Page images

In darkness, ere the all-forming God

Call'd from thy depths the rock and clod:-
Earth's image of Eternity!—
The sea, the sea for me!




THAT happy gleam of vernal eyes,
Those locks from Summer's golden skies,
That o'er thy brow are shed;
That cheek-a kindling of the morn,
That lip-a rose-bud from the thorn,
I saw; and Fancy sped

To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air
Of bliss that grows without a care;

Of happiness that never flies

How can it where love never dies?

Of promise whispering, where no blight
Can reach the innocent delight;
Where Pity to the mind convey'd
In pleasure is the darkest shade,
That time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings
From his smoothly-gliding wings.

What mortal form, what earthly face,
Inspired the pencil, lines to trace,
And mingle colours that could breed
Such rapture, nor want power to feed?
For, had thy charge been idle flowers,
Fair damsel, o'er my captive mind,
To truth and sober reason blind,

'Mid the soft air, those long-lost bowers,

That sweet illusion might have hung for hours! -Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn,

That touchingly bespeaks thee born,

Life's daily task with them to share,
Who, whether from their lowly bed
They rise, or rest the weary head,
Do weigh the blessing they entreat
From heaven, and feel what they repeat,
While they give utterance to the prayer
That asks for daily bread.



A PERILOUS life, and sad as life may be,
Hath the lone fisher on the lonely sea,

In the wild waters labouring, far from home,
For some bleak pittance e'er compell'd to roam!
Few friends to cheer him through his dangerous life,
And none to aid him in the stormy strife:

Companion of the sea and silent air,

The lonely fisher thus must ever fare;
Without the comfort, hope-with scarce a friend,
He looks through life, and only sees-its end!

Eternal ocean! old majestic sea!

Ever love I from shore to look on thee,
And sometimes on thy billowy back to ride,
And sometimes o'er thy summer breast to glide:
But let me live on land-where rivers run,
Where shady trees may screen me from the sun;
Where I may feel, secure, the fragrant air;
Where (whate'er toil or wearying pains I bear)
Those eyes which look away all human ill
May shed on me their still, sweet constant light,
And the little hearts I love may, day and night,
Be found beside me safe and clustering still!



But still the dingle's hollow throat
Prolong'd the swelling bugle note,
The owlets started from their dream,
The eagles answer'd with their scream;
Round and around the sounds were cast,
Till echo seem'd an answering blast.

Lady of the Lake.

OH! wild enchanting horn!

Whose music up the deep and dewy air Swells to the clouds, and calls on Echo there, Till a new melody is born.

Wake, wake again, the night

Is bending from her throne of beauty down,
With still stars burning on her azure crown,
Intense and eloquently bright.

Night, at its pulseless noon!

When the far voice of waters mourns in song, And some tired watch-dog, lazily and long, Barks at the melancholy moon.

Hark! how it sweeps away,, Soaring and dying on the silent sky, As if some sprite of sound went wandering by, With lone halloo and roundelay!

Swell, swell in glory out!

Thy tones come pouring on my leaping heart, And my stirr'd spirit hears thee with a start, As boyhood's old remember'd shout.

Oh! have ye heard that peal,

From sleeping city's moon-bathed battlements, Or from the guarded field and warrior tents, Like some near breath around you steal?

Or have ye in the roar

Of sea, or storm, or battle, heard it rise,
Shriller than eagles' clamour, to the skies,
Where wings and tempests never soar?

Go, go-no other sound,

No music that of air or earth is born,
Can match the mighty music of that horn,
On midnight's fathomless profound!



My beautiful! my beautiful! that standest meekly by

With thy proudly arch'd and glossy neck, and dark and fiery eye;

Fret not to roam the desert now, with all thy winged speed

I may not mount on thee again-thou 'rt sold, my Arab steed!

Fret not with that impatient hoof-snuff not the breezy wind

The further that thou fliest now, so far am I behind; The stranger hath thy bridle rein-thy master hath his gold

Fleet-limb'd and beautiful! farewell!-thou 'rt sold, my steed-thou 'rt sold!

Farewell! those free untired limbs full many a mile

must roam,

To reach the chill and wintry sky, which clouds the stranger's home;

Some other hand, less fond, must now thy corn and bread prepare;

The silky mane I braided once, must be another's care!

The morning sun shall dawn again, but never more

with thee

Shall I gallop through the desert paths, where we were wont to be:

Evening shall darken on the earth; and o'er the sandy plain

Some other steed, with slower step, shall bear me home again.

Yes, thou must go! the wild free breeze, the brilliant sun and sky,

Thy master's home-from all of these, my exiled one must fly.

Thy proud dark eye will grow less proud, thy step become less fleet,

And vainly shalt thou arch thy neck, thy master's hand to meet.

Only in sleep shall I behold that dark eye, glancing bright

Only in sleep shall hear again that step so firm and


And when I raise my dreaming arm to check or cheer thy speed,

Then must I starting wake, to feel-thou 'rt sold, my "Arab steed!

Ah! rudely then, unseen by me, some cruel hand may chide,

Till foam-wreaths lie, like crested waves, along thy panting side:

And the rich blood, that is in thee swells, in thy indignant pain,

Till careless eyes, which rest on thee, may count each started vein.

Will they ill use thee? If I thought-but no, it can

not be

Thou art so swift, yet easy curb'd; so gentle, yet so free.

And yet, if haply when thou'rt gone, my lonely heart should yearn

Can the hand which casts thee from it now, command thee to return?

« PreviousContinue »