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371

TO WORDSWORTH.

How glorious and how beautiful a life

Must thine have been among the hills and streams ! From the far world, and its eternal strife,

But one grey shadow cast upon thy dreams, Tinging their sacred and nymph-haunted glory

With something of a mournful—mortal hue. Ah! if the Spirits of the olden story

Yet linger—and the Ascræan's verse* be true, If Unseen Habitants, yet earth-bound, rove By the still brook, or the melodious grove, And ever o'er Man's state the while they wander, With a high thought, but tender memory, ponder: If the pure ghosts of the Saturnian Race,

Who o'er the sinless pastures led their herds; Oh! if they yet claim haunt and dwelling-place

Where the air gladdens with the summer birds; Methinks to them familiar thy sublime

And undiurnal melody which breathes
A pastoral sweetness from the golden time;

And, as o’er ruined fanes the ivy wreathes,

* Hesiod, who tells us (Opera et Dies, verse 121, 'Aůtdp étel KEV TOÛTO, &c.) that the mortals of the golden age became, after death, good spirits wandering over earth, and regarding the acts' of men.

So cling thy fancies in their green embrace

Around a dim and antique holiness ; And, with a loving yet a solemn grace,

At once a freshness and an awe express !

Musing on Man,” amid the mountains lone,

What must have past in thy unfathomed breast !-How, on the lyre within, must many a tone,

Solemn and deep, have risen—unconfest, Save to thyself, and the still ear of GOD!

And from the full and silent Heart of Things, As o'er the hills thy unwatched footsteps trod,

Didst thou not draw the patriarchal springs Of love for Man and Nature, which the hues Of thy transparent verse all livingly suffuse ?

Higher thy theme than Cæsars', or the Pomp

Borne o'er the dusty earth in weary gaud; Ambition's mask, and Glory's brazen tromp,

The embattled Murder, and the ermined Fraud ! Sweeter thy theme than aught which thro’ the lays

Of the Rose Garden's sons may softly flow! And earthlier fires before the Rhean blaze

Lit on thine altar—sicken from their glow!

Man in his simple grandeur, which can take

From Power but poor increase; the Truth which lies Upshining in the Well of homely Life ;"

The Winds, the Waters, and their Mysteries

The Morn and moted Noon, the Stars which make

Their mirror in the heart; the Earth all rife With warnings and with wisdom; the deep lore

Which floateth air-like over lonely places— These made thy study and thy theme; and o'er

The Beauty of thy Soul no Paphian Graces, But a religious and a reverent Awe,

Breathed Sanctity and Music—inspiration, Not from the dark Obscure of priestly law,

But that which burns—the Centre of CreationA Love, a Mystery, and a Fear—the unseen Source of all worship since the world hath been !

How must thy lone and lofty soul have gone

Exulting on its way, beyond the loud
Self-taunting mockery of the scoffers, grown

Tethered and dull’d to Nature, in the crowd ! Earth has no nobler, no more moral sight,

Than a Great Poet whom the world disowns, But stills not, neither angers:—from his height,

As from a star, float forth his sphere-like tones : He wits not whether the vex'd herd may hear The music wafted to the reverent ear; And far Man's wrath, or scorn, or heed, above, Smiles down the calm disdain of his majestic love!

374

TO JULIET.

A THOUGHT AT NIGHT.

In yonder taper's waning light,

An image of my heart I see;
It burns amid a lonely night-

Its life the love of thee-
The stedfast light its passion takes,

But slowly wastes while it illumes ;
And while my very life it makes,

My life itself consumes.

TO JULIET.

The summer-the summer hath come, my love,

And the ring-dove found his bride Not a flower below, not a beam above,

But doth thy coyness chide. I have loved thee well-I have loved thee long

I have loved thyself alone; There lived not a thought in my burning song, That

my

heart did not more than own.

Be mine be mine while the Hours allow

My life to be vowed to Thee;
For the leaves of my youth are round me now-

But the worm is in the tree.
And the time, sweet love, is speeding fast,

When the vow shall be ever o’er-
When thy faithful Fountain, dried at last,

Shall leap to the Breeze no more.
Be mine-be mine, ere hath past away

The scent from Life's closing flowers;
And sometime hence it will soothe to say-

" I blest his latest hours !''

LOVE'S WATCH.

TO JULIET SLEEPING.

The moonbeams thro' the lattice fall;

They silver o'er thy blushing cheek ;
And still I wake to feed on all

The love I could not speak.
And thou art mine-all mine at last!

Our world can be earth's world no more,
A gulf between this life hath past,

And that we knew before.

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