Constancy to an Ideal Object.

Down the river there plied, with wind and tide,
A pig, with vast celerity,

And the Devil look'd wise as he saw how the while,
It cut its own throat. There! quoth he with a smile,
Goes "England's commercial prosperity."

As he went through Cold-Bath Fields he saw
A solitary cell,

And the devil was pleased, for it gave him a hint
For improving his prisons in Hell.


burning face

He saw with consternation,

And back to hell his way did he take,
For the devil thought by a slight mistake
It was general conflagration.




IF Love be dead (and you aver it!)
Tell me, Bard! where Love lies buried.


Love lies buried where 'twas born

Ah faithless nymph! think it no scorn
If in my fancy I presume

To name thy bosom poor Love's Tomb,
And on that Tomb to read the line,
Here lies a Love that once was mine,
But took a chill, as I divine,

And died at length of a decline.


SINCE all, that beat about in Nature's range,
Or veer or vanish; why should'st thou remain
The only constant in a world of change,

O yearning THOUGHT, that liv'st but in the brain?

Morning Post, the three first stanzas, which are worth all the rest, and the ninth, were dictated by Mr. Southey. See Apologetic Preface, p. 99. Between the ninth and the concluding stanza, two or three are omitted, as grounded on subjects that have lost their interest-and for better reasons.

If any one should ask who General-meant, the Author begs leave to inform him that he did once see a red-faced person in a dream whom by the dress he took for a General; but he might have been mistaken, and most certainly he did not hear any names mentioned. In simple verity, the Author never meant any one, or indeed anything but to put a concluding stanza to his doggerel.

Call to the HOURS, that in the distance play,
The faery people of the future day-

Fond THOUGHT! not one of all that shining swarm
Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath,
Till when, like strangers shelt'ring from a storm,
Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death!
Yet still thou haunt'st me: and though well I see,
She is not thou, and only thou art she,
Still, still as though some dear embodied Good,
Some living Love before my eyes there stood
With answering look a ready ear to lend,

I mourn to thee and say-"Ah! loveliest Friend!
"That this the meed of all my toils might be,
"To have a home, an English home, and thee!
"Vain repetition! Home and Thou are one.
"The peacefull'st cot, the moon shall shine upon,
"Lulled by the Thrush and wakened by the Lark
"Without thee were but a becalmed Bark,
"Whose Helmsman on an Ocean waste and wide
"Sits mute and pale his mouldering helm beside."

And art thou nothing? Such thou art, as when
The woodman winding westward up the glen
At wintry dawn, where o'er the sheep-track's maze
The viewless snow-mist weaves a glist'ning haze,
Sees full before him, gliding without tread,
An image* with a glory round its head:
The enamoured rustic worships its fair hues,
Nor knows, he makes the shadow, he pursues!


ERE the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
No question was asked me-it could not be so!
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
And to live on be YES: what can No be? to die.


Is't returned as 'twas sent? I'st no worse for the wear?
Think first, what you ARE! Call to mind what you WERE!

* This phænomenon, which the Author has himself experienced, and of which the reader may find a description in one of the earlier volumes of the Manchester Philosophical Transactions, is applied figuratively in the following passages of the AIDS to REFLECTION:

"Pindar's fine remark respecting the different effects of music, on different characters, holds equally true of Genius: as many as are not delighted by it are disturbed, perplexed, irritated. The beholder either recognizes it as a projected form of his own Being, that moves before him with a Glory round its head, or recoils from it as a spectre."-AIDS TO REFLECTION, p. 220.

180 The Blossoming of the Solitary Date-Tree.

I gave you innocence,

gave you hope,

Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope.

Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair?

Make out the Invent'ry; inspect, compare!
Then die-if die you dare!




I SEEM to have an indistinct recollection of having read either in one of the ponderous tomes of George of Venice, or in some other compilation from the uninspired Hebrew Writers, an Apologue or Rabbinical Tradition to the following purpose:

While our first parents were yet standing before their offended Maker, and the last words of the sentence were yet sounding in Adam's ear, the guileful false serpent, a counterfeit and a usurper from the beginning, presumptuously took on himself the character of advocate or moderator, and pretending to intercede for Adam, exclaimed: "Nay, Lord, in thy justice, for the Man was the least in fault. Rather let the Woman return at once to the dust, and let Adam remain here all the days of his now mortal life, and enjoy the respite thou mayest grant him, in this thy Paradise which Thou gavest to him, and hast planted with every tree pleasant to the sight of man and of delicious fruitage." And the word of the Most High answered Satan: "The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Treacherous Fiend! guilt deep as thine could not be, yet the love of kind not extinguished. But if having done what thou hast done, thou had'st yet the heart of man within thee, and the yearning of the soul for its answering image and completing counterpart, O spirit, desperately wicked! the sentence thou counsellest had been thy own.'

