« AnteriorContinuar »
TO MISS KELLY.
Yon are not, Kelly, of the common strain,
ON THE SIGHT OF SWANS IN KENSINGTON GARDEN. Queen-bird that sittest on thy shining-nest, And thy young cygnets without sorrow hatchost, And thou, thou other royal bird, that watchest Lest the white mother wandering feet molest: Shrined are your offspring in a crystal cradle, Brighter than Helen's ere she yet had burst Her shelly prison. They shall be born at first Strong, active, graceful, perfect, swan-like able To tread the land or waters with security. Unlike poor human births, conceived in sin, In grief brought forth, both outwardly and in Confessing weakness, error, and impurity. Did heavenly creatures own succession's line, The births of heaven like to yours would shine.
Was it some sweet device of Faery
Methinks how dainty sweet it were, reclined
Beneath the vast out-stretching branches high
Of some old wood, in careless sort to lie,
Nor of the busier scenes we left behind
Aught envying. And, O Anna ! mild-eyed maid!
Beloved ! I were well content to play
With thy free tresses all a summer's day,
Losing the time beneath the greenwood shade.
Or we might sit and tell some tender tale
Of faithful vows repaid by cruel scorn,
A tale of true love, or of friend forgot;
And I would teach thee, lady, how to rail
In gentle sort, on those who practise not
Or love or pity, though of woman born.
When last I roved these winding wood-walks green,
THE FAMILY NAME.
What reason first imposed thee, gentle name, Name that my father bore, and his sire's sire, Without reproach? we trace our stream uo
higher; And I, a childless man, may end the same. Perchance some shepherd on Lincolnian plains, In manners guileless as his own sweet flocks, Received thee first amid the merry mocks And arch allusions of his fellow swains. Perchance from Salem's holier fields rcturn'd, With glory gotten on the heads abhorr'd Of faithless Saracens, some martial lord Took His meek title, in whose zeal ho burn'd, Whato'er the fount whence thy beginnings came, No deed of mine shall shame thee, gentle name.
If from my lips some angry accents fell,
A Timid grace sits trembling in her eye,
As loath to meet the rudeness of men's sight,
Yet shedding a delicious lunar light,
That steeps in kind oblivious ecstacy
The care-crazed mind, like some still melody:
Speaking most plain the thoughts which do
possess Her gentle sprite: peace, and meek quietness, And innocent loves, and maiden purity: A look whereof might heal the cruel smart Of changed friends, or fortune's wrongs unkind; Might to sweet deeds of mercy move the heart Of him who hates his brethren of mankind. Turn'd are those lights from me, who fondly yet Past joys, vain loves, and buried hopes regret.
TO JOHN LAMB, ESQ., OF THE SOUTH-SEA-
John, you were figuring in the gay career
Betwixt our ages, which then seem'd so great—
O ! I could laugh to hear the midnight wind,
We were two pretty babes, the youngest she,
In my poor mind it is moat sweet to muse
Upon the days gone by; to act in thought
Past seasons o'er, and be again a child;
To sit in fancy on the turf-clad slope,
Down which the child would roll; to pluck gay
flowers, Make posies in the sun, which the child's hand (Childhood offended soon, soon reconciled), Would throw away, and straight take up again, Then fling them to the winds, and o'er the lawn Bound with so playful and so light a foot, That the press'd daisy scarce declined her head.
On the green hill top, Hard by the houso of prayer, a modest roof, And not distinguish'd from its neighbour-barn, Save by a slender-tapering length of spire, The Grandame sleeps. A plain stone barely tells The name and date to the chance passenger. For lowly born was she, and long had cat, Well-carn'd, the bread of service:—hers was else A mountain spirit, one that entertain'd Scorn of base action, deed dishonourable, Or aught unseemly. I remember well Her reverend image; I remember, too, With what a zeal she served her master's house; And how the prattling tongue of garrulous ago Delighted to recount the oft-told tale Or anecdote domestic. Wise she was, And wondrous skill'd in genealogies, And could in apt and voluble terms discourse Of births, of titles, and alliances; Of marriages, and intermarriages; Relationship remote, or near of kin; Of friends offended, family disgraced— Maiden high-born, but wayward, disobeying Parental strict injunction, and regardless Of unmix'd blood, and ancestry remote, Stooping to wed with one of low degree. But these are not thy praises; and I wrong Thy honour' d memory, recording chiefly Things light or trivial. Better 'twere to tell, How with a nobler zeal, and warmer love, She served her heavenly Matter. I have seen
That reverend form bent down with ago and
pain, And rankling malady. Yet not for this Ceased she to praise her Maker, or withdrew Her trust in him, her faith, an humble hope— So meekly had she learn'd to bear her cross— For she had studied patience in the school Of Christ; much comfort she had thence derived, And was a follower of the Nazaeene.
THE SABBATH BELLS.
The cheerful sabbath bells, wherever heard.
Strike pleasant on the sense, most like the voice
Of one, who from the far-off hills proclaims
Tidings of good to Zion: chiefly when
Their piercing tones fall sudden on the ear
Of the contemplant, solitary man,
Whom thoughts abstruse or high have chanced
to luro Forth from the walks of men, revolving oft, And oft again, hard matter, which eludes And baffles his pursuit—thought-sick and tired Of controversy, where no end appears, No clue to his research, the lonely man Half wishes for society again. Him, thus engaged, the sabbath bells salute Sudden f his heart awakes, his ears drink in The cheering music; his relenting soul Yearns after all the joys of social life, And softens with the love of human kind.
FANCY EMPLOYED ON DIVINE SUBJECTS.
The truant Fancy was a wanderer ever,
COMPOSED AT MIDNIGHT.
From broken visions of perturbed rest
I wake, and start, and fear to sleep again.
How total a privation of all sounds,
Sights, and familiar objects, man, bird, beast,
Herb, tree, or flower, and prodigal light of
heaven. 'Twere some relief to catch the drowsy cry Of the mechanic watchman, or the noise Of revel reeling home from midnight cups. Those are the moanings of the dying man, Who lies in the upper chamber; restless moans, And interrupted only by a cough Consumptive, torturing the wasted lungs. So in the bitterness of death he lies, And waits in anguish for the morning's light. What can that do for him, or what restore? Short taste, faint sense, affecting notices, And little images of pleasures past, Of health, and active life—health not yet slain, Nor the other grace of life, a good name, sold For sin's black wages. On his tedious bed Ho writhes, and turns him from the accusing
light, And finds no comfort in the sun, but says "When night comes I shall get a little rest." Some few groans more, death comes, and there
an end. 'Tis darkness and conjecture all beyond; Weak Nature fears, though Charity must hope, And Fancy, most licentious on such themes Where decent reverence well had kept her
'Hath o'er-stock'd hell with devils, and brought
down By her enormous fablings and mad lies, Discredit on the gospel's serious truths And salutary fears. The man of parte, Poet, or prose declaimer, on his couch Lolling, like one indifferent, fabricates A heaven of gold, where he, and such as he, Their heads encompassed with crowns, their
heels With fine wings garlanded, shall tread the stars Beneath their feet, heaven's pavement, far removed From damned spirits, and the torturing cries Of men, his brethren, fashion'd of the earth. As he was, nourish'd with the self-same bread, Belike his kindred or companions onceThrough everlasting ages now divorced, In chains and savage torments to repent Short years of folly on earth. Their groans
unheard In heav'n, the saint nor pity feels, nor care, For those thus sentenced—pity might disturb The delicate sense and most divine repose Of spirits angelical. Blessed be G-od, The measure of his judgments is not fix'd By man's erroneous standard. He discerns No such inordinate difference and vast Betwixt the sinner and the saint, to doom Such disproportion^ fates. Compared with him, No man on earth is holy call'd: they best Stand in his sight approved, who at his feet Their little crowns of virtue cast, and yield To him of his own works the praise, his due.
ACT THE FIRST.
Scenic—A Servants' Apartment in Wootlvil Hall. Servants drinking—Time, the Horning.
A Song, by DANIEL.
11 'When the King enjoys his own again."
Peter. A delicate song. Where didst learn it, fellow?
Dan. Even there, where thou lcarnest thy oaths and thy politics—at our master's tablo.— Where else should a serving-man pick up his poor accomplishments?
Mar. Well spoken, Daniel . O rare Daniel! his oaths and his politics! excellent!
Fran. And where didst pick up thy knavery, Daniel t
Peter. That came to him by inheritance. His family have supplied the shire of Devon, time out of mind, with good thieves and bad servingmen. All of his race have come into the world without their conscience.
Mar. Good thieves, and bad serving-men! Better and better. I marvel what Daniel hath got to say in reply.
Dan. I marvel more when thou wilt say any thing to the purpose, thou shallow serving-man, whose swiftest conceit carries thee no higher
than to apprehend with difficulty the stale jests of us thy compeers. When was't ever known to club thy own particular jest among us?
Mar. Most unkind Daniel, to speak such biting things of me!
Fran. See—if he hath not brought tears into the poor fellow's eyes with the saltness of his rebuke.
Dan. No offence, brother Martin—I meant none. 'Tis true, Heaven gives gifts, and withholds them. It has been pleased to bestow upon me a nimble invention to the manufacture of a jest; and upon thee, Martin, an indifferent bad capacity to understand my meaning.
Mar. Is that all? I am content. Here's my hand.
Fran. Well, I like a little innocent mirth myself, but never could endure bawdry.
Dan. Qiwt homines tot tenlenlim.
Mar. And what is that!
Dan. "Tis Greek, and argues difference of opinion.
Mar. I hope there is none between us.
Dan. Here's to thee, brother Martin. (Drinks.)
Mar. And to thee, Daniel. (Drinks.)
Fran. And to thee, Peter. (Drinks.)
Peter. Thank you, Francis. And here's to thee. (Drinks.)
Mar. I shall be fuddled anon.