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O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of mc
This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given,
Life, and Life's effluence, cloud at once and shower,
Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower
Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud-
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
There was a time when, though my path was rough, This joy within me dallied with distress,
And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness:
For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,
And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine But now afflictions bow me down to earth:
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth,
But oh! each visitation
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
For not to think of what I needs must feel,
From my own nature all the natural man-
Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind,
Reality's dark dream!
I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream Of agony by torture lengthened out
That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that ravest without,
Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,
'Tis of the rushing of a host in rout,
With groans of trampled men, with smarting wounds— At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold! But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence!
And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd,
With groans and tremulous shudderings—all is overIt tells another tale, with sounds less deep and loud! A tale of less affright,
And tempered with delight,
As Otway's self had framed the tender lay—
'Tis of a little child
Upon a lonesome wild,
Not far from home, but she hath lost her way:
And now moans low in bitter grief and fear,
And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear.
'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep:
And may this storm be but a mountain-birth,
Gay fancy, cheerful eyes,
Joy lift her spirit, Joy attune her voice:
To her may all things live, from pole to pole,
O simple spirit, guided from above,
SONNET. COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH OF A SON, SEPT. 20, 1796.
Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll
Which makes the present (while the flash doth last)
Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere
Did'st scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick reprieve, While we wept idly o'er thy little bier!
FIRST PART OF CHRISTABEL,
'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, And the owls have awaken'd the crowing cock, Tu-whit!-Tu-whoo!
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff bitch;
From her kennel beneath the rock
She maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Is the night chilly and dark?
The lovely lady, Christabel,
Whom her father loves so well,
What makes her in the wood so late,
A furlong from the castle gate?
Dreams that made her moan and leap
She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
The lady sprang up suddenly,
It moaned as near as near can be,
The night is chill; the forest bare;
Hush, beating heart of Christabel!
Jesu Maria, shield her well!
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
What sees she there?
There she sees a damsel bright,
That shadowy in the moonlight shone: