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SONNETS BY THE SKETCHER.
Come, living Thoughts-envelope me around
With th' unfelt pavement of your golden way,
T'ascend from out the darkness of Earth's day,
Sees all is Beauty, and feels all is Love.
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
But on a primrose bank, and on the brink
Of a sweet streamlet, whence the pure leaves drink
Mine eyes and the quick Spirits that haunt the stream,
We sailed right merrily to Fairy-land.
O Gem, more precious than the thrice-tried ore,
And jewels that the cavern'd treasuries hold,
Thee at her bridal hour the chaste Earth wore,
They call thee worm, thy love ungently name,
Whilst thou, like Hero, lightest to thy nook
Whose Hellespont may be this running brook.
And his own love be half as bright and pure !
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 thy sole Ushers are the ear and eye,
And cull sweet tastes from every silvan nook.
THE SICK DREAM.
A wintry night :-my casement with the blast
O wouldst thou give me Music, let it be
Now low and soft, in undulating motion,
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,
And I am weary of this World of fear ;
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
That Argument of Peace doth ever urge!
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 iron 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,
Truth part thy lips, not niggard Caution keep.
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 boundIts 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 breathDark is the gulf between us—and this dome Of starry Heaven wears now a pall of Death. I stand, enclosed in nights and thoughts forlornBut 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 ;
The curious boughs that into thee did look ;
That Grief has left no trace—thy banks I tread-
Like Memory's Music from enchanted bed.
This little Flower uplifts its humbled head,
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 ;
Ungentle Love wakes Love of gentler mood,
As tenderest Pity liveth link'd to Pain.
What else shall soothe the frenzy of the brain ?
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.
Soft be thy step! Night, the meek mother, lies
While all around her the pure sisters rest-
And bright-eyed Angels hovering o'er her breast. Here Heavenly Peace, and Peace on Earth combineNight be thy pillow too, their guarded shrine.
She was a lusty maid, to Winter wed,
INFINITY OF ART.
Say what is Art? Th' acquirement of a sense
Time was that Death and I were bitterest foes,
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 vernal rose. But now methinks a kinder form he takes
The good Physician, bringing anodyne