Page images

See, sportive zephyrs fan the crisped streams;

Through shadowy brakes light glance the sparkling


While, near the secret moss-grown cave, That stands beside the crystal wave, Sweet Echo, rising from her rocky bed, Mimics the feather'd chorus o'er her head.

Rise, hallow'd Milton! rise, and say,
How, at thy gloomy close of day,

How, when "deprest by age, beset with wrongs:"
When "fall'n on evil days and evil tongues ;"
When darkness, brooding on thy sight,
Exil'd the sov'reign lamp of light;

Say, what could then one cheering hope diffuse?
What friends were thine, save Mem'ry and the Muse?
Hence the rich spoils, thy studious youth
Caught from the stores of ancient truth:
Hence all thy classic wand'rings could explore,
When rapture led thee to the Latian shore;

Each scene, that Tyber's banks supply'd;
Each grace, that play'd on Arno's side;
The tepid gales, through Tuscan glades that fly:
The blue serene, that spreads Hesperia's sky;
Were still thine own; thy ample mind
Each charm receiv'd, retain'd, combin'd.
And thence" the nightly visitant," that came
To touch thy bosom with her sacred flame,

Recall'd the long-lost beams of grace,
That whilom shot from Nature's face,
When God, in Eden, o'er her youthful breast
Spread with his own right hand Perfection's gor-
geous vest.


HERE, on my native shore reclin'd,
While silence rules this midnight hour,
I woo thee, Goddess! On my musing mind
Descend, propitious power!

And bid these ruffling gales of grief subside :
Bid my calm'd soul with all thy influence shine;
As yon chaste orb along this ample tide

Draws the long lustre of her silver line,
While the hush'd breeze its last weak whisper blows,
And lulls old Humber to his deep repose.

Come to thy vot'ry's ardent prayer, In all thy graceful plainness drest: No knot confines thy waving hair, No zone, thy floating vest ; Unsullied honour decks thine open brow, And candour brightens in thy modest eye: Thy blush is warm content's ethereal glow; Thy smile is peace; thy step is liberty: Thou scatter'st blessings round with lavish hand, As Spring with careless fragrance fills the land.

As now o'er this lone beach I stray,
Thy fav'rite swain* oft stole along,
And artless wove his Dorian lay,
Far from the busy throng.

Thou heard'st him, goddess, strike the tender string, And bad'st his soul with bolder passions move:

* Andrew Marvell, born at Kingston-upon-Hull in the year 1620.

Soon these responsive shores forgot to ring,
With beauty's praise, or plaint of slighted love;
To loftier flights his daring genius rose,
And led the war 'gainst thine, and Freedom's foes.

Pointed with satire's keenest steel,
The shafts of wit he darts around;
Ev'n mitred dulness learns to feel,
And shrinks beneath the wound.

In aweful poverty his honest Muse
Walks forth vindictive through a venal land:
In vain corruption sheds her golden dews,
In vain oppression lifts her iron hand;

He scorns them both, and, arm'd with truth alone,
Bids lust and folly tremble on the throne.

Behold, like him, immortal maid,
The Muses' vestal fires I bring:

Here, at thy feet, the sparks I spread :
Propitious wave thy wing,

And fan them to that dazzling blaze of song,
Which glares tremendous on the sons of pride.
But, hark, methinks I hear her hallow'd tongue!
In distant trills it echoes o'er the tide;
Now meets mine ear with warbles wildly free,
As swells the lark's meridian ecstasy.

"Fond youth! to Marvell's patriot fame,
Thy humble breast must ne'er aspire.
Yet nourish still the lambent flame;
Still strike thy blameless lyre:

* See The Rehearsal transprosed, and an account of the effect of that satire, in the Biographia Britannica, art. Marvell.

Led by the moral Muse, securely rove;
And all the vernal sweets thy vacant youth
Can cull from busy Fancy's fairy grove,
Oh hang their foliage round the fane of Truth:
To arts like these devote thy tuneful toil,
And meet its fair reward in D'Arcy's smile.

"'Tis he, my son, alone shall cheer Thy sick'ning soul; at that sad hour, When o'er a much-lov'd parent's bier, Thy duteous sorrows shower: At that sad hour, when all thy hopes decline; When pining Care leads on her pallid train, And sees thee, like the weak, and widow'd vine, Winding thy blasted tendrils o'er the plain. At that sad hour shall D'Arcy lend his aid, And raise with friendship's arm thy drooping head.

"This fragrant wreath, the Muses' meed,
That bloom'd those vocal shades among,
Where never flatt'ry dar'd to tread,
Or interest's servile throng;

Receive, thou favour'd son, at my command,
And keep with sacred care, for D'Arcy's brow:
Tell him, 't was wove by my immortal hand,
I breath'd on every flower a purer glow;
Say, for thy sake, I send the gift divine

To him, who calls thee his, yet makes thee mine."



THE midnight clock has toll'd; and hark, the bell
Of death beats slow! heard ye the note profound?
pauses now ; and now, with rising knell,
Flings to the hollow gale its sullen sound.
Yes✶✶✶ is dead. Attend the strain,


Daughters of Albion! Ye that, light as air, So oft have tript in her fantastic train,

With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair: For she was fair beyond your brightest bloom;

(This envy owns, since now her bloom is fled;) Fair as the forms, that, wove in fancy's loom,

Float in light vision round the poet's head. Whene'er with soft serenity she smil❜d,

Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise, How sweetly mutable, how brightly wild,

The liquid lustre darted from her eyes! Each look, each motion, wak'd a new-born grace, That o'er her form its transient glory cast: Some lovelier wonder soon usurp'd the place,

Chas'd by a charm still lovelier than the last. That bell again! it tells us what she is:

On what she was no more the strain prolong: Luxuriant fancy, pause: an hour like this

Demands the tribute of a serious song, Maria claims it from that sable bier,

Where cold and wan the slumberer rests her head;

In still small whispers to reflection's ear,

She breathes the solemn dictates of the dead.

« PreviousContinue »