd you, and kept your name against his heart (Ill boding amulet) 'till death. Sylv. Alas! [thoughts Jeron. And now I come to bring your wandering Back to their innocent home. Thus, as 'tis said, Do spirits quit their leaden urns, to tempt Wretches from sin. Some have been seen o'nights To stand and point their rattling finger at The red moon as it rose; (perhaps to turn Man's thoughts on high.) Some their lean arms have stretch'd [laugh'd "Tween murderers and their victims: some have Ghastly, upon—the bed of wantonness, And touch'd the limbs with death. Sylv. You will not harm me?

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Across a sunny brow of Italy.

I still remember how your delicate foot
Tripped on the lawn at vintage time, and how,
When others ask'd you, you would only give
Your hand to me.
Sylv. Alas! Jeronymo.
Jeron. Aye, that's the name: you had forgot.
Sylv. Oh no.
Can I forget the many hours we've spent,
When care had scarce begun to trouble us?
How we were wont, on autumn nights, to stray,
Counting the clouds that pass'd across the moon—
Jeron. Go on. -
Sylv. And figuring many a shape grotesque ;
Camels and caravans, and mighty beasts,
Hot prancing steeds, and warriors plum'd and
helm’d,
All in the blue sky floating.
Jeron. What is this?
Sylv. I thought you lik'd to hear of it.
Jeron. I do.
Sylv. Then wherefore look so sadly
Jeron. Fair Sylvestra,
Can I do aught to comfort you?
Sylv. Away,
You do forget yourself.
Jeron. Not so. Can I
Do aught to serve you? Speak! my time is short,
For death has touch'd me.
Sylv. Now you're jesting.
Jeron. Girl |
Now, I am—dying. Oh! I feel my blood
Ebb slowly; and before the morning sun
Visits your chamber through those trailing vines,
I shall lie here, here in your chamber, dead,
Dead, dead, dead, dead: Nay, shrink not.
Sylv. Pr'ythee go.
You fright me.
Jeron. Yet I'd not do so, Sylvestra:
I will but tell you, you have used me harshly,
(That is not much,) and die; nay, fear me not

I would not chill, with this decaying touch,
That bosom where the blue veins wander 'round,
As if enamoured and loth to leave their homes
Of beauty: nor should this thy white cheek fade
From fear at me, a poor heart-broken wretch:
Look at me. Why, the winds sing through my bones,
And children jeer me, and the boughs that wave
And whisper loosely in the summer air
Shake their green leaves in mockery, as to say
“These are the longer livers.”

Sylv. How is this?

Jeron. I've numbered eighteen summers. Much

may lie

In that short compass; but my days have been
Not happy. Death was busy with our house
Early, and nipped the comforts of my home,
And sickness paled my cheek, and fancies (like
Bright but delusive stars) came wandering by me.
There's one you know of: that—no matter—that
Drew me from out my way, (a perilous guide)
And left me sinking. I had gay hopes too,
What needs the mention,-they are vanish’d.

Sylv. I—
I thought-(speak softly, for my husband sleeps)
I thought, when you did stay abroad so long,
And never sent nor ask'd of me or mine,
You'd quite forgotten Italy.

Jeron. Speak again, Was't so indeed 2

Sylv. Indeed, indeed.

Jeron. Then be it.
Yet, what had I done Fortune, that she could
Abandon me so entirely? Never mind’t:
Have a good heart, Sylvestra: they who hate
Can kill us, but no more, that's comfort. Oh!
The journey is but short, and we can reckon
On slumbering sweetly with the freshest earth
Sprinkled about us. There no storms can shake
Our secure tenement; nor need we fear,
Though cruelty be busy with our fortunes,
Or scandal with our names.

Sylv. Alas! alas! [flowers.

Jeron. Sweet ! in the land to come we'll feed on Droop not, my beautiful child. Oh! we will love Then without fear; no mothers there; no gold, Nor hate, nor paltry perfidy, none, none; We have been doubly cheated. Who'll believe A mother could do this? but let it pass: Anger suits not the grave. Oh! my own love, Too late I see thy gentle constancy: I wrote, and wrote, but never heard; at last, Quitting that place of pleasure, home I came And found you married: Then—

Sylv. Alas!

Jeron. Then I
Grew moody, and at times I fear my brain
Was fever'd; but I could not die, Sylvestra,
And bid you no farewell.

Sylv. Jeronymo!
Break not my heartthus: they—they did deceive me.
They told me that the girls of France were fair,
And you had scorn'd your poor and childish love;

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The night was gloomy. Through the ski Rolled the eternal moon, "Midst dark and heavy clouds, that bre A shadowy likeness to those fabled his That sprung of old from man's imagining" Each seem'd a fierce reality: some * The forms of sphinx and hippogriff. or seemed Nourished among the wonders of the of And wilder than the poet ever dream'd: * And there were cars—steeds with hero Tower, and temple, and broken continent: And all, as upon a sea, In the blue ether floated silently. I lay upon my bed, and sank to *P* And then I fancied that I rode up" The waters, and had power to call Up people who had lived in ages gone, And scenes and stories half forgot, and all That on my young imagination

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