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Honour to maid Marian,
TO A FRIEND.
No! those days are gone away,
TO AUTUMN. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness !
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
No, the bugle sounds no more, And the twanging bow no more; Silent is the ivory shrill Past the heath and
the hill; There is no mid-forest laugh, Where lone Echo gives the half To some wight, amazed to hear Jesting, deep in forest drear.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers; And sometime like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
On the fairest time of June You may go, with sun or moon, Or the seven stars to light you, Or the polar ray to right you; But you never may behold Little John, or Robin bold; Never one, of all the clan, Thrumming on an empty can Some old hunting ditty, while He doth his green way beguile To fair hostess Merriment, Down beside the pasture Trent; For he left the merry
tale Messenger for spicy ale.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Gone, the merry morris din; Gone, the song of Gamelyn; Gone, the tough-belted outlaw Idling in the • grené shawe ;» All are gone away and past! And if Robin should be cast Sudden from his tufted grave, And if Marian should have Once again her forest days, She would weep, and he would craze: He would swear, for all his oaks, Fall'n beneath the dock-yard strokes, Have rotted on the briny seas; She would weep that her wild bees Sang not to her-strange! that loney Can't be got without hard money!
ODE ON MELANCHOLY. No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine; Nor suffer thy pale forchead to be kiss'd
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine ;
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.
So it is; yet let us sing Honour to the old bow-string ! Honour to the bugle-horn! Honour to the woods unshorn! Honour to the Lincoln green! Honour to the archer keen ! Honour to tight little John, And the horse he rode upon! Honour to bold Robin Hood, Sleeping in the underwood !
But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud; Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peopies; Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, 'Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave, And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
She dwells with Beauty-Beauty that must die; For his great Maker's presence, but must know And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
What 't is I mean, and feel his being glow:
Therefore no insult will I give bis spirit,
O Poesy! for thee I hold my pen, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous That am not yet a glorious denizen tongue
Of thy wide heaven-should I rather kneel Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
Upon some mountain-top until I feel His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
A glowing splendour round about me hung,
And echo back the voice of thine own tongue?
That am not yet a glorious denizen
Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer,
Smoothed for intoxication by the breath
Of flowering bays, that I may
die a death Rest I no wist, for there n' as ertbly wight
Of luxury, and my young spirit follow
The morning sun-beams to the great Apollo,
Like a fresh sacrifice; or, if I can bear
The o'erwhelming sweets, 't will bring to me the fair What is more gentle than a wind in summer? Visions of all places: a bowery nook What is more soothing than the pretty hummer
Will be elysium-an eternal book That stays one moment in an open flower,
Whence I may copy many a lovely saying And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower?
About the leaves, and flowers about the playing What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing Of nymphs in woods, and fountains; and the shade In a green island, far from all men’s knowing? Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid; More healthful than the leafiness of dales?
And many a verse from so strange influence More secret than a nest of nightingales ?
That we must ever wonder how, and whence
It carne, More serene than Cordelia's countenance?
Also imaginings will hover More full of visions than a high romance?
Round my fire-side, and haply there discover What, but thee, Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes !
Vistas of solemn beauty, where I'd wander Low murmurer of tender lullabies !
In happy silence, like the clear Meander Light hoverer around our happy pillows !
Through its lone vales; and where I found a spot Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows !
Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot, Silent entangler of a beauty's tresses !
Or a green hill o'erspread with chequer'd dress Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
Of flowers, and fearful from its loveliness,
Write on my tablets all that was permitted, Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
All that was for our human senses fitted. That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise.
Then the events of this wide world I'd seize But what is higher beyond thought than thee?
Like a strong giant, and my spirit tease
Till at its shoulders it should proudly see
Stop and consider! life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy,
From a tree's summit; a poor Indian's sleep Chasing away all worldliness and folly:
While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder;
Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan? Or the low rumblings earth's regions under;
Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown; And sometimes like a gentle whispering
The reading of an ever-changing tale; Of all the secrets of some wondrous thing
The light uplifting of a maiden's veil; That breathes about us in the vacant air;
A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air; So that we look around with prying stare,
A laughing school-boy, without grief or care,
Riding the springy branches of an elm.
O for ten years, that I may overwhelm
Myself in poesy! so I may do the deed Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice,
That my own soul has to itself decreed. And from the heart up-springs, rejoice! rejoice! Then I will pass the countries that I see Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things, In long perspective, and continually And die away in ardent mutterings.
Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I 'll pass
Of Flora, and old Pan: sleep in the grass, No one who once the glorious sun has seen,
Feed upon apples red, and strawberries, And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean
And chuse each pleasure that my fancy sees;
Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places,
Upon the clouds? Has she not shown us all?
And can I ever bid these joys farewell ?
Could all this be forgotten? Yes, a scism
compass vile : so that ye taught a school
The visions all are fled the car is fled
O ye whose charge It is to hover round our pleasant hills ! Whose congregated majesty so fills My boundly reverence, that I cannot trace Your hallow'd names, in this unholy place, So near those common folk; did not their shames Affright you ? Did our old lamenting Thames Delight you! did ye never cluster round Delicious Avon, with a mouruful sound, And weep? Or did ye wholly bid adieu To regions where no more the laurel grew? Or did ye stay to give a welcoming To some lone spirits who could proudly sing Their youth away, and die? 'T was even so : But let me think away those times of woe : Now 't is a fairer season ; ye have breathed Rich benedictions o'er us; ye have wreathed Fresh garlands: for sweet music has been heard lo many places; some has been upstirr'd From out its crystal dwelling in a lake, By a swan's ebon bill; from a thick brake, Nested and quiet in a valley mild, Bubbles a pipe; fine sounds are floating wild About the earth : happy arc ye and glad.
