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Again he springs; and though the winds arise
Fiercer and fiercer, swims with ardent eyes ;
And always, though with ruffian waves dashed hard,
Turns thither with glad groan his stout regard ;
And always, though his sense seems washed away,
Emerges, fighting tow'rds the cordial ray.
But driven about at last, and drenched the wbile, The noble boy loses that inward smile. For now, from one black atmosphere, the rain Sweeps into stubborn mixture with the main; And the brute wind, unmuffling all its roar, Storms; and the light, gone out is seen no more. Then dreadful thoughts of death, of waves heaped on
And friends, and parting daylight, rush upon him.
He thinks of prayers to Neptune and his daughters,
And Venus, Hero's queen, sprung from the waters;
And then of Hero only, — how she fares,
And what she'll feel, when the blank morn appears ;
And at that thought he stiffens once again
His limbs, and pants, and strains, and climbs, – in
Fierce draughts he swallows of the wilful wave,
His tossing hands are lax, his blind look grave,
Till the poor youth (and yet no coward he)
Spoke once her name, and yielding wearily,
Wept in the middle of the scornful sea.
I need not tell how Hero, when her light
Would burn no longer, passed that dreadful night;
How she exclaimed, and wept, and could not sit
One instant in one place; nor how she lit
The torch a hundred times, and when she found
'Twas all in vain, her gentle head turned round
Almost with rage; and in her fond despair
She tried to call him through the deafening air.
But when he came not, when from hour to hour He came not, — though the storm had spent
power, And when the casement, at the dawn of light, Began to shew a square of ghastly white, She went up to the tower, and straining out To search the seas, downwards, and round about, She saw, at last, she saw her lord indeed Floating, and washed about, like a vile weed; — On which such strength of passion and dismay Seized her, and such an impotence to stay, That from the turret, like a stricken dove, With fluttering arms she leaped, and joined her
WRITTEN ON A SUDDEN ARRIVAL OF FINE WEATHER IN MAY.
READER! what soul, that loves a verse, can see
The spring return, nor glow like you and me?
Hear the rich birds, and see the landscape fill,
Nor long to utter his melodious will ?
This, more than ever, leaps into the veins,
When spring has been delay'd by winds and rains,
And coming with a burst, comes like a show,
Blue all above, and basking green below,
And all the people culling the sweet prime :
Then issues forth the bee, to clutch the thyme,
And the bee poet rushes into rhyme.
For lo! no sooner have the chills withdrawn,
Than the bright elm is tufted on the lawn;
The merry sap has run up in the bowers,
And burst the windows of the buds in flowers;
the bosoms of the birds run o'er; The cuckoo calls; the swallow's at the door ;
And apple-trees at noon, with bees alive,
Burn with the golden chorus of the hive.
Now all these sweets, these sounds, this vernal blaze,
Is but one joy, express'd a thousand ways;
And honey from the How’rs, and song from birds,
Are from the poet's pen his overflowing words.
Ah friends! methinks it were a pleasant sphere,
If, like the trees, we blossom'd every year ;
If locks grew thick again, and rosy dyes
Return'd in cheeks, and raciness in eyes,
And all around us, vital to the tips,
The human orchard laugh’d with cherry lips !
Lord! what a burst of merriment and play, Fair dames, were that! and what a first of May !
So natural is the wish, that bards gone by Have left it, all, in some immortal sigh!
And yet the winter months were not so well :
Who would like changing, as the seasons fell ?
Fade every year; and stare, midst ghastly friends,
With falling hairs, and stuck-out fingers' ends?
Besides, this tale, of youth that comes again,
Is no more true of apple-trees than men.
The Swedish sage, the Newton of the flow'rs,
Who first found out those worlds of paramours,
Boasts in its walls a separate family;
So that a tree is but a sort of stand,
That holds those filial fairies in its hand;
Just as Swift's giant might have held a bevy
Of Lilliputian ladies, or a levee.
It is not he that blooms: it is his race,
Who honor his old arms, and hide his rugged face.
Ye wits and bards then, pr’ythee know your duty, And learn the lastingness of human beauty. Your finest fruit to some two months may
reach: I've known a cheek at forty like a peach.
But see! the weather calls me. Here's a bee Comes bounding in my room imperiously, And talking to himself, hastily burns About mine ear, and so in heat returns. O little brethren of the fervid soul, Kissers of flow'rs, lords of the golden bowl, I follow to your fields and tufted brooks: Winter's the time to which the poet looks For hiving his sweet thoughts, and making honied