Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]

To fancy seem, in that strange solitude, Yet, though the strangers and their tent Like the wild brethren of some lawless band.

have past One,snatching from the heap a blazing bough, Away, like snow that leaves no mark behind, Would, like lone maniac, from the rest retire, Their image lives in many a guiltless mind, And, as he waved it, mutter deep a vow, And long within the shepherd's cot shall last. His head encircled with a wreath of fire. Oft when, on winter-night, the crowded seat Others, with rushing haste, and eager voice, Is closely wheel'd before the blazing fire, Would drag new victims to the insatiate Then will he love with grave voice to repeat

power,

(He, the gray-headed venerable sire) That like a savage idol did rejoice

The conversation he with us did hold Whate'er his suppliants offer'd to devour. On moral subjects, he had studied long; And aye strange murmurs o'er the moun- And some will gibe the maid who was so tains rollid,

bold As if from sprite immured in cavern lonc, As sing to strangers readily a song. While higher roke pale Luna to behold Then they unto each other will recal Our mystic orgies, where no light had shone, Each little incident of that strange night, For many and many a year of silence-but And give their kind opinion of us all:

her own

God Bless their faces smiling in the light
Of their own cottage-hearth! 0, fair sub-

duing sight! 0! gracious Goddess! not in vain did shine Thy spirit o'er the heavens; with reverenteye We hail'd thee floating throngh the happy Friends of my heart! who shared that

purest joy, No smiles to us are half so dear as thine! And oft will read these lines with soften'd Silent we stood beside our dying flame,

• soul, In pensive sadness, born of wild delight, Go where we will, let years of absence roll, And gazing heavenward many a gentle name Nought shall our sacred amity destroy. Bestowd on her who beautifies the night. We walk'd together through the mountainThen, with one heart, like men who inly

calm, mourn'd,

In open confidence, and perfect trust; Slowly we paced towards our fairy-cell, And pleasure, falling through our breasts And ere we enter'd for one moment turn'd

like balm, And bade the silent majesty farewell! Told that the yearnings that we felt were just. Our rushy beds invite us to repose; No slighting tone, no chilling look e'er marrid And while our spirits breathe a grateful The happiness in which our thoughts reposed,

prayer,

No words save those of gentleness were In balmy slumbers soon our eyelids close,

heard, While, in our dreams, the Moon, serenely The eye spoke kindly when the lip was fair,

closed. Still bathes in light divine the visionary air! But chief, on that blest day that wakes my

song,

Our hearts eternal truth in silence swore: Methinks, next night, I see her mount The holy oath is planted deep and strong

her throne,

Within our spirits,-in their inmost core.Intent with loving smile once more to hail And it shall blossom fair till life shall be The deep, deep peace of this her loneliest

no more! vale ; -But where hath now the magic dwelling

flown?

Most hallow'd day! scarce can my heart Oh! it hath melted like a dream away,

sustain A dream by far too beautiful for earth; Your tender light by memory made more Or like a cloud that hath no certain stay,

mild ; But ever changing, like a different birth. Tears could I shed even like unto a child, The aged holly-trees more silently,

And sighs within my spirit hush the strain. Now we are gone, stand on the silent ground; Too inany clouds have dimm'd my youthful I seem to hear the streamlet floating by

life, With a complaining, melancholy sound. | These wakeful eyes too many vigils kept ; Hush'd are the echoes in each mountain's Mine hath it been to tons in mental strife,

breast,

When in the moonlight breathing Nature No traces there of former mirth remain ;

slept. They all in friendly grandeur lie at rest But I forget my cares, in bliss forget, And silent, save where Nature's endless When, peaceful Valley! I remember thee;

strain,

I seem to breathe the air of joy, and yet From cataract and cave, delights her lonely Thy brightning hues with moistend eyes reign.

I sec.

So will it be, till life itself doth close, And his large yellow cycs looked bright Koam thongh I may o'er many a distant With wonder, in the wan moonlight,

clime;

As hovering white, and still as snow, Happy, or pining in unnoticed woes, He caught a glance of the things below, Oft shall my soul recal that blessed time, All burning on the bridge like fire And in her depths adore the beauteous and in the sea-green glow of their wild attire.

sublime!

