There's Not A Trace Of Cloud
There's not a trace of cloud
Is in my thoughts;
The moon and my heart
Seem to waver.
Less Than The Cloud To The Wind
Less than the cloud to the wind,
Less than the foam to the sea,
Less than the rose to the storm,
Am I to thee.
More than the star to the night,
More than the rain to the tree,
More than heaven to earth
Art thou to me.
by Sara Teasdale.
The Cloud Of Fate
Peaceful wealth, or painful toil,
Chance of war, or civil broil,
'Tis not for man's feeble race
These to shun, or those embrace.
But that all-disposing Fate
Which presides o'er mortal state,
Where it listeth, casts its shroud
Of impenetrable cloud.
O That A Chariot Of Cloud Were Mine!
O that a chariot of cloud were mine!
Of cloud which the wild tempest weaves in air,
When the moon over the ocean’s line
Is spreading the locks of her bright gray hair.
O that a chariot of cloud were mine! 5
I would sail on the waves of the billowy wind
To the mountain peak and the rocky lake,
A CLOUD the valley domes, and down
Yon erewhile sun-lit mountain stealth,
And bit by bit, with one black frown,
The green and gold below concealed.
Down, down it comes, and pain me numbs,
To think how soon yon vision splendid―
Yon one last scene of gold and green,
Must like my other dreams have ended.
by Joseph Skipsey.
A Cloud Withdrew From The Sky
A Cloud withdrew from the Sky
Superior Glory be
But that Cloud and its Auxiliaries
Are forever lost to me
Had I but further scanned
Had I secured the Glow
In an Hermetic Memory
It had availed me now.
Never to pass the Angel
With a glance and a Bow
Till I am firm in Heaven
Is my intention now.
by Emily Dickinson.
Hark The Sky-Lark In The Cloud
HARK the sky-lark in the cloud,
Hark the cricket in the grass,
Trilling blitheness clear and loud,
Chirping glee to all who pass.
Oh, the merry summer lay!
Earth and sky keep holiday.
Hear the leaves that kiss the air,
Hear the laughter of the bees:
Who remembers winter care
In the shining days like these?
Oh, the merry lay of June!
All our hearts are glad in tune.
Fountain-head and source of rivers,
And napkin spread by fays;
Drifting meadow of the air,
Where bloom the daisied banks and violets,
And in whose fenny labyrinth
The bittern booms and heron wades;
Spirit of lakes and seas and rivers,
Bear only perfumes and the scent
Of healing herbs to just men's fields!
I am a cloud in the heaven's height,
The stars are lit for my delight,
Tireless and changeful, swift and free,
I cast my shadow on hill and sea--
But why do the pines on the mountain's crest
Call to me always, "Rest, rest"?
I throw my mantle over the moon
And I blind the sun on his throne at noon,
Nothing can tame me, nothing can bind,
I am a child of the heartless wind--
But oh the pines on the mountain's crest
Whispering always, "Rest, rest."
by Sara Teasdale.
Keep Me Fully Glad
Keep me fully glad with nothing. Only take my hand in your hand.
In the gloom of the deepening night take up my heart and play with it as you list. Bind me close to you with nothing.
I will spread myself out at your feet and lie still. Under this clouded sky I will meet silence with silence. I will become one with the night clasping the earth in my breast.
Make my life glad with nothing.
The rains sweep the sky from end to end. Jasmines in the wet untamable wind revel in their own perfume. The cloud-hidden stars thrill in secret. Let me fill to the full my heart with nothing but my own depth of joy.
I do not know how you can shun
His sight who sees himself a clod
Whose blindness still outstares the sun
And gazes on the hidden God.
I do not know how you can hate
A heart so set about with fire,
A sword so linked with heavy fate
And broken with unknown desire.
I see your eyes with glory blaze
And splendour bind your dusky hair,
And ever through the nights and days
My soul must struggle with despair.
Your beauty must forever be
My cloud of anguish, and your breath
Raise sorrow like the surging sea
Around the windy wastes of death.
To A Thunder-Cloud
Oh, melancholy fragment of the night
Drawing thy lazy web against the sun,
Thou shouldst have waited till the day was done
With kindred glooms to build thy fane aright,
Sublime amid the ruins of the light!
But thus to shape our glories one by one
With fearful hands, ere we had well begun
To look for shadows-even in the bright!
Yet may we charm a lesson from thy breast,
A secret wisdom from thy folds of thunder:
There is a wind that cometh from the west
Will rend thy tottering piles of gloom asunder,
And fling thee ruinous along the grass,
To sparkle on us as our footsteps pass!
by George MacDonald.
Sonnet Xviii. To The Autumnal Moon
Mild Splendor of the various-vested Night!
Mother of wildly-working visions! hail!
I watch thy gliding, while with watery light
Thy weak eye glimmers through a fleecy veil;
And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud
Behind the gather'd blackness lost on high;
And when thou dartest from the wind-rent cloud
Thy placid lightning o'er th' awakened sky.
Ah, such is Hope! As changeful and as fair!
Now dimly peering on the wistful sight;
Now hid behind the dragon-wing'd Despair:
But soon emerging in her radiant might
She o'er the sorrow-clouded breast of Care
Sails, like a meteor kindling in its flight.
I am like a remnant of a cloud of autumn
uselessly roaming in the sky, O my sun ever-glorious!
Thy touch has not yet melted my vapor,
making me one with thy light,
and thus I count months and years separated from thee.
If this be thy wish and if this be thy play,
then take this fleeting emptiness of mine,
paint it with colors, gild it with gold,
float it on the wanton wind and spread it in varied wonders.
And again when it shall be thy wish to end this play at night,
I shall melt and vanish away in the dark,
or it may be in a smile of the white morning,
in a coolness of purity transparent.
Sonnet Xliv: Cloud And Wind
Love, should I fear death most for you or me?
Yet if you die, can I not follow you,
Forcing the straits of change? Alas! but who
Shall wrest a bond from night's inveteracy,
Ere yet my hazardous soul put forth, to be
Her warrant against all her haste might rue?—
Ah! in your eyes so reached what dumb adieu,
What unsunned gyres of waste eternity?
And if I die the first, shall death be then
A lampless watchtower whence I see you weep?—
Or (woe is me!) a bed wherein my sleep
Ne'er notes (as death's dear cup at last you drain),
The hour when you too learn that all is vain
And that Hope sows what Love shall never reap?
Sonnet Xxi: If Beauty Thus Be Clouded
If Beauty thus be clouded with a frown,
That pity shines no comfort to my bliss,
And vapors of disdain so overfrown,
That my life's light thus wholy darken'd is,
Why should I more molest the world with cries,
The air with sighs, the earth below with tears?
Since I live hateful to those ruthless eyes,
Vexing with untun'd moan her dainty ears;
If I have lov'd her dearer than my breath,
My breath that calls the heav'ns to witness it,
And still must hold her dear till after death;
And if that all this cannot move a whit,
Yet let her say that she hath done me wrong,
To use me thus and know I lov'd so long.
by Samuel Daniel.
The Clouded Morning
The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;
So still is day, it seems like night profound;
Scarce by the city's din the air is stirred,
And dull and deadened comes its every sound;
The cock's shrill, piercing voice subdued is heard,
By the thick folds of muffling vapors drowned.
Dissolved in mists the hills and trees appear,
Their outlines lost and blended with the sky;
And well-known objects, that to all are near,
No longer seem familiar to the eye,
But with fantastic forms they mock the sight,
As when we grope amid the gloom of night.
by Jones Very.
Oh, why are you shining so bright, big Sun,
And why is the garden so gay?
Do you know that my days of delight are done,
Do you know I am going away?
If you covered your face with a cloud, I 'd dream
You were sorry for me in my pain,
And the heads of the flowers all bowed would seem
To be weeping with me in the rain.
But why is your head so low, sweet heart,
And why are your eyes overcast?
Are they clouded because you know we must part,
Do you think this embrace is our last?
Then kiss me again, and again, and again,
Look up as you bid me good-bye!