The title of the following poem was suggested by a fact mentioned by Linnæus, of a Date-tree in a nobleman's garden which year after year had put forth a full show of blossoms, but never produced fruit, till a branch from a Date-tree had been conveyed from a distance of some hundred leagues. The first leaf of the MS. from which the poem has been transcribed, and which contained the two or three introductory stanzas, is wanting: and the author has in vain taxed his memory to repair the loss. But a rude draught of the poem contains the substance of the stanzas, and the reader is requested to receive it as the substitute. It is not impossible, that some congenial spirit, whose years do not exceed those of the author, at the time the poem was written, may find a pleasure in restoring the Lament to its original integrity by a reduction of the thoughts to the requisite Metre.

S. T. C.


BENEATH the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are the Thrones of Frost, through the absence of objects to reflect the rays. "What no one with us shares, seems scarce our own." The presence of a ONE,

The best belov'd, who loveth me the best,

is for the heart, what the supporting air from within is for the hollow globe with its suspended car. Deprive it of this, and all without that would have buoyed it aloft even to the seat of the gods, becomes a burthen and crushes it into flatness.

The Blossoming of the Solitary Date-Tree. 181


The finer the sense for the beautiful and the lovely, and the fairer and lovelier the object presented to the sense; the more exquisite the individual's capacity of joy, and the more ample his means and opportunities of enjoyment, the more heavily will he feel the ache of solitariness, the more unsubstantial becomes the feast spread around him. What matters it, whether in fact the viands and the ministering graces are shadowy or real, to him who has not hand to grasp nor arms to embrace them?


Hope, Imagination, honourable Aims,

Free Commune with the choir that cannot die,
Science and Song, delight in little things,
The buoyant child surviving in the man,
Fields, forests, ancient mountains, ocean, sky,
With all their voices mute-O dare I accuse
My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen,
Or call my niggard destiny! No! no!
It is her largeness, and her overflow,
Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so!


For never touch of gladness stirs my heart,
But tim'rously beginning to rejoice

Like a blind Arab, that from sleep doth start
In lonesome tent, I listen for thy voice.
Beloved! 'tis not thine; thou art not there!
Then melts the bubble into idle air,

And wishing without hope I restlessly despair.


The mother with anticipated glee

Smiles o'er the child, that standing by her chai.
And flatt'ning its round cheek upon her knee
Looks up, and doth its rosy lips prepare

To mock the coming sounds. At that sweet sight
She hears her own voice with a new delight;

And if the babe perchance should lisp the notes aright,


Then is she tenfold gladder than before!

But should disease or chance the darling take,

What then avails those songs, which sweet of yore
Were only sweet for their sweet echo's sake?

Dear maid! no prattler at a mother's knee
Was e'er so dearly prized as I prize thee:

Why was I made for Love and Love denied to me?



O! IT is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlit skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please,
Or let the easily persuaded eyes

Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould
Of a friend's fancy; or with head bent low

And cheek aslant see rivers flow of gold

"Twixt crimson banks; and then, a traveller, go

From mount to mount through CLOUDLAND, gorgeous land!
Or list'ning to the tide, with closed sight,

Be that blind bard, who on the Chian strand

By those deep sounds possessed with inward light

Beheld the ILIAD and the ODYSSEE

Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.



"TWAS my last waking thought, how it could be,
That thou, sweet friend, such anguish should'st endure:
When straight from Dreamland came a Dwarf, and he
Could tell the cause, forsooth, and knew the cure.

Methought he fronted me with peering look
Fix'd on my heart; and read aloud in game
The loves and griefs therein, as from a book;
And uttered praise like one who wished to blame.

In every heart (quoth he) since Adam's sin

Two FOUNTS there are, of SUFFERING and of CHEER
That to let forth, and this to keep within!
But she, whose aspect I find imaged here,

[ocr errors]

Of PLEASURE only will to all dispense,
That Fount alone unlock, by no distress
Choked or turned inward; but still issue thence
Unconquered cheer, persistent loveliness.

As on the driving cloud the shiny Bow,
That gracious thing made up of tears and light,
Mid the wild rack and rain that slants below
Stands smiling forth, unmoved and freshly bright:

« VorigeDoorgaan »