Halloo! Halloo! tu-whit! tu-whoo!
Cried the gleesome Elves,and away they flew,

With mimic shriek, sob, cry, and howl,
Time that my rural reed at last should In headlong chase of the frightened Owl.

With many a buflet they drove him onward, Its willing numbers; not in vain hath flow'd Now hoisted him up, now pressed him The strain that on my singing heart bestow'd

downward; The holy boon of undisturbed peace. They pulled at his horns, and with many O gentlest Lady! Sister of my friend,

a tweak, This simple strain I consecrate to thee; Around and around they screwed his beak; Haply its music with thy soul may blend, On his back they beat with a birch-spray Albeit well used to loftier minstrelsy.

flail, Nor may thy quiet spirit read the lay And they tore the long feathers from his With cold regard, thou wife and mother blest!

tail; For he was with me on that Sabbath-day, Then, like warriors mounted in their pride, Whose heart lies buried in thy inmost breast. Behind his wings behold them ride! Then go my innocent and blameless tale, And shouting, charge unto the war, In gladness go, and free from every fear Each waving his soft plume-scymitar; Toyon sweet dwelling above Grassmere-vale, A war of laughter, not of tears, And be to them I long have held so dear, The wild-wood's harmless Cuirassiers. One of their fire-side-songs, still fresh from

year to year!

Through the depth of Ivy on the wall (The sole remains of old Greystock Hall) The Screamer is driven, half scared to death;

And the gamesome Fairies, all out of THE FAIRIES,

breath,

Their tiny robes in the air arranging, A DREAM-LIKE REMEMBRANCE OP A DREAM. And kisses in their flight exchanging,

Now slowly with the soft wind stealing It chanced three merry Fairies met Right onwards, round about now wheeling, On the bridge of a mountain-rivulet, Like leaves blown off in gusty weather, Whose hanging arch through the misty To the rainbow-bridge all flock together;

spray,

And lo! on the green moss all alight, Like a little lunar-rainbow lay,

Like a cluster of Goldfinches mingling bright. With turf and flowers a pathway meet, For the twinkling of unearthly feet, For bright were the flowers as their golden What feats the Fairy-Creatures played!

tresses,

Now seeming of the height afraid, And green the turf as their Elfin-dresses. And, folding the moss in fast embraces, Aye the water o'er the Linn

They peeped o'er the bridge with their loveWas mocking, with a gleesome din,

ly faces. The small shrill laughter, as it broke Now hanging like the fearless flowers In peals from these night-wandering Folk; By their tiny arms in the cataract - showers, While the stream danced on with a tinkling Swung back and forward with delight,

tune,

Like pearls in the spray - shower burning Al happy to meet by a blink o' the moon.

bright! Now laughing louder than before,

Then they dropt at once into the poolThey strove to deaden that ceaseless roar; A moment gone! then beautiful And, when vanquished was the waterfall, Ascending on slow-hovering wing, Loudly they shonted, one and all,

As if with darkness dallying, Like the chorus of a Madrigal,

They rose again, through the smiling air, Til the glen awoke from its midnight trance, To their couch of moss and flow'rets fair, And o'er the hills in flight-like dance, And rooted lay in silence there. Was all the troop of echoes driven, This moment on earth, and that in heaven.

Down into the gulf profound

Slid the stream without a sound! From the silent heart of a hollow Yew, A charm had hushed the thundering shocks, The Owl sailed forth with a loud halloo; And stillness steeped the blackened rocks.

[ocr errors]

'Twas fit, where these fair things were lying, In the soft moonlight-glow I knew No sound, save of some Zephyr sighing, Where the herbs that hold the poison Should stir the gentle Solitude !

grew; The mountain's night-voice was subdued And at the touch of my feathery foot To far-off music faint and dim,

They withered at once both stalk and root; From Nature's heart a holy hymn!

But I shook not the gracious tears of night Nor was that Universal Strain

• From the plants most dear to the Shepherd's Through Fairy-bosoms breathed in vain ;

sight, Entranced in joy the Creatures lay,

And with mellower lustre bade them spring Listening the music far away,

In the yellow round of the Fairy's ring, Till One the deep'ning silence broke, Till, methought, the hillside smiled afar, And thus in song-like murmurs spoke. With the face of many a verdant Star.

I marked the Fox at the mouth of his den,

And raised the shadows of Hunter-men, MOUNTAIN-FAIRY.

And I bade aērial beagles rave,

And the horn twang through the Felon's care, Soon as the lingering Sun was gone,

Then buried him with Famine in his grave. I sailed away from my sparry throne, Mine own cool, silent, glimmering dwelling, Below the roots of the huge Hylvellyn. The Raven sat upon Langdale-Peak As onwards like a thought I flew,

With crusted blood on his ebon-beak, From my wings fast fell the pearly dew, | And I dashed him headlong from the steep, Sweet tiny orbs of lucid ray

While the murderer croaked in his sullen Rising and setting on my way, As if I had been some Planet fair,

Away I sailed by the Eagle's nest That ruled its own bright atmosphere. And the Eaglets couched warm beneath her O beauteous sight! the Shepherd cried,

breast, To the Shepherd slumbering at his side, But the Shepherd shall miss her cry at Look where the Mountain-Fairy flies!

morn, But ere he had opened his heavy eyes, For her eyes are dim and her plumage torn, I had flown o'er Grassmere's moonlight-flood, And I left in their Eyrie the Imps accurst And the rustling swing of old Rydal-Wood, To die in their hunger, and cold, and thirst And sunk down 'mid the heather-bells All, all is well with my lovely Flocks! On the shady side of sweet Furness-Fells. And so I dropt suddenly down the rocks, 'Twas but one soft wave o' my wing! From Loughrig-top, like a falling Star, A start, and an end to my journeying. Seen doubtless through the mists afar One moment's rest in a spot so dear, By a hundred Shepherds on the Hill For the Moonlight was sleeping on Winder | Wandering among the Moonlight still,

mere,

And with folded wings and feet earth-bound And I saw in that long pure streak of light I felt myself standing o'er the sound The joy and the sadness of the night, of this Waterfall, and with joy copied And mine eyes, in sooth, began to fill, A Sister-Elf at either side! So beautiful that Lake-80 still

My Tale is told-nor strange nor newSo motionless its gentle breast

Now, sweet Lady Bright - Eyes! what say Save where just rocking in their rest, A crowd of water-lilies lay Like stars amid the milky way.

As some wild Night-Flower through the But what had I with the Lake to do? Looks to the Moon with freshened hue, So off to the misty hills I flew,

When a wandering breath of air
And in dark ravines, and creviced rocka, Hath lifted up its yellow hair,
With my finger I counted my thousand flocks, And its own little glade grows bright
And each little Lamb by name I blest, | At the soft revealment of its light:
As snow-white they lay in their innocent rest. Upsprung, so sudden and so sweet,
When I saw some weak cold tottering Lamb The Cottage-FAIRY to her feet;
Recline 'gainst the side of its pitiful Dam, And, looking round her with a smile,
Who seemed to have some wildering fear Silent the Creature paused awhile,
Of Death, as of a Foe that was near, Uncertain what glad thoughts should burst
I shone like a sunbeam soft and warm In music from her spirit first,
Till the fleece lay smooth on its strengthened Till, like a breath breathed clear from
• form,

Heaven,
And the happy Creatures lay down together To her at once a voice was given,
Like waves on the sea in gentle weather, And through the tune the words arose
And in contentment calm and deep

As through the fragrant dew the leaflets of Sank faintly-blcating into sleep.

the Rose,

[ocr errors]

dew

COTTAGE-FAIRY.

| And girdled, as with a rainbow-zone,

The Cot beloved I call mine own.
Sisters! I have seen this night
A hundred Cottage-Fires burn bright,
And a thousand happy faces shining