For your face is too dear for the stain of a tear,
And your smile is the sun in my sky.
by Henry Van Dyke.
Are they blue, gray or green? Mysterious eyes
(as if in fact you were looking through a mist)
in alternation tender, dreamy, grim
to match the shiftless pallor of the sky.
That's what you're like- these warm white afternoons
which make the ravished heart dissolve in tears,
the nerves, inexplicably overwrought,
outrage the dozing mind.
Not always, though-sometimes
you're like the horizon when the sun
ignites our cloudy autumn-how you glow!
A sodden countryside in sudden rout,
turned incandescent by a changing wind.
Dangerous woman-demoralizing days!
Will I adore your killing frost as much,
and in that implacable winter, when it comes,
discover pleasures sharper than iron and ice?
The Pillar Of The Cloud
Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home --
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene, -- one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
Should'st lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
With a turn of his magical rod,
That extended and suddenly shone,
From the round of his glory some god
Looks forth and is gone.
To the summit of heaven the clouds
Are rolling aloft like steam;
There's a break in their infinite shrouds,
And below it a gleam.
O'er the drift of the river a whiff
Comes out from the blossoming shore;
And the meadows are greening, as if
They never were green before.
The islands are kindled with gold
And russet and emerald dye;
And the interval waters outrolled
Are more blue than the sky.
From my feet to the heart of the hills
The spirits of May intervene,
And a vapor of azure distills
Like a breath on the opaline green.
Only a moment!-and then
The chill and the shadow decline,
On the eyes of rejuvenate men
That were wide and divine.
I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud (Daffodils)
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed- and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
The Cloud And The Mountain
A little white Cloud loved the Mountain,
She hung in the sky all day,
And gazed with rather a timid smile
To where, beneath her full many a mile,
The earth and the loved one lay.
The Mountain was silent and lonely,
And grim in the light of dawn,
And ever and aye he cast his eyes
In longing hope to the distant skies
Where little white clouds are born.
Till a breeze in the evening passing
Took pity upon her vow,
And very tenderly lifted down
The virgin Cloud, till her fleecy crown
Was set on the Mountain's brow.
And they loved with a silent ardour
So great that she soon was slain,
And drop by drop from her tender breast
The life-blood flowed o'er his rock-bound crest,
And fell to the earth in rain.
But she left him to keep for ever,
As solace in endless woe
Her soul, and now through the changing years,
Come shine, come shade, or come smiles, or tears,
It lies on his breast as snow.
by Radclyffe Hall.
AFTER A SUMMER'S WALK, IN WHICH MY COMPANION BENT OVER A CLEAR SPRING WHICH GREW TURBID WITHOUT ANY APPARENT CAUSE.
Serene and pure the fountain flowed,
Reflecting Heaven's holiest blue,
When over it thine image bowed—
And the clear water turbid grew.
I saw no cloud upon thy brow,
To darken o'er the bright wave's rest,
Say, could it mirror, thinkest thou,
Some evil hid within thy breast?
Were thy lips guileless, thy heart true,
When by the fairy well they bent?
Whence came the darkness, then, that drew
Its veil across the element?
Yet tell me not—by that lone well
'Tis like we ne'er shall stand again,
Then let the troubled fountain's spell
A mystery still to me remain.
Let me not know what I should mourn,
Distrust of joy, and doubt of thee,
Nor this sweet summer day return
Clouded upon my memory:
For o'er the surface of my soul,
Thine image too hath cast a shade,
And stirred beyond my own control
The depths, that make myself afraid.
------The sky is overcast
With a continuous cloud of texture close,
Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,
Which through that veil is indistinctly seen,
A dull, contracted circle, yielding light
So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,
Chequering the ground--from rock, plant, tree, or tower.
At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam
Startles the pensive traveller while he treads
His lonesome path, with unobserving eye
Bent earthwards; he looks up--the clouds are split
Asunder,--and above his head he sees
The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens.
There, in a black-blue vault she sails along,
Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small
And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss
Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away,
Yet vanish not!--the wind is in the tree,
But they are silent;--still they roll along
Immeasurably distant; and the vault,
Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,
Still deepens its unfathomable depth.
At length the Vision closes; and the mind,
Not undisturbed by the delight it feels,
Which slowly settles into peaceful calm,
Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.
The Cloud On The Mountain
Elevation bestows the sky's nearness to my abode
I am the mountain's cloud, my skirt sprinkles roses
Now the wilderness, now the rose garden is my abode
City and wilderness are mine, ocean is mine, forest is mine
If I want to return to some valley for the night
The mountain's verdure is my carpet of velvet
Nature has taught me to be a pearl spreader
To chant the camel song for the camel of the Beloved of Mercy
To be the comforter of the dispirited farmer's heart
To be the elegance of the assembly of the garden's trees
I spread out over the face of the earth like the locks
I get arranged and adorned by the breeze's
I tantalize the expecting eye from a distance
As I pass silently over some habitation
As I approach strolling towards a brook's bank
I endow the brook with ear rings of whirlpools
I am the hope of the freshly grown field's verdure
I am the ocean's offspring, I am nourished by the sun
I gave ocean's tumult to the mountain spring
I charmed the birds into thrilling chants
I pronounced 'Rise' standing by the verdure's head
I conferred the taste for smile to the rose-bud
By my benevolence farmers' huts on the mountain side
Are converted into bed chambers of the opulent.
Soft spread the southern sumer night
Her veil of darksome blue;
Ten thousand stars combined to light
The terrace of Saint Cloud.
The evening breezes gently sigh'd,
Like breath of lover true,
Bewailing the deserted pride
And wreck of sweet Saint Cloud.
The drum's deep roll was heard afar,
The bugle wildly blew
Good-night to Hulan and Hussar
That garrison Saint Cloud.
The startled Naiads from the shade
With broken urns withdrew
And silenced was that proud cascade,
The glory of Saint Cloud.
We sate upon its steps of stone,
Nor could its silence rue
When waked, to music of our own,
The echoes of Saint Cloud.
Slow Seine might hear each lovely note
Fall light as summer dew
While through the moonless air they float
Prolong'd from fair Saint Cloud.
And sure a melody more sweet
His waters never knew,
Though music's self was wont to meet
With Princes at Saint Cloud.
Nor then, with more delighted ear,
The circle round her drew,
Than ours, when gather'd round to hear
Our songstress at Saint Cloud.
Few happy hours poor mortals pass-â€”
Then give those hours their due,
And rank among the foremost class
Our evenings at Saint Cloud.
by Sir Walter Scott.
1 O joys! infinite sweetness! with what flow'rs
2 And shoots of glory my soul breaks and buds!
3 All the long hours
4 Of night, and rest,
5 Through the still shrouds
6 Of sleep, and clouds,
7 This dew fell on my breast;
8 Oh, how it bloods
9 And spirits all my earth! Hark! In what rings
10 And hymning circulations the quick world
11 Awakes and sings;
12 The rising winds
13 And falling springs,
14 Birds, beasts, all things
15 Adore him in their kinds.
16 Thus all is hurl'd
17 In sacred hymns and order, the great chime
18 And symphony of nature. Prayer is
19 The world in tune,
20 A spirit voice,
21 And vocal joys
22 Whose echo is heav'n's bliss.
23 O let me climb
24 When I lie down! The pious soul by night
25 Is like a clouded star whose beams, though said
26 To shed their light
27 Under some cloud,
28 Yet are above,
29 And shine and move
30 Beyond that misty shroud.
31 So in my bed,
32 That curtain'd grave, though sleep, like ashes, hide
33 My lamp and life, both shall in thee abide.
by Henry Vaughan.
The Death Of Grant
Father! whose hard and cruel law
Is part of thy compassion's plan,
Thy works presumptuously we scan
For what the prophets say they saw.
Unbidden still the awful slope
Walling us in we climb to gain
Assurance of the shining plain
That faith has certified to hope.
In vain! - beyond the circling hill
The shadow and the cloud abide.
Subdue the doubt, our spirits guide
To trust the record and be still.
