« AnkstesnisTęsti »
And now the assiduous dam her red-specked treasure, From day to day increases, till complete The wonted number, blythe, beneath her breast, She cherishes from morn to eve,-from eve To morn shields from the dew, that globuled lies Upon her mottled plumes: then with the dawn Upsprings her mate, and wakes her with his song. His song full well she knows, even when the sun, High in his morning course, is hailed at once By all the lofty warblers of the sky: But most his downward-veering song she loves; Slow the descent at first, then, by degrees, Quick, and more quick, till suddenly the note Ceases; and, like an arrow-fledge, he darts, And, softly lighting, perches by her side.
When snowdrops die, and the green primrose leaves
Announce the coming flower, the Merle's note,
Mellifluous, rich, deep-toned, fills all the vale,
And charms the ravished ear. The hawthorn bush,
New-budded, is his perch; there the gray dawn
He hails; and there, with parting light concludes
His melody. There, when the buds begin
To break, he lays the fibrous roots; and, see,
His jetty breast embrowned; the rounded clay
His jetty breast has soiled; but now complete,
His partner, and his helper in the work,
Happy assumes possession of her home;
While he, upon a neighbouring tree, his lay,
More richly full, melodiously renews.
When twice seven days have run, the moment snatch,
That she has flitted off her charge, to cool
Her thirsty bill, dipt in the babbling brook,
Then silently, on tip-toe raised, look in,
Admire: five cupless acorns, darkly specked,
Delight the eye, warm to the cautious touch.
In seven days more expect the fledgeless young,
Five gaping bills. With busy wing, and eye
Quick-darting, all alert, the parent pair
Gather the sustenance which heaven bestows.
But music ceases, save at dewy fall
Of eve, when, nestling o'er her brood, the dam
Has stilled them all to rest; or at the hour
Of doubtful dawning gray; then from his wing
Her partner turns his yellow bill, and chaunts
His solitary song of joyous praise.
From day to day, as blow the hawthorn flowers,
That canopy this little home of love,
The plumage of the younglings shoots and spreads, Filling with joy the fond parental eye.
How much alike in habits, form, and size,
The Merle and the Mavis! how unlike
In plumage, and in song! The thrush's song
Is varied as his plumes; and as his plumes
Blend beauteous, each with each, so run his notes
Smoothly, with many a happy rise and fall.
How prettily, upon his parded breast,
The vividly contrasted tints unite
To please the admiring eye; so, loud and soft,
And high and low, all in his notes combine,
In alternation sweet, to charm the ear.
Full earlier than the blackbird he begins
His vernal strain. Regardless of the frown
Which winter casts upon the vernal day,
Though snowy flakes melt in the primrose cup,
He, warbling on, awaits the sunny beam,
That mild gleams down, and spreads o'er all the grove.
But now his song a partner for him gains;
And in the hazel bush, or sloe, is formed
The habitation of the wedded pair:
Sometimes below the never-fading leaves
Of ivy close, that overtwisting binds,
And richly crowns, with clustered fruit of spring,
Some riven rock, or nodding castle wall;
Sometimes beneath the jutting root of elm,
Or oak, among the sprigs, that overhang
A pebble-chiding stream, the loam-lined house
Is fixed, well hid from ken of hovering hawk,
Or lurking beast, or schoolboy's prowling eye;
Securely there the dam sits all day long,
While from the adverse bank, on topmost shoot
Of odour-breathing birch, her mate's blythe chaunt
Cheers her pent hours, and makes the wild woods ring.
Grudge not, ye owners of the fruited boughs,
That he should pay himself for that sweet music,
With which, in blossom time, he cheers your hearts !
Scare, if ye will, his timid wing away,
But, O, let not the leaden viewless shower,
Vollied from flashing tube, arrest his flight,
And fill his tuneful, gasping bill with blood!
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
Born 1785-Died 1806.
HENRY KIRKE WHITE displayed from his childhood an ardent love of study, and an earnest desire for a literary life. But the circumstances of his family made it necessary to put him to a trade, and between fourteen and fifteen he spent a year of misery in the employment of weaving stockings. He was removed in 1800 to an attorney's office, and thenceforward applied himself with great diligence to the study of the law, acquiring likewise in his leisure hours a knowledge of the languages and of several of the sciences.
At length he seemed to have attained the object of his ardent desire and indefatigable exertion; he was released from his employment in 1804, and after a twelvemonth's preparatory study, in which his progress was truly astonishing, he entered the University of Cambridge. Here he at once obtained the highest academical honors, but his protracted and incessant intensity of devotion to his studies entirely destroyed his health and soon brought him to the grave. It was his intention to have devoted himself to the profession of divinity; an office which he seemed well fitted to dignify and render useful, by his piety and talents.
His poetry possesses uncommon beauties, and excited high hopes of his future excellence and celebrity. It is often remarkable for its pathos.
SONNET TO THE RIVER TRENT.
WRITTEN ON RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS.
ONCE more, O Trent! along thy pebbly marge
A pensive invalid, reduced and pale,
From the close sick-room newly let at large,
Woos to his wan-worn cheek the pleasant gale.
O! to his ear how musical the tale
Which fills with joy the throstle's little throat:
And all the sounds which on the fresh breeze sail,
How wildly novel on his senses float!
It was on this that many a sleepless night,
As lone, he watch'd the taper's sickly gleam,
And at his casement heard, with wild affright,
The owl's dull wing and melancholy scream,
On this he thought, this, this his sole desire,
Thus once again to hear the warbling woodland choir.
GIVE me a cottage on some Cambrian wild,
Where, far from cities, I may spend my days,
And, by the beauties of the scene beguiled,
May pity man's pursuits, and shun his ways.
While on the rock I mark the browsing goat,
List to the mountain-torrent's distant noise, Or the hoarse bittern's solitary note,
I shall not want the world's delusive joys: But with my little scrip, my book, my lyre,
Shall think my lot complete, nor covet more; And when, with time, shall wane the vital fire,
I'll raise my pillow on the desert shore,
And lay me down to rest, where the wild wave
Shall make sweet music o'er my lonely grave.
SONNET IN HIS SICKNESS.
YES, 't will be over soon.—This sickly dream
Of life will vanish from my feverish brain;
And death my wearied spirit will redeem
From this wild region of unvaried pain.
Yon brook will glide as softly as before,-
Yon landscape smile,-yon golden harvest grow,Yon sprightly lark on mounting wing will soar
When Henry's name is heard no more below. I sigh when all my youthful friends caress,
They laugh in health, and future evils brave; Them shall a wife and smiling children bless,
While I am mouldering in my silent grave. God of the just-Thou gavest the bitter cup; I bow to thy behest, and drink it up.
SONNET TO CONSUMPTION.
GENTLY, most gently, on thy victim's head,
Consumption, lay thine hand!-let me decay,
Like the expiring lamp, unseen, away,
And softly go to slumber with the dead.
And if 't is true, what holy men have said,
That strains angelic oft, foretell the day,
Of death to those good men who fall thy prey,
O let the aerial music round my bed,
Dissolving sad in dying symphony,
Whisper the solemn warning in mine ear,
That I may bid my weeping friends good by
Ere I depart upon my journey drear:
And, smiling faintly on the painful past,
Compose my decent head, and breathe my
I'M PLEASED AND YET I'M SAD.
WHEN twilight steals along the ground,
And all the bells are ringing round,
One, two, three, four, and five,
I at my study window sit,
And, wrapp'd in many a musing fit,
To bliss am all alive.
But though impressions calm and sweet
Thrill round my heart a holy heat,
And I am inly glad,
The tear drop stands in either eye,
And yet I cannot tell thee why,
I'm pleased, and yet I 'm sad.
The silvery rack that flies away
Like mortal life or pleasure's ray,
Does that disturb my breast?
Nay, what have I, a studious man,
To do with life's unstable plan,
Or pleasure's fading vest?
Is it that here I must not stop,
But o'er yon blue hill's woody top,
Must bend my lonely way?
No, surely no! for give but me
My own fireside, and I shall be
At home where'er I stray.
Then is it that yon steeple there,
With music sweet shall fill the air,
When thou no more canst hear?
Oh, no! Oh, no! for then forgiven
I shall be with my God in heaven,
Released from every fear.
Then whence it is I cannot tell,
But there is some mysterious spell
That holds me when I 'm glad ;
And so the tear-drop fills my eye,
When yet in truth I know not why,
Or wherefore I am sad.
THE SHIPWRECKED SOLITARY'S SONG TO THE NIGHT.
THOU, spirit of the spangled night!
I woo thee from the watch tower high,
Where thou dost sit to guide the bark
Of lonely mariner.