Is there so small a range In the present strength of manhood, that the high Imagination cannot freely fly As she was wont of old ? prepare lier steeds, Paw up against the light, and do strange deeds
These things are, doubtless : yet in truth we've had
The end and aim of Poesy. T is clear
Yet I rejoice : a myrtle fairer than Eer grew in Paphos, from the bitter weeds Lifts its sweet head into the air, and feeds A silent space with ever-sprouting green. All tenderest birds there find a pleasant screen, Creep through the shade with jaunty fluttering, Nibble the little cupped flowers and sing. Then let us clear away the choking thorns From round its gentle stem; let the young fawns, Yeaned in after-limes, when we are flown, Find a fresh sward beneath it, overgrown With simple flowers : let there nothing be More boisterous than a lover's bended knee; Nought more ungentle than the placid look Of one who leans upon a closed book;, Nought more untranquil than the grassy slopes Between two hills. All hail, delightful hopes! As she was wont, th' imagination Into most lovely labyrinths will be gone, And they shall be accounted poet kings Who simply tell the most heart-easing things. O may these joys be ripe before I die!
For sweet relief I 'll dwell On humbler thoughts, and let this strange assay Begun in gentleness die so away. Een now all-tumult from my bosom fades : I turn full-hearted to the friendly aids That smooth the path of honour ; brotherhood, And friendliness, the nurse of mutual good. The hearty grasp that sends a pleasant sonnet Into the brain ere one can think upon it; The silence when some rhymes are coming out; And when they 're come, the very pleasa nt rout: The message certain to be done to-morrow, 'T is perhaps as well that it should be to borrow Some precious book from out its snug retreat, To cluster round it when we next shall meet. Scarce can I scribble on; for lovely airs Are fluttering round the room like doves in pairs; Many delights of that glad day recalling, When first my senses caught their tender falling. And with these airs come forms of elegance Stooping their shoulders o'er a horse's prance, Careless, and grand--fingers soft and round Parting luxuriant curls;—and the swift bound Of Bacchus from his chariot, when his eye Made Ariadne's cheek look blushingly. Thus I remember all the pleasant flow Of words at opening a portfolio.
Will not some say that I presumptuously Have spoken ? that from hastening disgrace 'T were better far to hide my foolish face? That whining boy-hood should with reverence bow Ere the dread thunderbolt could reach? How! If I do hide myself, it sure shall be In the very fane, the light of Poesy: If I do fall, at least I will be laid Beneath the silence of a poplar shade; And over me the grass shall be smooth shaven; And there shall be a kind memorial graven. But off, Despondence! miserable bane! They should not know thee, who athirst to gain A noble end, are thirsty every hour. What though I am not wealthy in the dower Of spanning wisdom; though I do not know The shiftings of the mighty winds that blow Hither and thither all the changing thoughts Of man: though no great ministring reason sorts Out the dark mysteries of human souls To clear conceiving: yet there ever rolls A vast idea before me, and I glean Therefrom my liberty; thence too I 've seen
Things such as these are ever harbingers
E’en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
And she her half-discover'd revels keeping. But what, without the social thought of thee, Would be the wonders of the sky and sea ?
Of pleasure's temple. - Round about were hung
HAD I a man's fair form, then might my sighs
Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell
Thine ear, and find thy gentle heart; so well Would passion arm me for the enterprise : But ah! I am no knight whose foeman dies;
No cuirass glistens on my bosoni's swell;
I am no happy shepherd of the dell Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes. Yet must I dote upon thee, -call thee sweet,
Sweeter by far than Hybla's honey'd roses
When steep'd in dew rich to intoxication. Ah! I will taste that dew, for me 't is meet,
And when the moon her pallied face discloses, I'll gather some by spells, and incantation.
WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR LEIGH HUNT LEFT
Great Alfred's too, with anxious, pitying eyes,
What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,
Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he,
In his immortal spirit, been as free
Think you he nought but prison-walls did see,
Till, so unwilling, thou unturn’dst the key?
Culling enchanted flowers; and he flew
To regions of his own his genius true Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair
When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew?
Petrarch, outstepping from the shady green,
How many bards gild the lapses of time!
A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy,–I could brood Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime: And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,
These will in throngs before my mind intrude :
But no confusion, no disturbance rude
The songs of birds—the whisp'ring of the leavesThe voice of waters—the great bell that heaves
With solemn sound, -and thousand others more, That distance of recognizance bereaves,
Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.
TO MY BROTHER GEORGE.
TO A FRIEND WHO SENT ME SOME ROSES.
MANY the wonders I this day have seen :
when first he kist away the tears That fill'd the eyes of Morn;--the laureld peers Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;The Ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears Must think on what will be, and what has been.
As late I rambled in the happy fields,
What time the sky-lark shakes the tremulous dew
From his lush clover covert;—when anew Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields: