« PreviousContinue »
Dreams (the soul herself forsaking),
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly ; but thou, most awful form
Risest from forth thy silent Sea of Pines,
How silently! Around thee and above
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer Cupid, if storying legends* tell aright,
I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, With these the magic dews, which evening brings, Thou, the meanwhile, wası blending with my Thought, Brush'd from the Idalian star by faery wings:
Yea with my Life and Life's own secret Joy : Each tender pledge of sacred faith he join'd,
Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, Each gentler pleasure of the unspotted mind
Into the mighty vision passing--there Day-dreams, whose tints with sportive brightness glow. As in her natural form, swellid vast to Heaven! And Hope, the blameless parasite of woe. The eyeless Chemist heard the process rise, The steamy chalice bubbled up in sighs ;
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise Sweet sounds transpired, as when th'enamour'd dove Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, Pours the soft murm’ring of responsive love.
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake, The finish'd work might Envy vainly blame,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake! And " Kisses” was the precious compound's name.
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole Sovereign of the Vale!
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky or when they sink :
Companion of the Morning-Star at dawn,
Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
Co-herald: wake, 0 wake, and utter praise'
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who fill'd thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee Parent of perpetual streams?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
Who call'd you forth from night and utter death, Warmeth the inner frame.
From dark and icy caverns call’d you forth.
For ever shatter'd and the same for ever?
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy Besides the Rivers Arve and Arveiron, which have their Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?
sources in the foot of Mont Blanc, five conspicuous torrents And who commanded (and the silence came),
Ye Ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's bron
Adown enormous ravines slope amainIlast thou a charn to stay the Morning-Star
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty Voice, In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge !
Who made you glorious as the Gates of Heaven * Effinxit quondam blandum meditata laborem
Beneath the keen full Moon? Who bade the Sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flower
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?-
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
My native land! Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest ! Fillid with the thought of thee this heart was proud Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm! Yea, mine eye swam with tears : that all the view Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds ! From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills, Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Floated away, like a departing dream, l'fter forth God, and fill the hills with praise ! Feeble and dim! Stranger, these impulses
Blame thou not lightly ; nor will I profane,
That man's sublimer spirit, who can feel
That God is everywhere! the God who framed Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast
Mankind to be one mighty Family, Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou
Himself our Father, and the World our Home. That as I raise my head, awhile bow'd low In adoration, upward from thy base Slow travelling with dir eyes suffused with tears,
ON OBSERVING A BLOSSOM ON THE FIRST CF Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
FEBRUARY, 1796. To rise before me-Rise, O ever rise, Rise like a cloud of incense, from the earth! Sweet Flower! that peeping from thy russet stem Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills,
Unfoldest timidly (for in strange sort Thou dread Ambassador from Earth to Heaven, This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
mo And tell the Stars, and tell yon rising sun
Hath borrow'd Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon theo Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
With blue voluptuous eye), alas, poor Flower!
To some sweet girl of too too rapid growth,
Nipp'd by Consumption 'mid untimely charms ? WUTTEN IN THE ALBUM AT ELBINGERODE, IN THE An Amaranth, which earth scarce seem'd to own,
Or to Bristowa's Bard,* the wondrous boy!
Till Disappointment came, and pelting wrong
Beat it to earth? or with indignant grief Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's Hope,
Bright flower of Hope kill'd in the opening bud ? A surging scene, and only limited
Farewell, sweet blossom! better fate be thine, By the blue distance. Heavily my way Downward I dragg’d through fir-groves evermore,
And mock my boding! Dim similitudes Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral forms From anxious Self, Life's cruel Task-Master!
Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour Speckled with sunshine ; and, but seldom heard,
And the warm wooings of this sunny day
Tremble along my frame, and harmonize
The attemper'd organ, that even saddest thoughts
Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes
Play'd deftly on a soft-toned instrument.
THE EOLIAN HARP.
COMPOSED AT CLEVEDON, SOMERSETSHIRE Their finer influence from the Life within :
My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined Fair ciphers else : fair, but of import vague Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is Or unconcerning, where the Heart not finds
To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown History or prophecy of Friend, or Child,
With while-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leaved Or gentle Maid, our first and early love,
Myrtle, Or Father, or the venerable name
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !) Of our adored Country! O thou Queen,
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light, Thou delegated Deity of Earth,
Stow saddening round, and mark the star of eve O dear, dear England! how my longing eye Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be) Turn'd westward, shaping in the steady clouds
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents Thy sands and high white cliffs !
Snatch'd from you bean-field! and the world so
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
And that simplest Lute, From tip high eminence on goodiy vales,
Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark And < 's and villages embower'd below,
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half yielding to her loop,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs Was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye.
The Valley of Seclusion once I saw
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness) Such a soft floating witchery of sound
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by, As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve Bristowa's citizen: methought, it calm'd Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse Where Melodies mund honey-dropping flowers, With wiser feelings; for he paused, and look'd Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around, Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing! Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again, O the one life within us and abroad,
And sigh'd, and said, it was a blessed place. Which meets all motion and becomes its soul, And we were bless'd. Oft with patient ear A light in sound, a sound-like power in light, Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note Rhythm in all thought, and joyance everywhere (Viewless or haply for a moment seen Methinks, it should have been impossible
Gleaming on sunny wings), in whisper'd tones
I've said to my beloved, “ Such, sweet girl!
Unearthly minstrelsy! then only heard
When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hushid, And thus, my love! as on the midway slope And the Heart listens!” Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon, Whilst through my half-closed eye-lids I behold
But the time, when first The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main, From that low dell, steep up the stony Mount And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
I climb'd with perilous toil, and reach'd the top, Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
Oh! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak Mount, And many idle flitting phantasies,
The bare bleak Mountain speckled thin with sheep Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields; As wild and various as the random gales
And River, now with bushy rocks o'erbrow'd, That swell and Autter on this subject lute!
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks;
And Seats, and Lawns, the Abbey and the Wood, And what if all of animated nature
And Cots, and Hamlets, and faint City-spire ; Be but organic harps diversely framed,
The Channel there, the Islands and white Sails,
Had built him there a Temple: the whole World
Blest hour! It was a luxury,—to be!
Ah! quiet dell; dear cot, and Mount sublime !
I was constrain'd to quit you. Was it right, These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
While my unnumber'd brethren toild and bled, Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
That I should dream away the intrusted hours
On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart
With feelings all too delicate for use ? |
Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye
Drops on the cheek of One he lifts from Earth: A sinful and most miserable Man,
And He that works me good with unmoved face, Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids,
My Benefactor, not my Brother Man!
Yet even this, this cold beneficence,
Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched, REFLECTIONS ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE Nursing in some delicious solitude
Their slothful loves and dainty Sympathies !
I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodloss fight
Of Science, Freedom, and the Truth in Christ.
Low was our pretty Cot: our tallest rose
Yet oft, when after honorable toil
Ah-had none greater! And that all had such!
Loved as a brother, as a son revered thee!
TO THE REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE OF
OTTERY ST. MARY, DEVON.
WITH SOME POEMS.
Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, Notus in fratres animi paterni.
When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear Hor. Carm. lib. i. 2.
To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem A BLESSED lot hath he, who having passid
Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind,
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times,
These various strains And haply views his tottering litle ones
Which I have framed in many a various mood, Ernbrace those aged knees and climb that lap,
Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance On which first kneeling his own infancy
Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) Lsp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend! If aught of Error or intemperate Truth Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age At distance did ye climb Life's upland road,
Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it! Yet cheer'd and cheering: now fraternal love Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live!
INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH. To me th' Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed A different fortune and more different mind This Sycamore, oft musical with bees, Me from the spot where first I sprang to light
Such tents Patriarchs loved ! O long unharm'd Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix’d May all its aged boughs o'er-canopy Its first domestic loves ; and hence through life The small round basin, which this jutting stone Chasing chance-started Friendships. A brief while Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring, Some have preserved me from Life's pelting ills ; Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath, But, like a tree with leaves of fceble stem, Send up cold waters to the traveller If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze
With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance, Dropp'd the collected shower; and some most false, Which at the bottom, like a fairy's page, Faise and fair foliaged as the Manchineel,
As merry and no taller, dances still,
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
A TOMBLESS EPITAPH.
"T is true, Idoloclastes Satyrane!
Yet at times (So call him, for so mingling blame with praise, My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends, Sull moosi a stranger, most with naked heart Masking his birth-name, wont to character Ai mine own home and birth-place : chiefly then, His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal) When I remember thee, my earliest Friend! "T is true that, passionate for ancient truths, Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth ; And honoring with religious love the Great Didst trace my wanderings with a Father's eye; Of elder times, he hated to excess, And bonding evil, yet still hoping good,
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn. Rebuked each fault, and over all my woes The hollow puppets of a hollow age, Surtowd in silence! He who counts alone
Ever idolatrous, and changing ever The beatings of the solitary heart,
Its worthless Idols! Learning, Power, and Time That Being knows, how I have loved thee ever, (Too much of ail) thus wasting in vain war
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 't is true,
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles
In glauness all ; but thou, methinks, most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles ! for thou hast pined
In the great city pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pair For not a hidden Path, that to the Shades
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads,
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun ! Lurk'd undiscover'd by him ; not a rill
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb, There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds! But he had traced it upward to its source,
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves ! Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell. And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my Friend, Knew the gay wild-flowers on its banks, and cull? Siruck with deep joy, may stand, as I have stood, Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad Philosopher! contemning wealth and death, As I myself were there! Nor in this bower, Yet docile, childlike, full of life and love! This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd Here, rather than on monumental stone,
Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes, Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watch'd Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek. Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved 10 see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient Ivy, which usurps
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass, In the June of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid a visit Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
to the Author's Co o; and on the morning of their ar- Through the late twilight: and though now the Bar rival, he met with an accident, which disabled him from Wheels silent by, and not a Swallow twitters, walking during the whole time of their stay. One Evening. Yet still the solitary Humble-Bee when they had left him for a few hours, he composed the Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know following lines in the Garden Bower.
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure :
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there, Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ This Lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Each faculty of sense, and keep ihe heart Beanties and feelings, such as would have been
Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes Most sweet to my remerubrance, even when age
"T is well to be bereft of promised good, Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, mean- That we may lift the soul, add contemplate
while, Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last Rook On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Beat its straight path along the dusky air Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance, Homewards, I blest it! deeming irs black wing To that still roaring dell, of which I told :
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
Had cross'd the inighty Orb's dilated glory, And only speckled by the mid-day sun ;
While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was sull, Where its slim trunk the Ash from rock to rock
Flew creakingt o'er thy head, and had a charm Flings arching like a bridge ;—that branchless Ash, For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, Fann'd by the waterfall! and there my friends Behold the dark-green hile of long lank weeds, * That all at once (a most fantastic sight!) Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge Of the blue clay-stone.
TO A FRIEND
NO MORE POETRY.
Dear Charles! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up That Genius plunged thee in that wizard fount
• The Asplenium Scolopendrium, called in some countries Some months after I had written this line, it gave me pleathe Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue ; but With- sure to observe that Bartram had observed the same circumering gives the Adder's Tongue as the trivial name of the stance of the Savanna Crane. " When theso Birds move Ophioglossum only.
their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, moderate and