Sweet Cot! that on the mountain-side In the bursting blaze and the gleam declining. Looks to the stars of Heaven with pride, I care not I for the stars above,

And then flings far its smiling cheer The lights on earth are the lights I lovo: O'er the radiant Igles of Windermere, Let Venus bless the Evening-air,

Blest! ever blest! thy sheltered roof! Uprise at morn Prince Lucifer,

Pain, grief, and trouble, stand aloof But those little tiny stars be mine

From the shadow of thy green palm-tree! That through the softened copse-wood shine, Let nought from Heaven e'er visit thee, With beauty crown the pastoral hill, But dews, and rays, and sounds of mirth; And glimmer o'er the sylvan rill,

And ever may this happy Earth Where stands the peasant's ivied nest, Look happiest round thy small domain! And the huge mill-wheel is at rest.

Thee were I ne'er to see again, From out the honeysuckle's bloom

Methinks that agony and strife I peeped into that laughing room,

Would fall even on a Fairy's life, Then, like a hail-drop, on the pane And nought should ever bless mine eyes Pattering, I stilled the din again,

Save the dream of that vanished Paradise. While every startled eye looked up; The hush'd bee-hives were still as deathAnd, half-raised to her lips the cup, And the sleeping doves held fast their The rosy Maiden's look met mine!

breath, But I veiled mine eyes with the silken twine Nestling together on the thatch; of the small wild roses clustering thickly; With my wing-tip I raised the latch, Then to her geat returning quickly ;

And there that lovely Lady shone,
She 'gan to talk with bashful glee

In silence sitting all alone,
Of Fairies 'neath the greenwood-tree Beside the cradle of her Child !
Dancing by moonlight, and she blest And ever as she gazed, she smiled
Gently our silent Land of rest.

On his calm forehead white as snow;
The Infants playing on the floor,

I rock'd the cradle to and fro, At these wild words their sports gave o'er, As on the broom a Linnet's nest And asked where lived the Cottage-Fairy; Swings to the mild wind from the west; The maid replied: She loves to tarry And oft his little hands and breast, Ofttimes beside our very hearth,

With warm and dewy lips I kist. And joins in little Children's mirth

Sweet Fairy! the glad Mother said, When they are gladly innocent;

And down she knelt as if she prayedAnd sometimes beneath the leafy tent, While glad was I to hcar our name That murmurs round our cottage-door, Bestowed on such a beauteous frame, Our overshadowing Sycamore,

And with my wings I hid mine eyes, We see her dancing in a ring,

Till I saw the weeping kneeler rise And hear the blessed Creature sing

From her prayer in holy extacies! A Creature full of gentleness, Rejoicing in our happiness.-Then plucked I a wreath with many a gem The Cottage-FAIRY ceased; and Night, Barning-a flowery Diadem;

That seem'd to feel a calm delight
And through the wicket with a glide In the breath of that sweet-warbling tongue, ,
I slipped, and sat me down beside

Wao sad at closing of the song,
The youngest of those Infants fair, And all her starry eyne look'd dull,
And wreathed the blossoms round ber hair. Of late so brightly beautiful;
Who placed these flowers on William's head? Till on the Fox-glove's topmost cup
His little wondering Sister said,

The Fairy OF THE Lake leapt up,
A wreath not half so bright and gay

And with that gorgeous column swinging, Crowned me, upon the morn of May, By fits a low wild prelude singing, Queen of that sunny Holiday,

And gracefully on tip-toe standing, The tiny Monarch laughed aloud

With outstretched arm, as if commanding, With pride among the loving crowd, The beauty of the Night again And, with my shrillest voice, I lent Revived beneath her heavenly strain.A chorus to their merriment;

Low, sad, and wild, were the tones I heard, Then with such murmur as a bee

Like the opening song of the hidden bird, Makes, from a flower-cup suddenly

Ere music steeps th' Italian vales Borne off into the silent sky,

From the heart of a thousand nightingales; I skimmed away, and with delight

But words were none; the balmy air
Sailed down the calm stream of the night, Grew vocal round that Elfin fair,
Till gently, as a flake of Snow,

And, like her fragrant breath, the song Once more I dropt on earth below, Dropp'd, dewily from that sweet tongue,

But 'twas a language of her own,

The slighting word, through heedlessness To grosser human sense unknown;

severe, And while in blissful reverie

Wounding the spirit that it ought to cheer, My soul lived on that melody,

Lie buried in the grave! or if they live, In a moment all as death was still:

Remembrance only wakes them to forgive; Then, like an echo in a hill

While vice and error steal a soft relief Far off one melancholy strain !

