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O TIME, who knows't a lenient hand to lay,
Softest on sorrow's wounds, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest unperceiv'd away:
On thee I rest my only hopes at last;
And think when thou hast dried the bitter tear,
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on many a sorrow past,
And greet life's peaceful evening with a smile.
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunshine of the transient show'r,
Forgetful, though its wings be wet the while.
But ah! what ills must that poor heart endure,
Who hopes from thee, and thee alone a cure.
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF ENGLAND.
Aн, from my eyes the tears unbidden start,
Albion! as now thy cliffs (that white appear
Far o'er the wave, and their proud summits rear
To meet the beans of morn) my beating heart
With eager hope and filial transport hails!
Scenes of my youth, reviving gales ye bring,
As when erewhile the tuneful morn of spring
Joyous awoke amid your blooming vales,
And fill'd with fragrance every painted plain:
Fled are those hours and all the joys they gave:
Yet still I sigh, and count each rising wave
That bears me nearer to your haunts again:
If haply, mid those woods and vales so fair,
Stranger to peace, I yet may meet her there.
FALLEN pile! I ask not what has been thy fate,
But when the weak winds wafted from the main,
Through each lone arch, like spirits that complain,
Come mourning to my ear, I meditate
On this world's passing pageant, and on those
Who once like thee majestic and sublime
Have stood; till bow'd beneath the hand of time,
Or hard mishap, at their sad evening's close,
Their bold and beauteous port has sunk forlorn!
Yet wearing still a charm, that age and cares
Could ne'er subdue, decking the silver hairs
Of sorrow, as with short-liv'd gleam the morn
Illumines whilst it weeps, the refted tower
STANZAS ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD.
THOUGH parental affection lament thee,
And anguish, which loves to recall
Thy image, may oft represent thee
As the fairest and loveliest of all:
Although I must feel for such sorrow,
There is so much bliss in thy lot,
That pain from thee pleasure inay borrow
And joy could not wish thee forgot.
When childhood, by sin yet untainted,
Gives up life, which it scarcely hath gain'd
And, ere with affliction acquainted,
Hath its end and its object attain'd;
There is so much of sweet consolation,
To soften the sorrow we feel;
While we mourn the severe dispensation,
We bow to the hand which can heal.
Death comes not to such in his terrors,
His pains are half pangless to them;
Crimes have not succeeded to errors,
Nor conscience been roused to condemn.
The prospect before and behind them
Awakes not one heart-stinging sigh;
The season of suffering assign'd them
May be bitter, but soon is gone by.
There is much to relieve, and restore us
To peace, when the child which we lov'd
Hath ascended to glory before us,
Not unblest, though in mercy unprov'd!
Fond fancy gives birth to the feeling
That part of ourselves is at rest;
Hope, humble, but holy and healing,
Sheds its balm in the yet bleeding breast.
Who knows but the beings who bound us
With tenderest ties to this world,
Though unseen, may be hovering around us,
With their cherub-like pinions unfurl'd?
Although not to our senses permitted
To be visible, still they are near;
And the feelings they prompt are most fitted
They tell us that change of existence
Has not sever'd, but strengthen'd each tie;
And, that though we may think them at distance,
Yet still they are spiritually nigh.
There yet is an unbroken union,
Though mortality's curtain may fall;
And souls may keep up their communion,
Through the God of the spirits of all!
TO THE EVENING PRIMROSE.
FAIR flower, that shunn'st the glare of day,
Yet lov'st to open, meekly bold,
To evening's hues of sober gray
Thy cup of paly gold;-
Be thine the offering owing long
To thee, and to this pensive hour,
Of one brief tributary song,
Though transient as thy flower.
I love to watch at silent eve,
Thy scatter'd blossoms' lonely light,
And have my inmost heart receive
The influence of that sight.
I love at such an hour to mark
Their beauty greet the night-breeze chill,
And shine, mid shadows gathering dark,
The garden's glory still.
For such, 'tis sweet to think the while,
When cares and griefs the breast invade,
Is friendship's animating smile
In sorrow's dark'ning shade.
