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Late, late yestreen, I saw the new Moon,
With the old Moon in her arms;

And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
We shall have a deadly storm.

Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens.


WELL! if the Bard was weather-wise, who made
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade
Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes,
Or the dull sobbing draught, that moans and rakes
Upon the strings of this Eolian lute,
Which better far were mute.

For lo! the New-moon winter-bright!
And overspread with phantom light,
(With swimming phantom light o'erspread
But rimm'd and circled by a silver thread)

I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling

The coming on of rain and squally blast.

And oh! that even now the gust were swelling,
And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast
Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst
they awed,

And sent my soul abroad,

Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give,

Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and



A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassion'd grief,
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh, or tear-

O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,
To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo'd,
All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
Have I been gazing on the western sky,

And its peculiar tint of yellow green:
And still I gaze-and with how blank an eye!
And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
That give away their motion to the stars;
Those stars, that glide behind them or between,
Now sparkling, now bedimm'd, but always seen
Yon crescent Moon, as fix'd as if it grew
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue;
I see them all so excellently fair,

I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!


My genial spirits fail,

And what can these avail

To lift the smothering weight from off my breast?

It were a vain endeavor,

Though I should gaze for ever,

On that green light that lingers in the west:

I may not hope from outward forms to win

The passion and the life, whose fountains are within


Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow! O Lady! we receive but what we give,

and To-morrow! and To-morrow!

And in our life alone does nature live:

Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!
And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
Than that inanimate cold world allow'd'
To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd,
Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth,
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
Enveloping the Earth-

And from the soul itself must there be sent
A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,
Of all sweet sounds the life and element!


O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
What this strong music in the soul may be!
What, and wherein it doth exist,

This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
This beautiful and beauty-making power.

Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given,
Save to the pure, and in their purest hour,
Life, and Life's Effluence, Cloud at once

Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power,
Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower
A new Earth and new Heaven,
Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud-
Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud-
We in ourselves rejoice!

And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
All melodies the echoes of that voice,
All colors a suffusion from that light.


There was a time when, though my path




This joy within me dallied with distress,
And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness :
For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,
And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seem'd mine.
But now afflictions bow me down to earth :
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth.

But oh! each visitation
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
My shaping spirit of Imagination.
For not to think of what I needs must feel,
But to be still and patient, all I can;
And haply by abstruse research to steal
From my own nature all the natural Man—
This was my sole resource, my only plan:
Till that which suits a part infects the whole,
And now is almost grown the habit of my Soul.

Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind,
Reality's dark dream!

I turn from you, and listen to the wind,

Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream Of agony by torture lengthen'd out

That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that ravest without,

Bare crag, or mountain-tairn,* or blasted tree,
Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,
Or lonely house, long held the witches' home,
Methinks were fitter instruments for thee,
Mad Lutanist! who in this month of showers,
Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,

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Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,
From all that teaches Brotherhood to Man;
Far, far removed! from want, from hope, from fear!
Enchanting music lull'd your infant ear,
Obeisance, praises soothed your infant heart:
Emblazonments and old ancestral crests,
With many a bright obtrusive form of art,
Detain'd your eye from nature stately vests

That veiling strove to deck your charms divine, Rich viands, and the pleasurable wine,

Were yours unearn'd by toil; nor could you see The unenjoying toiler's misery.

And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child, You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild, Where once the Austrian fell

Beneath the shaft of Tell!

O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
Whence learnt you that heroic measure?

There crowd your finely-fibred frame,
All living faculties of bliss;
And Genius to your cradle came,

His forehead wreathed with lambent flame,
And bending low, with godlike kiss
Breathed in a more celestial life;
But boasts not many a fair compeer

A heart as sensitive to joy and fear?

And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife,
Some few, to nobler being wrought,
Co-rivals in the nobler gift of thought.

Yet these delight to celebrate
Laurell'd War and plumy State;
Or in verse and music dress
Tales of rustic happiness-
Pernicious Tales! insidious Strains!
That steel the rich man's breast,
And mock the lot unblest,
The sordid vices and the abject pains,
Which evermore must be

The doom of Ignorance and Penury!
But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child,
You hail'd the Chapel and the Platform wild,
Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell!

O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
Where learnt you that heroic measure?

You were a Mother! That most holy name,
Which Heaven and Nature bless,

I may not vilely prostitute to those
Whose Infants owe them less
Than the poor Caterpillar owes

Its gaudy Parent Fly.

You were a Mother! at your bosom fed

The Babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye,
Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read,
Which you yourself created. Oh! delight!
A second time to be a Mother,
Without the Mother's bitter groans:
Another thought, and yet another,

By touch, or taste, by looks or tones
O'er the growing Sense to roll,
The Mother of your infant's Soul!
The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides
His chariot-planet round the goal of day,
All trembling gazes on the Eye of God,

A moment turn'd his awful face away;
And as he view'd you, from his aspect sweet
New influences in your being rose,
Blest Intuitions and Communions fleet
With living Nature, in her joys and woes!
Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see
The shrine of social Liberty!

O beautiful! O Nature's child!

'Twas thence you hail'd 'he Platform wild,

Where once the Austrian fell
Beneath the shaft of Tell!

O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure!
Thence learnt you that heroic measure.

TRANQUILLITY! thou better name
Than all the family of Fame!
Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age
To low intrigue, or factious rage;
For oh dear child of thoughtful Truth,
To thee I gave my early youth,

And left the bark, and blest the stedfast shore,
Ere yet the Tempest rose and scared me with its roar

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine,
On him but seldom, power divine,

Thy spirit rests! Satiety

And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee,
Mock the tired worldling. Idle Hope
And dire Remembrance interlope,

To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind:
The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind

But me thy gentle hand will lead

At morning through the accustom'd mead;
And in the sultry summer's heat
Will build me up a mossy seat;
And when the gust of Autumn crowds

And breaks the busy moonlight clouds,

Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding Moon

The feeling heart, the searching soul.
To thee I dedicate the whole!
And while within myself I trace
The greatness of some future race,
Aloof with hermit-eye I scan

The present works of present man-
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile,
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile!





A MOUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep,
But a green mountain variously up-piled,
Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep,
Or color'd lichens with slow oozing weep;

Where cypress and the darker yew start wild;
And 'mid the summer torrent's gentle dash
Dance brighten'd the red clusters of the ash;
Beneath whose boughs, by those still sounds be

Calm Pensiveness might muse herself to sleep;
Till haply startled by some fleecy dam,
That rustling on the bushy clift above, ·
With melancholy bleat of anxious love,
Made meck inquiry for her wandering lamb

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