Puslapio vaizdai


'A LITTLE onward lend thy guiding hand To these dark steps, a little further on!'

-What trick of memory to my voice hath brought This mournful iteration? For though Time, The Conqueror, crowns the Conquered, on this brow Planting his favourite silver diadem,

Nor he, nor minister of his-intent

To run before him, hath enrolled me yet,
Though not unmenaced, among those who lean
Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight.
-O my Antigone, beloved child!

Should that day come- -but hark! the birds salute
The cheerful dawn, brightening for me the east;
For me, thy natural leader, once again
Impatient to conduct thee, not as erst

A tottering infant, with compliant stoop
From flower to flower supported; but to curb
Thy nymph-like step swift-bounding o'er the lawn,
Along the loose rocks, or the slippery verge
Of foaming torrents.-From thy orisons

Come forth; and, while the morning air is yet

Transparent as the soul of innocent youth,

Let me, thy happy guide, now point thy way,
And now precede thee, winding to and fro,
Till we by perseverance gain the top

Of some smooth ridge, whose brink precipitous
Kindles intense desire for powers withheld
From this corporeal frame; whereon who stands,
Is seized with strong incitement to push forth
His arms, as swimmers use, and plunge-dread thought,
For pastime plunge-into the abrupt abyss,'
Where ravens spread their plumy vans, at ease!

And yet more gladly thee would I conduct
Through woods and spacious forests,-to behold
There, how the Original of human art,
Heaven-prompted Nature, measures and erects
Her temples, fearless for the stately work,

Though waves, to every breeze, its high-arched roof,
And storms the pillars rock. But we such schools
Of reverential awe will chiefly seek

In the still summer noon, while beams of light,
Reposing here, and in the aisles beyond
Traceably gliding through the dusk, recal
To mind the living presences of nuns ;
A gentle, pensive, white-robed sisterhood,
Whose saintly radiance mitigates the gloom
Of those terrestrial fabrics, where they serve,
To Christ, the Sun of righteousness, espoused.

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Now also shall the page of classic lore,
To these glad eyes from bondage freed, again
Lie open; and the book of Holy Writ,
Again unfolded, passage clear shall yield
To heights more glorious still, and into shades
More awful, where, advancing hand in hand,
We may be taught, O Darling of my care!
To calm the affections, elevate the soul,
And consecrate our lives to truth and love.



MAY, 1817.




hath been when Earth was proud

Of lustre too intense

To be sustained; and Mortals bowed
The front in self-defence.

Who then, if Dian's crescent gleamed,
Or Cupid's sparkling arrow streamed
While on the wing the Urchin played,
Could fearlessly approach the shade?
-Enough for one soft vernal day,
If I, a bard of ebbing time,


And nurtured in a fickle clime,
May haunt this hornèd bay ;
Whose amorous water multiplies
The flitting halcyon's vivid dyes;

And smooths her liquid breast—to show
These swan-like specks of mountain snow,
White as the pair that slid along the plains
Of heaven, when Venus held the reins!


In youth we love the darksome lawn
Brushed by the owlet's wing;

Then, Twilight is preferred to Dawn,
And Autumn to the Spring.

Sad fancies do we then affect,
In luxury of disrespect
To our own prodigal excess
Of too familiar happiness.
Lycoris (if such name befit

Thee, thee my life's celestial sign!)

When Nature marks the year's decline,
Be ours to welcome it ;

Pleased with the harvest hope that runs

Before the path of milder suns;

Pleased while the sylvan world displays

Its ripeness to the feeding gaze;

Pleased when the sullen winds resound the kneb

Of the resplendent miracle.


But something whispers to my heart
That, as we downward tend,
Lycoris! life requires an art
To which our souls must bend ;
A skill-to balance and supply;
And, ere the flowing fount be dry,
As soon it must, a sense to sip,
Or drink, with no fastidious lip.
Then welcome, above all, the Guest

Whose smiles, diffused o'er land and sea,

Seem to recal the Deity

Of youth into the breast

May pensive Autumn ne'er present

A claim to her disparagement!
While blossoms and the budding spray
Inspire us in our own decay;

Still, as we nearer draw to life's dark goal,

Be hopeful Spring the favourite of the Soul!

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