From the still twilight of a mellowing grief. Too heavenly pure to rise again,

And oh! how lovely do the tints return And all alone the dreamer stood

Of every virtue sleeping in the urn! Beside the disenchanted flood,

Each grace that fleeted unobserved away, That rolled the rocky banks along

Starts into life when those it deck'd decay; With its own dull, slow, mortal song. Regret fresh beauty on the curse bestows, --What wafted off the Fairies? hush! And self-reproach is mingled with onr woes. The storm comes down the glen-crush

crushAnd as the blackening rain-cloud broke, But nobler sorrows lift the musing mind, The pine-tree groans to the groaning oak! When soaring spirits leave their frames Thunder is in the waving wood

behind, And from Rydal-mere's white-flashing flood Who walked the world in Nature's generous There comes through the mist an angry roar,

pride, Loud as from the great sca-shore.

And, like a sun-beam, lightend as they died ! Well, I ween, the Fairies knew

Hope, resignation, the sad soul begnile, The clouds that the sudden tempest brew, And Grief's tear drops 'mid Faith's celestial And had heard far-off the raging rills,

smile:
As they leapt down from a hundred hills, - Then burns our being with a holy mirth
And the ghostlike moan that wails and raves That owns no kindred with this mortal earth;
From the toppling crags andthe sable caves,- For hymning angels in blest vision wave
Ere the night-storm in his wrath doth come, Their wings' bright glory o'er the seraph's
And bids each meaner sound be dumb-

• grave!
So they sailed away to the land of rest,
Each to the spot that it loved the best,
And left our noisy world!

Oh thou! whose soul unmoved by earthly

strife, Led by the pole-star of eternal life, Own'd no emotior staind by touch of clay,

No thought that angels might not pleased L I NES

survey; Thou! whose calm course through Virtue's

fields was run Miss ELISABETH SMITH.

(From youth's fair morning to thy setting

sun, Peace to the dead! the voice of Nature Nor vice e'er dared one little cloud to roll

cries,

O'er the bright beanty of thy spotless soul: Even o'er the grave where guilt or frailty Thou! who secure in good works strong to lies;

save, Compassion drives each sterner thought Resign’d and happy, eyed'st the opening away,

grave, And all seem good when mouldering in the And in the blooming summer of thy years

clay.

Scarce feltst regret to leave this vale of For who amid the dim religious gloom,

tears; The solemn Sabbath brooding o'er the tomb, Oh! from thy throne amid the starry skirs The holy stillness that suspends our breath List to my words thus interwove with sighs. When the soul rests within the shade of And if the high resolves, the cherish'd pain

death,

That prompt the weak but reverential strain, What heart could then withhold the pensive If love of virtue ardent and sincere

sigh

Can win to mortal verse a cherub's car, Reflection pays to poor mortality,

Bend from thy radiant throne thy form Nor eunk in pity near allied to love, E'en bless the being we could ne'er approve! And make the adoring spirit pare as thine! The headstrong will with innocence at strife, When my heart muses o'er the long revire The restless passions that deform'd his life, Of all thy bosom felt, thy reason knew Desires that spurn'd at reason's weak controul, O'er boundless learning free from boastfel And dimm'd the native lustre of the soul,

pride, The look repulsive that like ice repress'd And patience humble though severely tried. The friendly warmth that play'd within the Judgment anclouded, passions thrice refined.

breast,

A leaven-aspiring loftiness of mind,

WRITTEN ON READING THE MEMOIRS OP

divine,

« ПредишнаНапред »