Thus it bursts forth, like thy pale cup
Glist'ning amid its dewy tears,
And bears the sinking spirit up
Amid its chilling fears.
But still more animating far,
If meek Religion's eye may trace,
Even in thy glimm'ring earth-born star,
The holier hope of Grace.
The hope that as thy beauteous bloom
VERSES WRITTEN AFTER RETURNING FROM AN AUTUMNAL MORNING WALK.
IT is the very carnival of nature,
The loveliest season that the year can show!
When earth, obedient to her great Creator,
Her richest boons delighteth to bestow.
The gently-sighing breezes, as they blow,
Have more than vernal softness; and the sun
Sheds on the landscape round a mellower glow
Than in his summer splendour he has done,
As if he near'd his goal, and knew the race was won.
It is the season when the green delight
Of leafy luxury begins to fade!
When leaves are changing daily to the sight,
Yet seem but lovelier from each deepening shade,
Or tint, by autumn's touch upon them laid;
It is the season when each streamlet's sound,
Flowing through lonely vale, or woody glade,
Assumes a tone more pensive, more profound;
And yet that hoarser voice spreads melody around.
And I have wander'd far, since the bright east
Was glorious with the dawning light of day;
Seeing as that effulgence more increas'd,
The mists of morning slowly melt
And, as I pass'd along, from every spray,
With dew-drops glistening, ever more have heard
Some feather'd songster chant his roundelay;
Or bleat of sheep, or lowing of the herd;
Or rustling of fall'n leaf, when morning's breezes stirr’d.
Thus having roam'd, and reach'd my home at last,
Can I do better, while my bosoms glows,
With all the loveliness through which I've pass'd,
Even till enjoyment wishes for repose,
And meditation still with memory grows:
Can I do better than once more to trim
My evening fire, and these my labours close,
Before my feelings chill, or sense wax dim,
With solemn strain of prayer, fit for a parting hymn?
"O God! it is an awful thing indeed
For one who estimates our nature well, Be what it may his outward sect, or creed, To name thee, thou Incomprehensible! Hadst thou not chosen of thyself to tell,
As in thy gospel thou hast done; nor less, By condescending in our hearts to dwell;
Could man have ever found to thee access, Or worshipp'd thee aright, in spiritual holiness?
"No! for the utmost that we could have done,
Were to have rais'd, as Paul at Athens saw,
Altars unto the dread and unknown One,
Bending before, we knew not what, with awe;
And even now instructed by a law
Holier than that of Moses, what know we
Of thee, the Highest? Yet thou bidd'st us draw
Near thee in spirit: O then pardon me,
If, in this closing strain, I crave a boon of thee.
"It shall be this: permit me not to place
My soul's affections on the things of earth; But, conscious of the treasures of thy grace, To let them, in my inmost heart, give birth To gratitude proportion'a to their worth:
Teach me to feel that all which thou hast made Upon this mighty globe's gigantic girth,
Though meant with filial love to be survey'd, Is nothing to thyself:-the shadow of a shade.
"If thou hast given me, more than unto some,
A feeling sense of nature's beauties fair,
Which sometimes renders admiration dumb,
From consciousness that words cannot declare
The beauty thou hast scatter'd every where;
O grant that this may lead me still, through all Thy works to thee! nor prove a treacherous snare Adapted those affections to enthral,
Which should be thine alone, and waken at thy call.
"I would not merely dream my life away
In fancied rapture, or imagin'd joy;
Nor that a perfum'd flower, a dew-gemin'd spray,
A murmuring brook, or any prouder toy,
Should, for its own sake, thought or song employ;
So far alone as nature's charms can lead
To thee, who fram'd them all, and canst destroy,
Or innocent enjoyment serve to feed;
Grant me to gaze and love, and thus thy works to read.
"But while from one extreme thy power may keep
My erring fraility, O preserve ine still
From dulness, nor let cold indifference steep
My senses in oblivion: if the thrill
Of early bliss must sober, as it will,
And should, when earthly things to heavenly yield. I would have feelings left, time cannot chill;
That, while I yet can walk through grove or field, I may be conscious there of charms by thee reveal'd.