To trust it loyally as he
Who, heedful of his high design,
Ne'er raised a seeking eye to thine,
But wrought thy will unconsciously.
Disputing not of chance or fate,
Nor questioning of cause or creed:
For anything but duty's deed
Too simply wise, too humbly grave.
The cannon syllabled his name;
His shadow shifted o'er the land,
Portentous, as at his demand
Successive battalions sprang to flame!
He flared the continent with fire,
The rivers ran in lines of light!
Thy will be done on earth - if right
Or wrong he cared not to inquire.
His was the heavy hand, and his
The service of the despot blade;
His the soft answer that allayed
War's giant animosities.
Let us have peace: our clouded eyes,
Fill, Father, with another light,
That we may see with clearer sight
Thy servant's soul in Paradise.
by Ambrose Bierce.
My After-Dinner Cloud
Some sombre evening, when I sit
And feed in solitude at home,
Perchance an ultra-bilious fit
Paints all the world an orange chrome.
When Fear and Care and grim Despair
Flock round me in a ghostly crowd,
One charm dispels them all in air,—
I blow my after-dinner cloud.
'Tis melancholy to devour
The gentle chop in loneliness.
I look on six—my prandial hour—
With dread not easy to express.
And yet for every penance done,
Due compensation seems allow'd.
My penance o'er, its price is won,—
I blow my after-dinner cloud.
My clay is not a Henry Clay,—
I like it better on the whole;
And when I fill it, I can say,
I drown my sorrows in the bowl.
For most I love my lowly pipe
When weary, sad, and leaden-brow'd;
At such a time behold me ripe
To blow my after-dinner cloud.
As gracefully the smoke ascends
In columns from the weed beneath,
My friendly wizard, Fancy, lends
A vivid shape to every wreath.
Strange memories of life or death
Up from the cradle to the shroud,
Come forth as, with enchanter's breath,
I blow my after-dinner cloud.
What wonder if it stills my care
To quit the present for the past,
And summon back the things that were,
Which only thus in vapor last?
What wonder if I envy not
The rich, the giddy, and the proud,
Contented in this quiet spot
To blow my after-dinner cloud?
Flower-De-Luce: The Bridge Of Cloud
Burn, O evening hearth, and waken
Pleasant visions, as of old!
Though the house by winds be shaken,
Safe I keep this room of gold!
Ah, no longer wizard Fancy
Builds her castles in the air,
Luring me by necromancy
Up the never-ending stair!
But, instead, she builds me bridges
Over many a dark ravine,
Where beneath the gusty ridges
Cataracts dash and roar unseen.
And I cross them, little heeding
Blast of wind or torrent's roar,
As I follow the receding
Footsteps that have gone before.
Naught avails the imploring gesture,
Naught avails the cry of pain!
When I touch the flying vesture,
'Tis the gray robe of the rain.
Baffled I return, and, leaning
O'er the parapets of cloud,
Watch the mist that intervening
Wraps the valley in its shroud.
And the sounds of life ascending
Faintly, vaguely, meet the ear,
Murmur of bells and voices blending
With the rush of waters near.
Well I know what there lies hidden,
Every tower and town and farm,
And again the land forbidden
Reassumes its vanished charm.
Well I know the secret places,
And the nests in hedge and tree;
At what doors are friendly faces,
In what hearts are thoughts of me.
Through the mist and darkness sinking,
Blown by wind and beaten by shower,
Down I fling the thought I'm thinking,
Down I toss this Alpine flower.
The Berg (A Dream)
I saw a ship of material build
(Her standards set, her brave apparel on)
Directed as by madness mere
Against a solid iceberg steer,
Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.
The impact made huge ice-cubes fall
Sullen in tons that crashed the deck;
But that one avalanche was all--
No other movement save the foundering wreck.
Along the spurs of ridges pale,
Not any slenderest shaft and frail,
A prism over glass-green gorges lone,
Toppled; or lace or traceries fine,
Nor pendant drops in grot or mine
Were jarred, when the stunned ship went down.
Nor sole the gulls in cloud that wheeled
Circling one snow-flanked peak afar,
But nearer fowl the floes that skimmed
And crystal beaches, felt no jar.
No thrill transmitted stirred the lock
Of jack-straw neddle-ice at base;
Towers indermined by waves--the block
Atilt impending-- kept their place.
Seals, dozing sleek on sliddery ledges
Slipt never, when by loftier edges
Through the inertia ovrthrown,
The impetuous ship in bafflement went down.
Hard Berg (methought), so cold, so vast,
With mortal damps self-overcast;
Exhaling still thy dankish breath--
Adrift dissolving, bound for death;
Though lumpish thou, a lumbering one--
A lumbering lubbard loitering slow,
Impingers rue thee ad go slow
Sounding thy precipice below,
Nor stir the slimy slug that sprawls
Along thy dead indifference of walls.
by Herman Melville.
O THOU, whose presence went before
Our fathers in their weary way,
As with Thy chosen moved of yore
The fire by night, the cloud by day!
When from each temple of the free,
A nation's song ascends to Heaven,
Most Holy Father! unto Thee
May not our humble prayer be given?
Thy children all, though hue and form
Are varied in Thine own good will,
With Thy own holy breathings warm,
And fashioned in Thine image still.
We thank Thee, Father! hill and plain
Around us wave their fruits once more,
And clustered vine, and blossomed grain,
Are bending round each cottage door.
And peace is here; and hope and love
Are round us as a mantle thrown,
And unto Thee, supreme above,
The knee of prayer is bowed alone.
But oh, for those this day can bring,
As unto us, no joyful thrill;
For those who, under Freedom's wing,
Are bound in Slavery's fetters still:
For those to whom Thy written word
Of light and love is never given;
For those whose ears have never heard
The promise and the hope of heaven!
For broken heart, and clouded mind,
Whereon no human mercies fall;
Oh, be Thy gracious love inclined,
Who, as a Father, pitiest all!
And grant, O Father! that the time
Of Earth's deliverance may be near,
When every land and tongue and clime
The message of Thy love shall hear;
When, smitten as with fire from heaven,
The captive's chain shall sink in dust,
And to his fettered soul be given
The glorious freedom of the just!
To A Child Of Fancy
THE nests are in the hedgerows,
The lambs are on the grass ;
With laughter sweet as music
Thy hours lightfooted pass,
My darling child of fancy,
My winsome prattling lass.
Blue eyes, with long brown lashes,
Thickets of golden curl,
Red little lips disclosing
Twin rows of fairy pearl,
Cheeks like the apple blossom,
Voice lightsome as the merle.
A whole Spring's fickle changes
In every short-lived day,
A passing cloud of April,
A flowery smile of May,
A thousand quick mutations
From graver moods to gay.
Far off, I see the season
When thy childhood's course is run,
And thy girlhood opens wider
Beneath the growing sun,
And the rose begins to redden,
But the violets are done.
And further still the summer,
When thy fair tree, fully grown,
Shall burgeon, and grow splendid
With blossoms of its own,
And the fruit begins to gather,
But the buttercups are mown.
If I should see thy autumn,
'Twill not be close at hand,
But with a spirit vision,
From some far distant land.
Or, perhaps, I hence may see thee
Amongst the angels stand.
I know not what of fortune
The future holds for thee,
Nor if skies fair or clouded
Wait thee in days to be,
But neither joy nor sorrow
Shall sever thee from me.
Dear child, whatever changes
Across our lives may pass,
I shall see thee still for ever,
Clearly as in a glass,
The same sweet child of fancy,
The same dear winsome lass.
by Sir Lewis Morris.
Time! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly,
Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring,
But drag or drive us on to die---
Hail thou! who on my birth bestowed
Those boons to all that know thee known;
Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share
The bitter moments thou hast given;
And pardon thee---since thou couldst spare
All that I loved, to peace or Heaven.
To them be joy or rest---on me
Thy future ills shall press in vain;
I nothing owe but years to thee,
A debt already paid in pain.
Yet even that pain was some relief;
It felt, but still forgot thy power:
The active agony of grief
Retards, but never counts the hour.
In joy I've sighed to think thy flight
Would soon subside from swift to slow;
Thy cloud could overcast the light,
But could not add a night to Woe;
For then, however drear and dark,
My soul was suited to thy sky;
One star alone shot forth a spark
To prove thee---not Eternity.
That beam hath sunk---and now thou art
A blank---a thing to count and curse
Through each dull tedious trifling part,
Which all regret, yet all rehearse.
One scene even thou canst not deform---
The limit of thy sloth or speed
When future wanderers bear the storm
Which we shall sleep too sound to heed.
And I can smile to think how weak
Thine efforts shortly shall be shown,
When all the vengeance thou canst wreak
Must fall upon---a nameless stone.
The Cloud Chorus
Hither, come hither, ye Clouds renowned, and unveil yourselves
Come, though ye dwell on the sacred crests of Olympian snow,
Or whether ye dance with the Nereid Choir in the gardens clear,
Or whether your golden urns are dipped in Nile's overflow,
Or whether you dwell by Maeotis mere
Or the snows of Mimas, arise! appear!
And hearken to us, and accept our gifts ere ye rise and go.
THE CLOUDS SING
Immortal Clouds from the echoing shore
Of the father of streams from the sounding sea,
Dewy and fleet, let us rise and soar;
Dewy and gleaming and fleet are we!
Let us look on the tree-clad mountain-crest,
On the sacred earth where the fruits rejoice,
On the waters that murmur east and west,
On the tumbling sea with his moaning voice.
For unwearied glitters the Eye of the Air,
And the bright rays gleam;
Then cast we our shadows of mist, and fare
In our deathless shapes to glance everywhere
From the height of the heaven, on the land and air,
And the Ocean Stream.
Let us on, ye Maidens that bring the Rain,
Let us gaze on Pallas's citadel,
In the country of Cecrops fair and dear,
The mystic land of the holy cell,
Where the Rites unspoken securely dwell,
And the gifts of the gods that know not stain,
And a people of mortals that know not fear.
For the temples tall and the statues fair,
And the feasts of the gods are holiest there;
The feasts of Immortals, the chaplets of flowers,
And the Bromian mirth at the coming of spring,
And the musical voices that fill the hours,
And the dancing feet of the maids that sing!
Horace. Book Ii. Ode X.
Receive, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse fortune's power;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treacherous shore.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbittering all his state.
The tallest pines feels most the power
Of wintry blast, the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-clapt eminence divide
And spread the ruin round.
The well-informed philosopher
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
And hopes in spite of pain;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing forth,
And nature laughs again.
What if thine heaven be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last,
Expect a brighter sky;
The God that strings the silver bow
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvas in!
A REFLECTION ON THE FOREGOING ODE.
And is this all? Can reason do no more
Than bid me shun the deep and dread the shore?
Sweet moralist! afloat on life's rough sea
The Christian has an art unknown to thee;
He holds no parley with unmanly fears,
Where duty bids he confidently steers,
Faces a thousand dangers at her call,
And trusting in his God, surmount's them all.
by William Cowper.
To A Cloud
Beautiful cloud! with folds so soft and fair,
Swimming in the pure quiet air!
Thy fleeces bathed in sunlight, while below
Thy shadow o'er the vale moves slow;
Where, midst their labour, pause the reaper train
As cool it comes along the grain.
Beautiful cloud! I would I were with thee
In thy calm way o'er land and sea:
To rest on thy unrolling skirts, and look
On Earth as on an open book;
On streams that tie her realms with silver bands,
And the long ways that seam her lands;
And hear her humming cities, and the sound
Of the great ocean breaking round.
Ay--I would sail upon thy air-borne car
To blooming regions distant far,
To where the sun of Andalusia shines
On his own olive-groves and vines,
Or the soft lights of Italy's bright sky
In smiles upon her ruins lie.
But I would woo the winds to let us rest
O'er Greece long fettered and oppressed,
Whose sons at length have heard the call that comes
From the old battle-fields and tombs,
And risen, and drawn the sword, and on the foe
Have dealt the swift and desperate blow,
And the Othman power is cloven, and the stroke
Has touched its chains, and they are broke.
Ay, we would linger till the sunset there
Should come, to purple all the air,
And thou reflect upon the sacred ground
The ruddy radiance streaming round.
Bright meteor! for the summer noontide made!
Thy peerless beauty yet shall fade.
The sun, that fills with light each glistening fold,
Shall set, and leave thee dark and cold:
The blast shall rend thy skirts, or thou may'st frown
In the dark heaven when storms come down,
And weep in rain, till man's inquiring eye
Miss thee, forever from the sky.
Life is a crooked Labyrinth, and we
Are daily lost in that Obliquity.
'Tis a perplexed circle, in whose round
Nothing but sorrows and new sins abound.
How is the faint impression of each good
Drown'd in the vicious Channel of our blood?
Whose Ebbes and tides by their vicissitude
Both our great Maker and our selves delude.
O wherefore is the most discerning eye
Unapt to make its own discovery?
Why is the clearest and best judging mind
In her own ills prevention dark and blind?
Dull to advise, to act precipitate,
We scarce think what to do but when too late.
Or if we think, that fluid thought, like seed
Rots there to propagate some fouler deed.
Still we repent and sin, sin and repent;
We thaw and freeze, we harden and relent.
Those fires which cool'd to day the morrows heat
Rekindles. Thus frail nature does repeat
What she unlearnt, and still by learning on
Perfects her lesson of confusion.
Sick soul! what cure shall I for thee devise,
Whose leprous state corrupts all remedies?
What medicine or what cordial can be got
For thee, who poyson'st thy best antidot?
Repentance is thy bane, since thou by it
Onely reviv'st the fault thou didst commit.
Nor griev'st thou for the past, but art in pain
For fear thou mayst not act it o're again.
So that thy tears, like water spilt on lime,
Serve not to quench, but to advance the crime.
My blessed Saviour! unto thee I flie
For help against this homebred tyrannie.
Thou canst true sorrows in my soul imprint,
And draw contrition from a breast of flint.
Thou canst reverse this labyrinth of sin
My wild affects and actions wander in.
O guide my faith! and by thy graces clew
Teach me to hunt that kingdom at the view
Where true joyes reign, which like their day shall last;
Those never clouded, nor that overcast.
by Henry King.
Monody On The Death Of Wendell Phillips
One by one they go
Into the unknown dark--
Star-lit brows of the brave,
Voices that drew men's souls.
Rich is the land, O Death!
Can give you dead like our dead!--
Such as he from whose hand
The magic web of romance
Slipt, and the art was lost!
Such as he who erewhile--
The last of the Titan brood--
With his thunder the Senate shook;
Or he who, beside the Charles,
Untoucht of envy or hate,
Tranced the world with his song;
Or that other, that grey-eyed seer
Who in pastoral Concord ways
With Plato and Hâfiz walked.
Not of these was the man
Whose wraith, through the mists of night,
Through the shuddering wintry stars,
Has passed to eternal morn.
Fit were the moan of the sea
And the clashing of cloud on cloud
For the passing of that soul!
Ever he faced the storm!
No weaver of rare romance,
No patient framer of laws,
No maker of wondrous rhyme,
No bookman wrapt in his dream.
His was the voice that rang
In the fight like a bugle-call,
And yet could be tender and low
As when, on a night in June,
The hushed wind sobs in the pines.
His was the eye that flashed
With a sabre's azure gleam,
Pointing to heights unwon!
Not for him were these days
Of clerky and sluggish calm--
To the petrel the swooping gale!
Austere he seemed, but the hearts
Of all men beat in his breast;
No fetter but galled his wrist,
No wrong that was not his own.
What if those eloquent lips
Curled with the old-time scorn?
What if in needless hours
His quick hand closed on the hilt?
'T was the smoke from the well-won fields
That clouded the vetran's eyes.
A fighter this to the end.
Ah, if in coming times
Some giant evil arise,
And Honor falter and pale,
His were a name to conjure with!
God send his like again!