Where Innocent Bright-Eyed Daisies Are

Where innocent bright-eyed daisies are,
With blades of grass between,
Each daisy stands up like a star
Out of a sky of green.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Because The Bee May Blameless Hum

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Because the Bee may blameless hum
For Thee a Bee do I become
List even unto Me.

Because the Flowers unafraid
May lift a look on thine, a Maid
Alway a Flower would be.

Nor Robins, Robins need not hide
When Thou upon their Crypts intrude
So Wings bestow on Me
Or Petals, or a Dower of Buzz
That Bee to ride, or Flower of Furze
I that way worship Thee.

by Emily Dickinson.

Fragment: A Gentle Story Of Two Lovers Young

A gentle story of two lovers young,
Who met in innocence and died in sorrow,
And of one selfish heart, whose rancour clung
Like curses on them; are ye slow to borrow
The lore of truth from such a tale?
Or in this world’s deserted vale,
Do ye not see a star of gladness
Pierce the shadows of its sadness,--
When ye are cold, that love is a light sent
From Heaven, which none shall quench, to cheer the innocent?

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I made a little funeral pyre,
And on it laid my youthful rhymes,
Those thoughts of innocent desire,
Dear foolish words of childhood times.

Poor things they were, misspelt and crude,
Yet void of guile or vain pretence,
They seemed like children thin and nude,
And unashamed through innocence.

And so, the while I struck the light
That should consume their humble bier
I kissed them, and as funeral rite
I mingled with the flame a tear.

by Radclyffe Hall.

First Love Remembered

PEACE in her chamber, wheresoe'er
It be, a holy place:
The thought still brings my soul such grace
As morning meadows wear.
Whether it still be small and light,
A maid's who dreams alone,
As from her orchard-gate the moon
Its ceiling showed at night:
Or whether, in a shadow dense
As nuptial hymns invoke,
Innocent maidenhood awoke
To married innocence:
There still the thanks unheard await
The unconscious gift bequeathed:
For there my soul this hour has breathed
An air inviolate.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

To An Unfortunate Woman, Whom The Author Had Known In The Days Of Her Innocence

Myrtle leaf, that ill besped
Pinest in the gladsome ray,
Soiled beneath the common tread
Far from thy protecting spray!

When the partridge o'er the sheaf
Whirred along the yellow vale,
Sad, I saw thee, heedless leaf!
Love the dalliance of the gale.

Lightly didst thou, foolish thing!
Heave and flutter to his sighs,
While the flatt'rer on his wing
Wooed and whispered thee to rise.

Gayly from thy mother stalk
Wert thou danced and wafted high;
Soon on this unsheltered walk
Flung to fade, to rot, and die!

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Verses Found In A Summerhouse At Hales-Owen

When Dryden's fool, 'unknowing what he sought,'
His hours in whistling spent, 'for want of thought,'
This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense
Supplied, and amply too, by innocence
Did modern swains, possess'd of Cymon's powers,
In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours,
Th' offended guests would not, with blushing, see
These fair green walks disgraced by infamy.
Severe the fate of modern fools, alas!

When vice and folly mark them as they pass.
Like noxious reptiles o'er the whiten'd wall,
The filth they leave still points out where they crawl.

by George Gordon Byron.

Guiltless Heart

The man of life upright, whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds and thoughts of vanity:
The man whose silent days in harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude, nor fortune discontent;
That man needs neither towers nor armor for defense,
Nor secret vaults to fly from thunder's violence:
He only can behold with unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep and terrors of the skies;
Thus scorning all the care that fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book, his wisdom heavenly things;
Good thoughts his only friends, his wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn and quiet pilgrimage.

by Sir Francis Bacon.

Songs Of Innocence: Introduction

Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child.
And he laughing said to me.

Pipe a song about a Lamb:
So I piped with merry chear,
Piper, pipe that song again--
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear

Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read--
So he vanished from my sight
And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.

by William Blake.

Nurse's Song (Innocence)

When voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still

Then come home my children the sun is gone down
And the dews of night arise
Come come leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies

No no let us play, for it is yet day
And we cannot go to sleep
Besides in the sky, the little birds fly
And the hills are all covered with sheep

Well well go & play till the light fades away
And then go home to bed
The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh'd
And all the hills echoed

by William Blake.

Reeds Of Innocence

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

'Pipe a song about a Lamb!'
So I piped with merry cheer.
'Piper, pipe that song again;'
So I piped: he wept to hear.

'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer!'
So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

'Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read.'
So he vanish'd from my sight;
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

by William Blake.

Introduction To The Songs Of Innocence

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me:

'Pipe a song about a Lamb!'
So I piped with merry cheer.
'Piper, pipe that song again;'
So I piped: he wept to hear.

'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer:!'
So I sang the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

'Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.'
So he vanish'd from my sight;
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

by William Blake.

Here in the little room
You sleep the sleep of innocent tired youth,
While I, in very sooth,
Tired, and awake beside you in the gloom,
Watch for the dawn, and feel the morning make
A loneliness about me for your sake.

You are so young, so fair,
And such a child, and might have loved so well;
And now, I cannot tell,
But surely one might love you anywhere,
Come to you as a lover, and make bold
To beg for that which all may buy with gold.

Your sweet, scarce lost, estate
Of innocence, the candour of your eyes,
Your childlike pleased surprise,
Your patience: these afflict me with a weight
As of some heavy wrong that I must share
With God who made, and man who found you, fair.

by Arthur Symons.

Holy Thursday (Innocence)

Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean
The children walking two & two in red & blue & green
Grey headed beadles walked before with wands as white as snow
Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow

O what a multitude they seemed these flowers of London town
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own
The hum of multitudes was there but multitudes of lambs
Thousands of little boys & girls raising their innocent hands

Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song
Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among
Beneath them sit the aged men wise guardians of the poor
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door

by William Blake.

The Successful Man Has Thrust Himself

The successful man has thrust himself
Through the water of the years,
Reeking wet with mistakes --
Bloody mistakes;
Slimed with victories over the lesser,
A figure thankful on the shore of money.
Then, with the bones of fools
He buys silken banners
Limned with his triumphant face;
With the skins of wise men
He buys the trivial bows of all.
Flesh painted with marrow
Contributes a coverlet,
A coverlet for his contented slumber.
In guiltless ignorance, in ignorant guilt,
He delivered his secrets to the riven multitude.
"Thus I defended: Thus I wrought."
Complacent, smiling,
He stands heavily on the dead.
Erect on a pillar of skulls
He declaims his trampling of babes;
Smirking, fat, dripping,
He makes speech in guiltless ignorance,
Innocence.

by Stephen Crane.

Go perjur'd Youth and court what Nymph you please,
Your Passion now is but a dull disease;
With worn-out Sighs deceive some list'ning Ear,
Who longs to know how 'tis and what Men swear;
She'll think they're new from you; 'cause so to her.
Poor cousin'd Fool, she ne'er can know the Charms
Of being first encircled in thy Arms,
When all Love's Joys were innocent and gay,
As fresh and blooming as the new-born day.
Your Charms did then with native Sweetness flow;
The forc'd-kind Complaisance you now bestow,
Is but a false agreeable Design,
But you had Innocence when you were mine,
And all your Words, and Smiles, and Looks divine.
How proud, methinks, thy Mistress does appear
In sully'd Clothes, which I'd no longer wear ;
Her Bosom too with wither'd Flowers drest,
Which lost their Sweets in my first chosen Breast ;
Perjur'd imposing Youth, cheat who you will,
Supply defect of Truth with amorous Skill :
Yet thy Address must needs insipid be,
For the first Ardour of thy Soul was all possess'd by me.

by Sarah Fyge.

The Innocent Thief

Not a flower can be found in the fields,
Or the spot that we till for our pleasure,
From the largest to the least, but it yields
The bee never wearied a treasure.

Scarce any she quits unexplored
With a diligence truly exact;
Yet, steal what she may for her hoard
Leaves evidence none of the fact.

Her lucrative task she pursues,
And pilfers with so much address,
That none of their odour they lose,
Nor charm by their beauty the less.

Not thus inoffensively preys
The cankerworm, in-dwelling foe!
His voracity not thus allays
The sparrow, the finch, or the crow.

The worm, more expensively fed,
The pride of the garden devours;
And birds peck the seed from the bed,
Still less to be spared than the flowers.

But she with such delicate skill
Her pillage so fits for her use,
That the chemist in vain with his still
Would labour the like to produce.

Then grudge not her temperate meals,
Nor a benefit blame as a theft;
Since, stole she not all that she steals,
Neither honey nor wax would be left.

by William Cowper.

COME to the grave--the silent grave! and dream
Of a light, happy voice--so full of joy,
That those who heard her laugh, would laugh again,
Echoing the mirth of such an innocent spirit;
And pause in their own converse, to look round,
Won by the witchery of that gleesome tone.
Come to the grave--the lone dark grave! and dream
Of eyes whose brilliancy was of the soul,
Eyes which, with one bright flash from their dark lids,
Seemed at a glance to read the thoughts of others;
Or, with a full entire tenderness,
The pure expression of all-perfect love,
(Of woman's love, which is for you alone,
While your's is for yourself)--gave in that look
The promise of a life of meek affection.
Come to the grave--the mouldering grave! and dream
Of a fair form that glided over earth
One of its happiest creatures:--to her cheek

The lightest word might bring the blushing blood
In pure carnation;--down her graceful neck,
The long rich curls of jet hung carelessly,
Untortured by the cunning hand of art:
And on her brow, bright purity and joy,
Twin sisters, sate,--as on a holy throne.
Come yet unto the grave--the still, damp grave!
And dream of a young heart that beat with life,
And all life's best affections; of a heart
Where sorrow never came, nor fear, nor sin--
Nor aught save innocence, and perfect love:
And, having dreamed of such a lovely being--
So gay, so bright, so pure, so fond, so meek--
Having thus conjured up a form of love
In thine own pausing and regretful mind;--
A vision will be present to thy soul,
A faint, but faithful portraiture, of one
Most dearly loved, and now for ever lost!

by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton.

On A Tuft Of Grass

WEAK, slender blades of tender green,
With little fragrance, little sheen,
What maketh ye so dear to all?
Nor bud, nor flower, nor fruit have ye,
So tiny, it can only be
'Mongst fairies ye are counted tall.

No beauty is in this,— ah, yea,
E'en as I gaze on you to-day,
Your hue and fragrance bear me back
Into the green, wide fields of old,
With clear, blue air, and manifold
Bright buds and flowers in blossoming track.

All bent one way like flickering flame,
Each blade caught sunlight as it came,
Then rising, saddened into shade;
A changeful, wavy, harmless sea,
Whose billows none could bitterly
Reproach with wrecks that they had made.

No gold ever was buried there
More rich, more precious, or more fair
Than buttercups with yellow gloss.
No ships of mighty forest trees
E'er foundered in these guiltless seas
Of grassy waves and tender moss.

Ah, no! ah, no! not guiltless still,
Green waves on meadow and on hill,
Not wholly innocent are ye;
For what dead hopes and loves, what graves,
Lie underneath your placid waves,
While breezes kiss them lovingly!

Calm sleepers with sealed eyes lie there;
They see not, neither feel nor care
If over them the grass be green.
And some sleep here who ne'er knew rest,
Until the grass grew o'er their breast,
And stilled the aching pain within.

Not all the sorrow man hath known,
Not all the evil he hath done,
Have ever cast thereon a stain.
It groweth green and fresh and light,
As in the olden garden bright,
Beneath the feet of Eve and Cain.

It flutters, bows, and bends, and quivers,
And creeps through forests and by rivers,
Each blade with dewy brightness wet,
So soft, so quiet, and so fair,
We almost dream of sleeping there,
Without or sorrow or regret.

by Emma Lazarus.

Happiness Of A Country Life

Oh! knew he but his happiness, of men
The happiest he, who, far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retired
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
What though the dome be wanting, whose proud gate
Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd
Of flatt'rers false, and in their turn abused?
Vile intercourse! What though the glitt'ring robe,
Of every hue reflected light can give,
Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold -
The pride and gaze of fools! - oppress him not?
What though, from utmost land and sea purvey'd,
For him each rarer tributary life
Bleeds not, and his insatiatic table heaps
With luxury and death? What though his bowl
Flames not with costly juice; nor sunk in beds,
Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night,
Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state?
What though he knows not those fantastic joys
That still amuse the wanton, still deceive,
A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain;
Their hollow moments undelighted all?
Sure peace is his; a solid life, estranged
From disappointment and fallacious hope,
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs and fruits. Whatever greens the spring,
When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough,
When summer reddens, and when autumn beams;
Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies
Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap,
These are not wanting; nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale;
Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay;
Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottos, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear.
Here, too, dwell simple truth, plain innocence,
Unsallied beauty, sound unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleased,
Health ever blooming, unambitious toil,
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.

by James Thomson.

The Innocent Ill

Though all thy gestures and discourses be
Coin'd and stamp'd by modesty;
Though from thy tongue ne'er slipp'd away
One word which nuns at th' altar might not say;
Yet such a sweetness, such a grace,
In all thy speech appear,
That what to th' eye a beauteous face,
That thy tongue is to th' ear:
So cunningly it wounds the heart,
It strikes such heat through every part,
That thou a tempter worse than Satan art.

Though in thy thoughts scarce any tracks have been
So much as of original sin,
Such charms thy beauty wears as might
Desires in dying confess'd saints excite:
Thou, with strange adultery,
Dost in each breast a brothel keep;
Awake all men do lust for thee,
And some enjoy thee when they sleep.
Ne'er before did woman live,
Who to such multitudes did give
The root and cause of sin, but only Eve.

Though in thy breast so quick a pity be,
That a fly's death 's a wound to thee;
Though savage and rock-hearted those
Appear, that weep not ev'n Romance's woes;
Yet ne'er before was tyrant known,
Whose rage was of so large extent;
The ills thou dost are whole thine own;
Thou 'rt principal and instrument:
In all the deaths that come from you,
You do the treble office do
Of judge, of torturer, and of weapon too.

Thou lovely instrument of angry Fate,
Which God did for our faults create!
Thou pleasant, universal ill,
Which, sweet as health, yet like a plague dost kill!
Thou kind, well-natur'd tyranny!
Thou chaste committer of a rape!
Thou voluntary destiny,
Which no man can, or would, escape!
So gentle, and so glad to spare,
So wondrous good, and wondrous fair,
(We know) ev'n the destroying-angels are.

by Abraham Cowley.

On The Yong Baronett Portman Dying Of An Impostume In's Head

Is Death so cunning now that all her blowe
Aymes at the heade? Doth now her wary Bowe
Make surer worke than heertofore? The steele
Slew warlike heroes onely in the heele.
New found out slights, when men themselves begin
To be theyr proper Fates by new found sinne.
Tis cowardize to make a wound so sure;
No Art in killing where no Art can cure.
Was it for hate of learning that she smote
This upper shoppe where all the Muses wrought?
Learning shall crosse her drift, and duly trie
All wayes and meanes of immortalitie.
Because her heade was crusht, doth shee desire
Our equall shame? In vayne she doth aspire.
No: noe: Wee know where ere shee make a breach
Her poysened Sting onely the Heele can reach.
Looke on the Soule of man, the very Heart;
The Head itselfe is but a lower parte:
Yet hath shee straynde her utmost tyranny,
And done her worst in that she came so high.
Had she reservde this stroke for haughty men,
For politique Contrivers; justly then
The Punishment were matcht with the offence:
But when Humility and Innocence
So indiscreetly in the Heade are hitt,
Death hath done Murther, and shall die for itt:
Thinke it no Favour showne because the Braine
Is voyde of sence, and therefore free from payne.
Thinke it noe kindness when so stealingly
He rather seemde to jest away than die,
And like that Innocent, the Widdows childe
Cryde out, My head, my head: and so it dyde.
Thinke it was rather double cruelty,
Slaughter intended on his Name, that Hee
Whose thoughts were nothing taynted, nothing vayne,
Might seeme to hide Corruption in his brayne.
How easy might this Blott bee wipte away
If any Pen his worth could open lay?
For which those Harlott-prayses, which wee reare
In common dust, as much too slender are
As great for others. Boasting Elegies
Must here bee dumbe. Desert that overweighs
All our Reward stoppes all our Prayse: lest wee
Might seeme to give alike to Them and Thee:
Wherfore an humble Verse, and such a strayne
As mine will hide the truth while others fayne.

by William Strode.

But that which most I wonder at, which most
I did esteem my bliss, which most I boast,
And ever shall enjoy, is that within
I felt no stain, nor spot of sin.

No darkness then did overshade,
But all within was pure and bright,
No guilt did crush, nor fear invade
But all my soul was full of light.

A joyful sense and purity
Is all I can remember;
The very night to me was bright,
'Twas summer in December.

A serious meditation did employ
My soul within, which taken up with joy
Did seem no outward thing to note, but fly
All objects that do feed the eye.

While it those very objects did
Admire, and prize, and praise, and love,
Which in their glory most are hid,
Which presence only doth remove.

Their constant daily presence I
Rejoicing at, did see;
And that which takes them from the eye
Of others, offer'd them to me.

No inward inclination did I feel
To avarice or pride: my soul did kneel
In admiration all the day. No lust, nor strife,
Polluted then my infant life.

No fraud nor anger in me mov'd,
No malice, jealousy, or spite;
All that I saw I truly lov'd.
Contentment only and delight

Were in my soul. O Heav'n! what bliss
Did I enjoy and feel!
What powerful delight did this
Inspire! for this I daily kneel.

Whether it be that nature is so pure,
And custom only vicious; or that sure
God did by miracle the guilt remove,
And make my soul to feel his love

So early: or that 'twas one day,
Wherein this happiness I found;
Whose strength and brightness so do ray,
That still it seems me to surround;

What ere it is, it is a light
So endless unto me
That I a world of true delight
Did then and to this day do see.

That prospect was the gate of Heav'n, that day
The ancient light of Eden did convey
Into my soul: I was an Adam there
A little Adam in a sphere

Of joys! O there my ravish'd sense
Was entertain'd in Paradise,
And had a sight of innocence
Which was beyond all bound and price.

An antepast of Heaven sure!
I on the earth did reign;
Within, without me, all was pure;
I must become a child again.

by Thomas Traherne.

An Answer In The Behalf Of A Woman.

GIRT in my guiltless gown, as I sit here and sow,
I see that things are not in deed, as to the outward show.
And who so list to look and note things somewhat near,
Shall find where plainness seems to haunt, nothing but craft appear.
For with indifferent eyes, myself can well discern,
How some to guide a ship in storms stick not 2 to take the stern ;
Whose skill and courage tried3 in calm to steer a barge,
They would soon shew, you should foresee, 4 it were too great a charge.
And some I see again sit still and say but small,
That can5 do ten times more than they that say they can do all.
Whose goodly gifts are such, the more they understand,
The more they seek to learn and know, and take less charge in hand.
And to declare more plain, the time flits not so fast,
But I can bear right 6 well in mind the song now sung, and past ;
The author whereof came, wrapt in a crafty cloak,
In 7 will to force a flaming fire where he could raise no smoke.
If power and will had met,8as it appeareth plain,
The 9 truth nor right had ta'en no place ; their virtues had been vain.
So that you may perceive, and I may safely see,
The innocent that guiltless is, condemned should have be.
Much like untruth to this the story doth declare,
Where the Elders laid to Susan's charge meet matter to compare.
They did her both accuse, and eke condemn her too,
And yet no reason, right, nor truth, did lead them so to do !
And she thus judg'd to die, toward her death went forth,
Fraughted with faith, a patient pace, taking her wrong in worth.
But he that doth defend all those that in him trust,
Did raise a child for her defence to shield her from th' unjust.
And Daniel chosen was then of this wrong to weet,
How, in what place, and eke with whom, she did this crime commit.
He caused the Elders part the one from th' other's sight,
And did examine one by one, and charg'd them both say right.
' Under a mulberry tree it was ;' first said the one.
The next named a pomegranate tree, whereby the truth was known.
Then Susan was discharg'd, and they condemn'd to die,
As right requir'd, and they deserv'd, that fram'd so foul a lie.
And He that her preserv'd, and lett them of their lust,
Hath me defended hitherto, and will do still I trust.

by Henry Howard.

The Fate Of An Innocent Dog

When Tiger left his native yard,
He did not many ills regard,
A fleet and harmless cur;
Indeed, he was a trusty dog,
And did not through the pastures prog;
The grazing flocks to stir, poor dog,
The grazing flocks to stir.

He through a field by chance was led,
In quest of game not far ahead,
And made one active leap;
When all at once, alarm'd, he spied,
A creature welt'ring on its side,
A deadly wounded sheep, alas!
A deadly wounded sheep.

He there was fill'd with sudden fear,
Apprized of lurking danger near,
And there he left his trail;
Indeed, he was afraid to yelp,
Nor could he grant the creature help,
But wheel'd and drop'd his tail, poor dog,
But wheel'd and drop'd his tail.

It was his pass-time, pride and fun,
At morn the nimble hare to run,
When frost was on the grass;
Returning home who should he meet?
The weather's owner, coming fleet,
Who scorn'd to let him pass, alas!
Who scorn'd to let him pass.

Tiger could but his bristles raise,
A surly compliment he pays,
Insulted shows his wrath;
Returns a just defensive growl,
And does not turn aside to prowl,
But onward keeps the path, poor dog,
But onward keeps the path.

The raging owner found the brute,
But could afford it no recruit,
Nor raise it up to stand;
'Twas mangled by some other dogs,
A set of detrimental rogues,
Raised up at no command, alas!
Raised up at no command.

Sagacious Tiger left his bogs,
But bore the blame of other dogs,
With powder, fire and ball;
They kill'd the poor, unlawful game,
And then came back and eat the same ;
But Tiger paid for all, poor dog,
But Tiger paid for all.

Let ev'ry harmless dog beware
Lest he be taken in the snare,
And scorn such fields to roam;
A creature may be fraught with grace,
And suffer for the vile and base,
By straggling off from home, alas!
By straggling off from home.

The blood of creatures oft is spilt,
Who die without a shade of guilt;
Look out, or cease to roam;
Whilst up and down the world he plays
For pleasure, man in danger strays
Without a friend from home, alas!
Without a friend from home.

by George Moses Horton.

Composed At Clevedon, Somersetshire

My pensive Sara, thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown
With white-flowered jasmine and the broad-leaved myrtle
(Meet emblems they of innocence and love),
And watch the clouds that late were rich with light
Slow-sad'ning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatched from yon bean-field! And the world so hushed!
The stilly murmur of the distant sea
Tells us of silence. And that simplest lute
Placed lengthways in the clasping casement-hark
How by desultory breeze caressed!
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraidings as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong. And now its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight elfins make when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from fairyland,
Where melodies round honey-dropping flowers
Footless and wild, like birds of paradise,
Nor pause nor perch, hov'ring on untamed wing.
And thus, my love, as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst through my half-closed eyelids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility,
Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,
And many idle flitting fantasies
Traverse my indolent and passive brain-
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject lute!
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps,
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the soul of each, and God of all?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, oh beloved woman!-nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek daughter in the family of Christ,
Well hast thou said and holily dispraised
These shapings of the unregenerate mind,
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of Him,
Th'Incomprehensible! save when with awe
I praise him, and with faith that inly feels-
I praise him, and with faith that inly feels-
Who with his saving mercies healed me,
A sinful and most miserable man
Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this cot, and the, heart-honoured maid!

Aug. 20th, 1795

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Aeolian Harp

My pensive SARA ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddenning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field ! and the world so hush'd !
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.

[Image] [Image]And that simplest Lute,
Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark !
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong ! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Faery-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing !
O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where--
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro' my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman ! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the Family of Christ !
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible ! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid !

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Aeolian Harp, The

My pensive SARA ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddenning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field ! and the world so hush'd !
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.

[Image] [Image]And that simplest Lute,
Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark !
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong ! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Faery-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing !
O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where--
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro' my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman ! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the Family of Christ !
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible ! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid !

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Eolian Harp

(Composed at Clevedon, Somersetshire)

My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love!)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field! and the world so hushed!
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.
And that simplest Lute,
Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark!
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dripping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing!
O! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where—
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

And thus, my Love! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst through my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main.
And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute!
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?

But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the family of Christ!
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid!

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Art thou indeed among these,
Thou of the tyrannous crew,
The kingdoms fed upon blood,
O queen from of old of the seas,
England, art thou of them too
That drink of the poisonous flood,
That hide under poisonous trees?



Nay, thy name from of old,
Mother, was pure, or we dreamed
Purer we held thee than this,
Purer fain would we hold;
So goodly a glory it seemed,
A fame so bounteous of bliss,
So more precious than gold.



A praise so sweet in our ears,
That thou in the tempest of things
As a rock for a refuge shouldst stand,
In the bloodred river of tears
Poured forth for the triumph of kings;
A safeguard, a sheltering land,
In the thunder and torrent of years.



Strangers came gladly to thee,
Exiles, chosen of men,
Safe for thy sake in thy shade,
Sat down at thy feet and were free.
So men spake of thee then;
Now shall their speaking be stayed?
Ah, so let it not be!


Not for revenge or affright,
Pride, or a tyrannous lust,
Cast from thee the crown of thy praise.
Mercy was thine in thy might;
Strong when thou wert, thou wert just;
Now, in the wrong-doing days,
Cleave thou, thou at least, to the right.



How should one charge thee, how sway,
Save by the memories that were?
Not thy gold nor the strength of thy ships,
Nor the might of thine armies at bay,
Made thee, mother, most fair;
But a word from republican lips
Said in thy name in thy day.



Hast thou said it, and hast thou forgot?
Is thy praise in thine ears as a scoff?
Blood of men guiltless was shed,
Children, and souls without spot,
Shed, but in places far off;
Let slaughter no more be, said
Milton; and slaughter was not.



Was it not said of thee too,
Now, but now, by thy foes,
By the slaves that had slain their France,
And thee would slay as they slew -
"Down with her walls that enclose
Freemen that eye us askance,
Fugitives, men that are true!"



This was thy praise or thy blame
From bondsman or freeman--to be
Pure from pollution of slaves,
Clean of their sins, and thy name
Bloodless, innocent, free;
Now if thou be not, thy waves
Wash not from off thee thy shame.



Freeman he is not, but slave,
Whoso in fear for the State
Cries for surety of blood,
Help of gibbet and grave;
Neither is any land great
Whom, in her fear-stricken mood,
These things only can save.



Lo, how fair from afar,
Taintless of tyranny, stands
Thy mighty daughter, for years
Who trod the winepress of war;
Shines with immaculate hands;
Slays not a foe, neither fears;
Stains not peace with a scar.



Be not as tyrant or slave,
England; be not as these,
Thou that wert other than they.
Stretch out thine hand, but to save;
Put forth thy strength, and release;
Lest there arise, if thou slay,
Thy shame as a ghost from the grave.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Out of the heart of the city begotten
Of the labour of men and their manifold hands,
Whose souls, that were sprung from the earth in her morning,
No longer regard or remember her warning,
Whose hearts in the furnace of care have forgotten
Forever the scent and the hue of her lands;

Out of the heat of the usurer's hold,
From the horrible crash of the strong man's feet;
Out of the shadow were pity is dying;
Out of the clamour where beauty is lying,
Dead in the depth of the struggle for gold;
Out of the din and the glare of the street;

Into the arms of our mother we come,
Our broad strong mother, the innocent earth,
Mother of all things beautiful, blameless,
Mother of hopes that her strength makes tameless,
Where the voices of grief and of battle are dumb,
And the whole world laughs with the light of her mirth.

Over the fields, where the cool winds sweep,
Black with the mould and brown with the loam,
Where the thin green spears of the wheat are appearing,
And the high-ho shouts from the smoky clearing;
Over the widths, where the cloud shadows creep;
Over the fields and the fallows we come;

Over the swamps with their pensive noises,
Where the burnished cup of the marigold gleams;
Skirting the reeds, where the quick winds shiver
On the swelling breast of the dimpled river,
And the blue of the king-fisher hangs and poises,
Watching a spot by the edge of the streams;

By the miles of the fences warped and dyed
With the white-hot noons and their withering fires,
Where the rough bees trample the creamy bosoms
Of the hanging tufts of the elder blossoms,
And the spiders weave, and the grey snakes hide,
In the crannied gloom of the stones and the briers;

Over the meadow land sprouting with thistle,
Where the humming wings of the blackbirds pass,
Where the hollows are banked with the violets flowering,
And the long-limbed pendulous elms are towering,
Where the robins are loud with their voluble whistle,
And the ground sparrow scurries away through the grass,

Where the restless bobolink loiters and woos
Down in the hollows and over the swells,
Dropping in and out of the shadows,
Sprinkling his music about the meadows,
Whistles and little checks and coos,
And the tinkle of glassy bells;

Into the dim woods full of the tombs
Of the dead trees soft in their sepulchres,
Where the pensive throats of the shy birds hidden,
Pipe to us strangely entering unbidden,
And tenderly still in the tremulous glooms
The trilliums scatter their white-winged stars;

Up to the hills where our tired hearts rest,
Loosen, and halt, and regather their dreams;
Up to the hills, where the winds restore us,
Clearing our eyes to the beauty before us,
Earth with the glory of life on her breast,
Earth with the gleam of her cities and streams.

Here we shall commune with her and no other;
Care and the battle of life shall cease;
Men her degenerate children behind us,
Only the might of her beauty shall bind us,
Full of rest, as we gaze on the face of our mother,
Earth in the health and the strength of her peace.

by Archibald Lampman.

Eclogue The Third Abra

SCENE, a forest TIME, the Evening

In Georgia's land, where Tefflis' towers are seen,
In distant view along the level green,
While evening dews enrich the glittering glade,
And the tall forests cast a longer shade,
Amidst the maids of Zagen's peaceful grove,
Emyra sung the pleasing cares of love.
Of Abra first began the tender strain,
Who led her youth with flocks upon the plain.
At morn she came those willing flocks to lead,
Where lilies rear them in the watery mead;

From early dawn the livelong hours she told,
Till late at silent ev'n she penned the fold.
Deep in the grove beneath the secret shade,
A various wreath of odorous flowers she made.
Gay-motleyed pinks and sweet jonquils she chose,
The violet-blue that on the moss-bank grows;
All-sweet to sense, the flaunting rose was there;
The finished chaplet well-adorned her hair.
Great Abbas chanced that fated morn to stray,
By love conducted from the chase away;

Among the vocal vales he heard her song,
And sought the vales and echoing groves among.
At length he found and wooed the rural maid:
She knew the monarch, and with fear obeyed.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
The royal lover bore her from the plain,
Yet still her crook and bleating flock remain:
Oft as she went, she backward turned her view,
And bade that crook and bleating flock adieu.

Fair happy maid! to other scenes remove,
To richer scenes of golden power and love!
Go leave the simple pipe and shepherd's strain,
With love delight thee, and with Abbas reign.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
Yet midst the blaze of courts she fixed her love
On the cool fountain or the shady grove;
Still with the shepherd's innocence her mind
To the sweet vale and flowery mead inclined,

And oft as spring renewed the plains with flowers,
Breathed his soft gales and led the fragrant hours,
With sure return she sought the sylvan scene,
The breezy mountains and the forests green.
Her maids around her moved, a duteous band!
Each bore a crook all-rural in her hand.
Some simple lay of flocks and herds they sung;
With joy the mountain and the forest rung.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
And oft the royal lover left the care
And thorns of state, attendant on the fair:
Oft to the shades and low-roofed cots retired,
Or sought the vale where first his heart was fired;
A russet mantle, like a swain, he wore,
And thought of crowns and busy courts no more.
Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.
Blest was the life that royal Abbas led:
Sweet was his love and innocent his bed.

What if in wealth the noble maid excel;
The simple shepherd girl can love as well.
Let those who rule on Persia's jewelled throne,
Be famed for love and gentlest love alone:
Or wreathe, like Abbas, full of fair renown,
The lover's myrtle with the warrior's crown.
Oh happy days! the maids around her say,
Oh haste, profuse of blessings, haste away!

Be every youth like royal Abbas moved,
And every Georgian maid like Abra loved.

by William Collins.

FOR the first time, a lovely scene
Earth saw, and smiled,--
A gentle form with pallid mien
Bending o'er a newborn child:
The pang, the anguish, and the wo
That speech hath never told,
Fled, as the sun with noontide glow
Dissolves the snow-wreath cold,
Leaving the bliss that none but mothers know;
While he, the partner of her heaven-taught joy,
Knelt in adoring praise beside his beauteous boy.

She, first of all our mortal race,
Learn'd the ecstasy to trace
The expanding form of infant grace
From her own life-spring fed;
To mark, each radiant hour,
Heaven's sculpture still more perfect growing,
More full of power;

The little foot's elastic tread,
The rounded cheek, like rose-bud glowing,
The fringed eye with gladness flowing,
As the pure, blue fountains roll;
And then those lisping sounds to hear,
Unfolding to her thrilling ear
The strange, mysterious, never-dying soul,
And with delight intense
To watch the angel-smile of sleeping innocence.

No more she mourn'd lost Eden's joy,
Or wept her cherish'd flowers,
In their primeval bowers
By wrecking tempests riven;
The thorn and thistle of the exile's lot
She heeded not,
So all-absorbing was her sweet employ
To rear the incipient man,* the gift her God had given.

And when his boyhood bold
A richer beauty caught,
Her kindling glance of pleasure told
The incense of her idol-thought:
Not for the born of clay
Is pride's exulting thrill,
Dark herald of the downward way,
And ominous of ill.
Even his cradled brother's smile
The haughty first-born jealously survey'd,
And envy mark'd the brow with hate and guile,
In God's own image made.

At the still twilight hour,
When saddest images have power,
Musing Eve her fears exprest:--
'He loves me not; no more with fondness free
His clear eye looks on me;
Dark passions rankle there, and moody hate
Predicts some adverse fate.
Ah! is this be, whose waking eye,
Whose faint, imploring cry,
With new and unimagined rapture blest ?
Alas! alas! the throes his life that bought,
Were naught to this wild agony of thought
That racks my boding breast.'

So mourn'd our mother, in her secret heart
With presage all too true;
And often from the midnight dream would start,
Her forehead bathed in dew;
But say, what harp shall dare,
Unless by hand immortal strung,
What pencil touch the hue,
Of that intense despair Her inmost soul that wrung !
For Cain was wroth, and in the pastures green,
Where Abel led his flock, mid waters cool and sheen,
With fratricidal hand, that blameless shepherd slew

Earth learn'd strong lessons in her morning prime,
More strange than Chaos taught,
When o'er contending elements the darkest veil was wrought;
The poison of the tempter's glozing tongue,
Man's disobedience and expulsion dire,
The terror of the sword of fire
At Eden's portal hung,
Inferior creatures filled with savage hate,
No more at peace, no more subordinate;
Man's birth in agony, man's death by crime,
The taste of life-blood, brother-spilt;
But that red stain of guilt
Sent through her inmost heart such sickening pain,
That in her path o'er ether's plain
She hid her head and mourn'd, amid the planet-train.

by Lydia Huntley Sigourney.

Adelaide Ironside

Knowest thou now, O Love! Oh pure from the death of thy summer of sweetness!
Seest thou now, O new-born Delight of the Ransomed and Free!
We have gathered the flower for the fruit; we have hastened the hour of thy meetness;
For thou wert sealed unto us, and thine Angel hath waited for thee.

Not in disdain, O Love! O Sweet! of desires that are earthly and mortal,
Not in the scorn of thine Art, whose beginning and end is Divine,
So soon have we borne thee asleep through the glow of the uttermost portal,
But in the ruth of high souls that have travelled with longings like thine.

Nothing is lost, O Love! O mine! and thy seemingly broken endeavour
Here re-appeareth, transfigured as thou; yet the Art of thy youth;
And the light of the Spirit of Beauty is on it for ever and ever;
For Art is the garment of Praise, and the broidered apparel of Truth.

Seest thou now, O Love! how Art, in a way to mortality nameless,
Liveth again, soul-informed, love-sustained, self-completing, for aye?
How thy heart's purpose was good, and the dream of thy maidenhood blameless,—
How thy fair dawn is fulfilled in the light of ineffable day?

Seest thou now, O Love! O Fair! how the high spiritlife is Art regnant—
Art become bliss, and harmonious response to the Infinite Will?
Fused and transfused into Love, with the germs of eternity pregnant—
Crowned as the law of the beauty of Holiness; throned, yet Art still?

Not then in vain, O Love! thy dawn, nor the dream of thy holy ambition;
Never a trace of thy finger hath witnessed for Beauty in vain;
In the bloom of the noon of thine ardour thy soul became fair for fruition;
We have smitten the green into gold but to spare thee the harvest of pain.

Nothing that came from thy hand, O Love, made void, cut off, evanescent,—
From the infantile essay that strove with the weapon of outline alone,
To the Angels thou lovedst to portray with luminous plumes iridescent,
Till thy soul drew so near unto us that we took thee for one of our own.

Now may'st thou trace, O Heart! Sweet Heart! from on high all the way I have led
thee,
From the youth of a world in the Seas of the South to unperishing Rome;
For the lure of thy following soul was the sheen of my wings that o'erspread thee,
Flushing with reflex of glory the path of thy pilgrimage—home.

By the way of the age of the world I have chosen to lead thee to glory;
Of the wine of the might of the world have I given thee to drink ere thou slept;
Where the Masters have walked I have laid thee, ensphered with the darlings of
story;
I have waked thee a perfected spirit; matured, yet thine innocence kept.

There, too, I led thee to feed thee with prescience and keen imitation
Of the art-adjuvant Grace that hath given thee, a love-gift, to me;
By the work of my hands did I wake in thee foretaste of Transfiguration,—
For thine Angel once wrought upon earth as thou; and his work thou didst see.

Now is thy spirit, O Love, in mine. In thy heart I behold thou dost know me.
I looked for thy glad recognition; no converse of aliens is this;
Oft when thy longings went upward, thy soul, like a mirror below me,
Caught my own loveliest visions in shapes of Elysian bliss.

Name me not now, O Love! O mine! for the name of my days of wayfaring
Still hath the note of a fevered desire, and an echo of pain.
Come thou, O Gift of long hope, to the home of thine Angel's preparing!
There I shall show thee the mercy of God, and the things that remain.

by James Brunton Stephens.

The White Doe Of Rylstone, Or, The Fate Of The Nortons - Dedication

IN trellised shed with clustering roses gay,
And, MARY! oft beside our blazing fire,
When yeas of wedded life were as a day
Whose current answers to the heart's desire,
Did we together read in Spenser's Lay
How Una, sad of soul--in sad attire,
The gentle Una, of celestial birth,
To seek her Knight went wandering o'er the earth.

Ah, then, Beloved! pleasing was the smart,
And the tear precious in compassion shed
For Her, who, pierced by sorrow's thrilling dart,
Did meekly bear the pang unmerited;
Meek as that emblem of her lowly heart
The milk-white Lamb which in a line she led,--
And faithful, loyal in her innocence,
Like the brave Lion slain in her defence.

Notes could we hear as of a faery shell
Attuned to words with sacred wisdom fraught;
Free Fancy prized each specious miracle,
And all its finer inspiration caught;
Till in the bosom of our rustic Cell,
We by a lamentable change were taught
That 'bliss with mortal Man may not abide:'
How nearly joy and sorrow are allied!

For us the stream of fiction ceased to flow,
For us the voice of melody was mute.
--But, as soft gales dissolve the dreary snow,
And give the timid herbage leave to shoot,
Heaven's breathing influence failed not to bestow
A timely promise of unlooked-for fruit,
Fair fruit of pleasure and serene content
From blossoms wild of fancies innocent.

It soothed us--it beguiled us--then, to hear
Once more of troubles wrought by magic spell;
And griefs whose aery motion comes not near
The pangs that tempt the Spirit to rebel:
Then, with mild Una in her sober cheer,
High over hill and low adown the dell
Again we wandered, willing to partake
All that she suffered for her dear Lord's sake.

Then, too, this Song 'of mine' once more could please,
Where anguish, strange as dreams of restless sleep,
Is tempered and allayed by sympathies
Aloft ascending, and descending deep,
Even to the inferior Kinds; whom forest-trees
Protect from beating sunbeams, and the sweep
Of the sharp winds;--fair Creatures!--to whom Heaven
A calm and sinless life, with love, hath given.

This tragic Story cheered us; for it speaks
Of female patience winning firm repose;
And, of the recompense that conscience seeks,
A bright, encouraging, example shows;
Needful when o'er wide realms the tempest breaks,
Needful amid life's ordinary woes;--
Hence, not for them unfitted who would bless
A happy hour with holier happiness.

He serves the Muses erringly and ill,
Whose aim is pleasure light and fugitive:
Oh, that my mind were equal to fulfil
The comprehensive mandate which they give--
Vain aspiration of an earnest will!
Yet in this moral Strain a power may live,
Beloved Wife! such solace to impart
As it hath yielded to thy tender heart.

RYDAL MOUNT, WESTMORELAND,
April , 1815.
_____________

'Action is transitory--a step, a blow,
The motion of a muscle--this way or that--
'Tis done; and in the after-vacancy
We wonder at ourselves like men betrayed:
Suffering is permanent, obscure and dark,
And has the nature of infinity.
Yet through that darkness (infinite though it seem
And irremoveable) gracious openings lie,
By which the soul--with patient steps of thought
Now toiling, waked now on wings of prayer--
May pass in hope, and, though from mortal bonds
Yet undelivered, rise with sure ascent
Even to the fountain-head of peace divine.'

by William Wordsworth.

Anniversary Poem

ONCE, more, dear friends, you meet beneath
A clouded sky:
Not yet the sword has found its sheath,
And on the sweet spring airs the breath
Of war floats by.
Yet trouble springs not from the ground,
Nor pain from chance;
The Eternal order circles round,
And wave and storm find mete and bound
In Providence.
Full long our feet the flowery ways
Of peace have trod,
Content with creed and garb and phrase:
A harder path in earlier days
Led up to God.
Too cheaply truths, once purchased dear,
Are made our own;
Too long the world has smiled to hear
Our boast of full corn in the ear
By others sown;
To see us stir the martyr fires
Of long ago,
And wrap our satisfied desires
In the singed mantles that our sires
Have dropped below.
But now the cross our worthies bore
On us is laid;
Profession's quiet sleep is o'er,
And in the scale of truth once more
Our faith is weighed.
The cry of innocent blood at last
Is calling down
An answer in the whirlwind-blast,
The thunder and the shadow cast
From Heaven's dark frown.
The land is red with judgments. Who
Stands guiltless forth?
Have we been faithful as we knew,
To God and to our brother true,
To Heaven and Earth?
How faint, through din of merchandise
And count of gain,
Have seemed to us the captive's cries!
How far away the tears and sighs
Of souls in pain!
This day the fearful reckoning comes
To each and all;
We hear amidst our peaceful homes
The summons of the conscript drums,
The bugle's call.
Our path is plain; the war-net draws
Round us in vain,
While, faithful to the Higher Cause,
We keep our fealty to the laws
Through patient pain.
The levelled gun, the battle-brand,
We may not take:
But, calmly loyal, we can stand
And suffer with our suffering land
For conscience' sake.
Why ask for ease where all is pain?
Shall we alone
Be left to add our gain to gain,
When over Armageddon's plain
The trump is blown?
To suffer well is well to serve;
Safe in our Lord
The rigid lines of law shall curve
To spare us; from our heads shall swerve
Its smiting sword.
And light is mingled with the gloom,
And joy with grief;
Divinest compensations come,
Through thorns of judgment mercies bloom
In sweet relief.
Thanks for our privilege to bless,
By word and deed,
The widow in her keen distress,
The childless and the fatherless,
The hearts that bleed!
For fields of duty, opening wide,
Where all our powers
Are tasked the eager steps to guide
Of millions on a path untried:
The slave is ours!
Ours by traditions dear and old,
Which make the race
Our wards to cherish and uphold,
And cast their freedom in the mould
Of Christian grace.
And we may tread the sick-bed floors
Where strong men pine,
And, down the groaning corridors,
Pour freely from our liberal stores
The oil and wine.
Who murmurs that in these dark days
His lot is cast?
God's hand within the shadow lays
The stones whereon His gates of praise
Shall rise at last.
Turn and o'erturn, O outstretched Hand!
Nor stint, nor stay;
The years have never dropped their sand
On mortal issue vast and grand
As ours to-day.
Already, on the sable ground
Of man's despair
Is Freedom's glorious picture found,
With all its dusky hands unbound
Upraised in prayer.
Oh, small shall seem all sacrifice
And pain and loss,
When God shall wipe the weeping eyes,
For suffering give the victor's prize,
The crown for cross!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

The Birds Of Cirencester

Did I ever tell you, my dears, the way
That the birds of Cisseter--'Cisseter!' eh?
Well 'Ciren-cester'--one OUGHT to say,
From 'Castra,' or 'Caster,'
As your Latin master
Will further explain to you some day;
Though even the wisest err,
And Shakespeare writes 'Ci-cester,'
While every visitor
Who doesn't say 'Cissiter'
Is in 'Ciren-cester' considered astray.

A hundred miles from London town--
Where the river goes curving and broadening down
From tree-top to spire, and spire to mast,
Till it tumbles outright in the Channel at last--
A hundred miles from that flat foreshore
That the Danes and the Northmen haunt no more--
There's a little cup in the Cotswold hills
Which a spring in a meadow bubbles and fills,
Spanned by a heron's wing--crossed by a stride--
Calm and untroubled by dreams of pride,
Guiltless of Fame or ambition's aims,
That is the source of the lordly Thames!
Remark here again that custom contemns
Both 'Tames' and Thames--you must SAY 'Tems!'
But WHY? no matter!--from them you can see
Cirencester's tall spires loom up o'er the lea.

A. D. Five Hundred and Fifty-two,
The Saxon invaders--a terrible crew--
Had forced the lines of the Britons through;
And Cirencester, half mud and thatch,
Dry and crisp as a tinder match,
Was fiercely beleaguered by foes, who'd catch
At any device that could harry and rout
The folk that so boldly were holding out.

For the streets of the town--as you'll see to-day--
Were twisted and curved in a curious way
That kept the invaders still at bay;
And the longest bolt that a Saxon drew
Was stopped ere a dozen of yards it flew,
By a turn in the street, and a law so true
That even these robbers--of all laws scorners!--
Knew you couldn't shoot arrows AROUND street corners.

So they sat them down on a little knoll,
And each man scratched his Saxon poll,
And stared at the sky, where, clear and high,
The birds of that summer went singing by,
As if, in his glee, each motley jester
Were mocking the foes of Cirencester,
Till the jeering crow and the saucy linnet
Seemed all to be saying: 'Ah! you're not in it!'

High o'er their heads the mavis flew,
And the 'ouzel-cock so black of hue;'
And the 'throstle,' with his 'note so true'
(You remember what Shakespeare says--HE knew);
And the soaring lark, that kept dropping through
Like a bucket spilling in wells of blue;
And the merlin--seen on heraldic panes--
With legs as vague as the Queen of Spain's;

And the dashing swift that would ricochet
From the tufts of grasses before them, yet--
Like bold Antaeus--would each time bring
New life from the earth, barely touched by his wing;
And the swallow and martlet that always knew
The straightest way home. Here a Saxon churl drew
His breath--tapped his forehead--an idea had got through!

So they brought them some nets, which straightway they filled
With the swallows and martlets--the sweet birds who build
In the houses of man--all that innocent guild
Who sing at their labor on eaves and in thatch--
And they stuck on their feathers a rude lighted match
Made of resin and tow. Then they let them all go
To be free! As a child-like diversion? Ah, no!
To work Cirencester's red ruin and woe.

For straight to each nest they flew, in wild quest
Of their homes and their fledgelings--that they loved the best;
And straighter than arrow of Saxon e'er sped
They shot o'er the curving streets, high overhead,
Bringing fire and terror to roof tree and bed,
Till the town broke in flame, wherever they came,
To the Briton's red ruin--the Saxon's red shame!

Yet they're all gone together! To-day you'll dig up
From 'mound' or from 'barrow' some arrow or cup.
Their fame is forgotten--their story is ended--
'Neath the feet of the race they have mixed with and blended.
But the birds are unchanged--the ouzel-cock sings,
Still gold on his crest and still black on his wings;
And the lark chants on high, as he mounts to the sky,
Still brown in his coat and still dim in his eye;
While the swallow or martlet is still a free nester
In the eaves and the roofs of thrice-built Cirencester.

by Francis Bret Harte.

Hannah Thomburn

They lifted her out of a story
Too sordid and selfish by far,
They left me the innocent glory
Of love that was pure as a star;
They left me all guiltless of “evil”
That would have brought years of distress
When the chance to be man, god or devil,
Was mine, on return from Success.


With a name and a courage uncommon
She had come in the soul striving days,
She had come as a child, girl and woman—
Come only to comfort and praise.
There was never a church that could marry,
For never a court could divorce,
In the season of Hannah and Harry
When the love of my life ran its course.

Her hair was red gold on head Grecian,
But fluffed from the parting away,
And her eyes were the warm grey Venetian
That comes with the dawn of the day.
No Fashion nor Fad could entrap her,
And a simple print work dress wore she,
But her long limbs were formed for the “wrapper”
And her fair arms were meant to be free.

(Oh, I knew by the thrill of pure passion
At the touch of her elbow, or hand—
By the wife’s loveless eyes that would flash on
The feeling I could not command.
Oh, I knew when revulsion came rushing—
Oh, I knew by the brush strokes that hurt
At the sight of a sculptor friend brushing
The clay from the hem of her skirt.)

She was mine on return from succeeding
In a struggle that no one shall know;
She only knew my heart was bleeding,
She only knew what dealt the blow.
I had fought back the friends that were clutching,
I had forced back the heart-scalding tears
Just to lay my hot head to her touching
And to weep for Two Terrible Years.

Oh! the hand on my hair that was greying!
Oh! the kiss on my brow that was lined!
Oh! the peace when my reason was straying
And the rest and relief for my mind.
Till, no longer world shackled or frightened,
The voice of the past would be stilled,
Hearts quickened, cheeks flushed and eyes brightened,
And the love of our lives be fulfilled!

It was Antwerp, and Plymouth—th’ Atlantic
And, so well had Love’s network been laid,
That I heard of her illness, grown frantic,
At Genoa, Naples—Port Said.
I was mad just to reach her and “tell her”,
But a sandbank at Suez tripped me,
And we limped, with a crippled propeller,
Through all Hades adown the Red Sea.

Through the monsoon we rolled like a Jumbo
With a second blade shaken away,
There was never a dock in Colombo
So the captain drank hard to Bombay.
Then a “point” in the south like an anthill
Or seawastes—then hove into sight—
I called for no news at Fremantle
For I wanted to hope through the Bight.

There’s a gentleman, reading, shall know it,
There’s an earl who will now understand
Why I “slighted” the son of their poet
(And a vice regal lord of the land)—
Semaphore—and a burst through the wicket
On platform left guards in distress—
A run without luggage or ticket,
A cab, and the Melbourne Express.

’Twas a brother-in-grief of mine told me
With harsh eyes unwontedly dim,
With a hand on my shoulder to hold me
And a grip on my own—to hold him.
A dry choke, and words cracked and hurried,
A stare, as of something afraid,
And he told me that Hannah was buried
On the day I reached Port Adelaide.

They could greet me—let Heaven or Hell come,
They could weep—for the grave by the sea
Oh! the mother and father could welcome
And the kinsfolk without fear of me.
For they watched her safe out of a story
Where she slaved and suffered alone—
They could weep to the tune of the hoary
Old lie “If we only had known”.

But I have the letter that followed
That she wrote to England and me—
That crossed us perchance as we wallowed
That birthday of mine on the sea,
That she wrote on the eve of her going,
Hopeful and loving and brave,
To keep me there, prosperous, knowing,
No care save the far away grave.

They have lifted her out of a story
Too sordid and selfish by far,
And left me the innocent glory
Of love that was pure as a star:
That was human and strong though she hid it
To write before death in last lines—
And I kneel to the angels who did it
And I bow to the fate that refines.

by Henry Lawson.

To A Lady Before Marriage

Oh! form'd by Nature, and refin'd by Art,
With charms to win, and sense to fix the heart!
By thousands sought, Clotilda, canst thou free
Thy croud of captives and descend to me?
Content in shades obscure to waste thy life,
A hidden beauty and a country wife.
O! listen while thy summers are my theme,
Ah! sooth thy partner in his waking dream!
In some small hamlet on the lonely plain,
Where Thames, through meadows, rolls his mazy train;
Or where high Windsor, thick with greens array'd,
Waves his old oaks, and spreads his ample shade,
Fancy has figur'd out our calm retreat;
Already round the visionary seat
Our limes begin to shoot, our flowers to spring,
The brooks to murmur, and the birds to sing.
Where dost thou lie, thou thinly-peopled green?
Thou nameless lawn, and village yet unseen?
Where sons, contented with their native ground,
Ne'er travell'd further than ten furlongs round;
And the tann'd peasant, and his ruddy bride,
Were born together, and together died.
Where early larks best tell the morning light,
And only Philomel disturbs the night,
'Midst gardens here my humble pile shall rise,
With sweets surrounded of ten thousand dies;
All savage where th' embroider'd gardens end,
The haunt of echoes, shall my woods ascend;
And oh! if Heaven th' ambitious thought approve,
A rill shall warble cross the gloomy grove,
A little rill, o'er pebbly beds convey'd,
Gush down the steep, and glitter through the glade.
What chearing scents those bordering banks exhale!
How loud that heifer lows from yonder vale!
That thrush how shrill! his note so clear, so high,
He drowns each feather'd minstrel of the sky.
Here let me trace beneath the purpled morn,
The deep-mouth'd beagle, and the sprightly horn;
Or lure the trout with well dissembled flies,
Or fetch the fluttering partridge from the skies.

Nor shall thy hand disdain to crop the vine,
The downy peach, or flavour'd nectarine;
Or rob the bee-hive of its golden hoard,
And bear th' unbought luxuriance to thy board.
Sometimes my books by day shall kill the hours,
While from thy needle rise the silken flowers,
And thou, by turns, to ease my feeble sight,
Resume the volume, and deceive the night.
Oh! when I mark thy twinkling eyes opprest,
Soft whispering, let me warn my love to rest;
Then watch thee, charm'd, while sleep locks every sense,
And to sweet Heaven commend thy innocence.
Thus reign'd our fathers o'er the rural fold,
Wise, hale, and honest in the days of old;
Till courts arose, where substance pays for show,
And specious joys are bought with real woe.
See Flavia's pendants, large, well-spread, and right,
The ear that wears them hears a fool each night:
Mark how the embroider'd colonel sneaks away,
To shun the withering dame that made him gay;
That knave, to gain a title, lost his fame;
That rais'd his credit by a daughter's shame;
This coxcomb's ribband cost him half his land,
And oaks, unnumber'd, bought that fool a wand.
Fond man, as all his sorrows were too few,
Acquires strange wants that nature never knew,
By midnight lamps he emulates the day,
And sleeps, perverse, the chearful suns away;
From goblets high-embost, his wine must glide,
Found his clos'd sight the gorgeous curtain slide;
Fruits ere their time to grace his pomp must rise,
And three untasted courses glut his eyes.
For this are nature's gentle calls withstood,
The voice of conscience, and the bonds of blood;
This wisdom thy reward for every pain,
And this gay glory all thy mighty gain.
Fair phantoms woo'd and scorn'd from age to age,
Since bards began to laugh, and priests to rage.
And yet, just curse on man's aspiring kind,
Prone to ambition, to example blind,
Our children's children shall our steps pursue,
And the same errours be for ever new.
Mean while in hope a guiltless country swain,
My reed with warblings chears the imagin'd plain.
Hail humble shades, where truth and silence dwell!
The noisy town and faithless court farewell!
Farewell ambition, once my darling flame!
The thirst of lucre, and the charm of fame!
In life's by-road, that winds through paths unknown,
My days, though number'd, shall be all my own.
Here shall they end, (O! might they twice begin)
And all be white the Fates intend to spin.

by Thomas Tickell.

The Angel In The House. Book Ii. Canto Vii.

Preludes.

I Joy and Use
Can ought compared with wedlock be
For use? But He who made the heart
To use proportions joy. What He
Has join'd let no man put apart.
Sweet Order has its draught of bliss
Graced with the pearl of God's consent,
Ten times delightful in that 'tis
Considerate and innocent.
In vain Disorder grasps the cup;
The pleasure's not enjoy'd but spilt,
And, if he stoops to lick it up,
It only tastes of earth and guilt.
His sorry raptures rest destroys;
To live, like comets, they must roam;
On settled poles turn solid joys,
And sunlike pleasures shine at home.


II ‘She was Mine’
‘Thy tears o'erprize thy loss! Thy wife,
‘In what was she particular?
‘Others of comely face and life,
‘Others as chaste and warm there are,
‘And when they speak they seem to sing;
‘Beyond her sex she was not wise;
‘And there is no more common thing
‘Than kindness in a woman's eyes.
‘Then wherefore weep so long and fast,
‘Why so exceedingly repine!
‘Say, how has thy Beloved surpass'd
‘So much all others?’ ‘She was mine.’


The Revulsion.

I
'Twas when the spousal time of May
Hangs all the hedge with bridal wreaths,
And air's so sweet the bosom gay
Gives thanks for every breath it breathes;
When like to like is gladly moved,
And each thing joins in Spring's refrain,
‘Let those love now who never loved;
‘Let those who have loved love again;’
That I, in whom the sweet time wrought,
Lay stretch'd within a lonely glade,
Abandon'd to delicious thought,
Beneath the softly twinkling shade.
The leaves, all stirring, mimick'd well
A neighbouring rush of rivers cold,
And, as the sun or shadow fell,
So these were green and those were gold;
In dim recesses hyacinths droop'd,
And breadths of primrose lit the air,
Which, wandering through the woodland, stoop'd
And gather'd perfumes here and there;
Upon the spray the squirrel swung,
And careless songsters, six or seven,
Sang lofty songs the leaves among,
Fit for their only listener, Heaven.
I sigh'd, ‘Immeasurable bliss
‘Gains nothing by becoming more!
‘Millions have meaning; after this
‘Cyphers forget the integer.’


II
And so I mused, till musing brought
A dream that shook my house of clay,
And, in my humbled heart, I thought,
To me there yet may come a day
With this the single vestige seen
Of comfort, earthly or divine,
My sorrow some time must have been
Her portion, had it not been mine.
Then I, who knew, from watching life,
That blows foreseen are slow to fall,
Rehearsed the losing of a wife,
And faced its terrors each and all.
The self-chastising fancy show'd
The coffin with its ghastly breath;
The innocent sweet face that owed
None of its innocence to death;
The lips that used to laugh; the knell
That bade the world beware of mirth;
The heartless and intolerable
Indignity of ‘earth to earth;’
At morn remembering by degrees
That she I dream'd about was dead;
Love's still recurrent jubilees,
The days that she was born, won, wed;
The duties of my life the same,
Their meaning for the feelings gone;
Friendship impertinent, and fame
Disgusting; and, more harrowing none,
Small household troubles fall'n to me,
As, ‘What time would I dine to-day?’
And, oh, how could I bear to see
The noisy children at their play.
Besides, where all things limp and halt,
Could I go straight, should I alone
Have kept my love without default
Pitch'd at the true and heavenly tone?
The festal-day might come to mind
That miss'd the gift which more endears;
The hour which might have been more kind,
And now less fertile in vain tears;
The good of common intercourse,
For daintier pleasures, then despised,
Now with what passionate remorse,
What poignancy of hunger prized!
The little wrong, now greatly rued,
Which no repentance now could right;
And love, in disbelieving mood,
Deserting his celestial height.
Withal to know, God's love sent grief
To make me less the world's, and more
Meek-hearted: ah, the sick relief!
Why bow'd I not my heart before?


III
‘What,’ I exclaimed, with chill alarm,
‘If this fantastic horror shows
‘The feature of an actual harm!’
And, coming straight to Sarum Close,
As one who dreams his wife is dead,
And cannot in his slumber weep,
And moans upon his wretched bed,
And wakes, and finds her there asleep,
And laughs and sighs, so I, not less
Relieved, beheld, with blissful start,
The light and happy loveliness
Which lay so heavy on my heart.

by Coventry Patmore.

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