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Yet must I doat upon thee,—call thee sweet,
Ah! I will taste that dew, for me, 'tis meet,
O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Nature's observatory—whence the dell,
In flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.
But though I 'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Whose words are images of thoughts refined,
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.
How many bards gild the lapses of time!
A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy,—I could brood Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime: And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,
These will in throngs before my mind intrude:
But no confusion, no disturbance rude
The songs of birds—the whispering of the leavesThe voice of waters—the great bell that heaves
With solemn sound,—and thousand others more, That distance of recognizance bereaves,
Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.
TO A FRIEND WHO SENT ME SOME ROSES.
As late I rambled in the happy fields,
What time the skylark shakes the tremulousdew
From his lush clover covert;—when anew Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields; I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
A fresh-blown musk-rose; 'twas the first that threw
Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew
I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd;
My sense with their deliciousness was spell'd: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea
Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquell'd.
. TO o. A. w.
Nymph of the downward smile and sidelong glance!
In what diviner moments of the day
Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray
Of sober thought? Or when starting away,
With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
And so remain, because thou listenest:
That I can never tell what mood is best,
Trips it before Apollo than the rest.
WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT LEFT
What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,
As the sky-searching lark, and as elate.
Minion of grandeur! think you he did wait?
Ah, no! far happier, nobler was his fate!
In Spenser's halls he stray'd, and bowers fair,
With daring Milton through the fields of air:
Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair
When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew!
TO MY BROTHERS.
Small, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,
And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep
Like whispers of the household gods that keep
Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That thus it passes smoothly, quietly:
May we together pass, and calmly try What are this world's true joys,—ere the great Voice,
From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN S HOMER.
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
When a new planet swims into his ken;
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS AT AN EARLY HOUR.
Give me a golden pen, and let me lean
On heap'd-up flowers, in regions clear, and far; Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,
Or hand of hymning angel, when 'tis seen
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And half-discover'd wings, and glances keen.
The while let music wander round my ears,
And full of many wonders of the spheres:
Keen fitful gusts are whispering here and there
Among the bushes, half leafless and dry;
The stars look very cold about the sky, And I have many miles on foot to fare; Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air,
Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily,
Or of those silver lamps that burn on high, Or of the distance from home's pleasant lair: For I am brimfull of the friendliness
That in a little cottage I have found; Of fair-hair'd Milton's eloquent distress,
And all his love for gentle Lycid' drown'd; Of lovely Laura in her light green dress,
And faithful Petrarch gloriously crowned.
To one who has been long in city pent,
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear