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A violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the eye!
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.
Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.
Thy mornings shewed, thy nights concealed
The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine is too the last green field
That Lucy's eyes surveyed.
"SOUTHEY's talent for poetry lies chiefly in fancy and the invention of his subject. His oriental descriptions, characters, and fables, are wonderfully striking and impressive: but there is an air of extravagance in them, and his versification is abrupt, affected, and repulsive. In his early poetry there is a vein of patriotic fervour, and mild and beautiful moral reflection."
AN EASTERN EVENING.
EVENING comes on: arising from the stream,
Homeward the tall flamingo wings his fiight;
The watchman, at the wish'd approach of night,
Gladly forsakes the field, where he all day,
To scare the winged plunderers from their prey,
With shout and sling, on yonder clay-built height,
Hath borne the sultry ray.
Hark! at the Golden Palaces,
The Bramin strikes the hour.
For leagues and leagues around, the brazen sound Rolls through the stillness of departing day, Like thunder far away.
SUCH was the talk they held upon their way,
Of him to whose old city they were bound;
And now, upon their journey, many a day
Had risen and clos'd, and many a week gone round,
And many a realm and region had they past,
When now the ancient towers appear'd at last.
Their golden summits, in the noon-day light,
Shone o'er the dark green deep that roll'd between;
For domes, and pinnacles, and spires were seen
Peering above the sea,-a mournful sight!
Well might the sad beholder ween from thence
What works of wonder the devouring wave
Had swallowed there, when monuments so brave
Bore record of their old magnificence.
And on the sandy shore, beside the verge
Of ocean, here and there, a rock-hewn fane
Resisted in its strength the surf and surge
That on their deep foundations beat in vain.
In solitude the ancient temples stood,
Once resonant with instrument and song,
And solemn dance of festive multitude;
Now as the weary ages pass along,
Hearing no voice save of the ocean flood,
Which roars for ever on the restless shores;
Or, visiting their solitary caves,
The lonely sound of winds, that moan around
Accordant to the melancholy waves.
Wondering, he stood awhile to gaze
Upon the works of elder days.
The brazen portals open stood,
Even as the fearful multitude
Had left them, when they fled
Before the rising flood.
High over-head, sublime,
The mighty gateway's storied roof was spread,
Dwarfing the puny piles of younger time.
With the deeds of days of yore
That ample roof was sculptur'd o'er,
And many a godlike form there met his eye,
And many an emblem dark of mystery.
Through these wide portals oft had Baly rode
Triumphant from his proud abode,
When, in his greatness, he bestrode
The Aullay, hugest of four-footed kind,
The Aullay-horse, that in his force,
With elephantine trunk, could bind
And lift the elephant, and on the wind
Whirl him away, with sway and swing,
Even like a pebble from the practis'd sling.
Those streets which never, since the days of yore,
By human footstep had been visited;
Those streets which never more
A human foot shall tread,
Ladurlad trod. In sun-light, and sea-green,
The thousand palaces were seen
Of that proud city whose superb abodes
Seem'd rear'd by giants for the immortal gods.
How silent and how beautiful they stand,
Like things of Nature! the eternal rocks
Themselves not firmer. Neither hath the sand
Drifted within their gates, and choak'd their doors,
Nor slime defil'd their pavements and their floors.
Did then the ocean wage
His war for love and envy, not in rage,
O thou fair city, that he spares thee thus?
Art thou Varounin's capital and court,
Where all the sea-gods for delight resort,
A place too godlike to be held by us,
The poor degenerate children of the earth?
So thought Ladurlad, as he look'd around,
Weening to hear the sound
Of Mermaid's shell, and song
Of choral throng from some imperial hall,
Wherein the immortal powers, at festival,
Their high carousals keep.
But all is silence dread,
Silence profound and dead,
The everlasting stillness of the deep.
Through many a solitary street,
And silent market-place, and lonely square,
Arm'd with the mighty curse, behold him fare.
And now his feet attain that royal fane
Where Baly held of old his awful reign.
Fair garden, once which wore perpetual green,
Where all sweet flowers through all the year were found,
And all fair fruits were through all seasons seen;
A place of Paradise, where each device
Of emulous art with nature strove to vie;
And nature, on her part,
Call'd forth new powers wherewith to vanquish art.
The Swerga-God himself, with envious eye,
Survey'd those peerless gardens in their prime ;
Nor ever did the Lord of Light,
Who circles Earth and Heaven upon his way,
Behold from eldest time a goodlier sight
Than were the groves which Baly, in his might,
Made for his chosen place of solace and delight.
It was a Garden still beyond all price,
Even yet it was a place of Paradise :-
For where the mighty Ocean could not spare,
There had he, with his own creation,
Sought to repair his work of devastation.
And here were coral bowers,
And grots of madrepores,
And banks of spunge, as soft and fair to eye
As e'er was mossy bed
Whereon the Wood-nymphs lay
Their languid limbs in summer's sultry hours.
Here, too, were living flowers
Which, like a bud compacted,
Their purple cups contracted,
And now in open blossom spread,
Stretch'd like green anthers many a seeking head.
And aborets of jointed stone was there,
And plants of fibres fine, as silkworm's thread;
Yea, beautiful as Mermaid's golden hair
Upon the waves dispread :
Others that, like the broad bannana growing,
Rais'd their long wrinkled leaves of purple hue,
Like streamers wide out-flowing.
And whatsoe'r the depths of Ocean hide
From human eyes, Ladurlad there espied,
Trees of the deep, and shrubs and fruits and flowers,
As fair as ours.
Wherewith the Sea-nymphs love their locks to braid,
When to their father's hall, at festival
Repairing, they, in emulous array,
Their charms display,
To grace the banquet, and the solemn day.
O READER! hast thou ever stood to see
The Holly Tree?
The eye that contemplates it well perceives
Its glossy leaves
Order'd by an intelligence so wise,
As might confound the atheist's sophistries.
Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen
Wrinkled and keen;
No grazing cattle through their prickly round
Can reach to wound;
But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarm'd the pointless leaves appear.
I love to view these things with curious eyes,
And in this wisdom of the Holly Tree
Can emblems see
Wherewith perchance to make a pleasant rhyme,
One which may profit in the after-time.
Thus, though abroad perchance I might appear
Harsh and austere,
To those who on my leisure would intrude
Reserved and rude,
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.
And should my youth, as youth is apt I know,
Some harshness show,
All vain asperites I day by day
Would wear away,
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.
And as when all the summer trees are seen
So bright and green,
The Holly leaves their fadeless hues display
Less bright than they;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the Holly Tree?
So serious should my youth appear among
The thoughtless throng,
So would I seem amid the young and
More grave than they,
That in my age as cheerful I might be