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PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, Thy brother Death came, and cried,
Wouldst thou me?"
Murmured like a noontide bee, That lie bestrewn, unsightly and unsmooth,
“Shall I nestle near thy side ? Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Wouldst thou me ?” — And I replied, Meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us rest."
“No, not thee!”
Soon, too soon,
I ask of thee, beloved Night,
Come soon, soon !
Thee, from report divine, and heard thy name, And these the gems of heaven, her starry train : Did he not tremble for this lovely frame, But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
This glorious canopy of light and blue ? With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun Yet, 'neath a curtain of translucent dew, On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flower, Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame, Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers, Hesperus, with the host of heaven, came, Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night And lo! creation widened in man's view. With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon, Who could have thought such darkness lay conOr glittering starlight, without thee is sweet."
cealed Thus talking, hand in hand alone they passed Within thy beams, O Sun! or who could find, On to their blissful bower.
Whilst fly and leaf and insect stood revealed,
Why do we then shun death with anxious strife ?
If light can thus deceive, wherefore not life? SWIFTLY walk over the western wave,
Spirit of Night!
How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh Which make thee terrible and dear, –
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear Swift be thy fight !
Were discord to the speaking quietude
vault, Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day,
Studded with stars unutterably bright, Kiss her until she be wearied out;
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur Then wander o'er city and sea and land,
rolls, Touching all with thine opiate wand,
Seems like a canopy which love has spread
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills,
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow; When I arose and saw the dawn,
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend), I sighed for thee ;
So stainless that their white and glittering spires
A metaphor of peace — all form a scene
Where musing solitude might love to lift
But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock ofmen,
Ofallthat flattered, follower, sought, and sued; This is to be alone ; this, this is solitude !
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness ; Where silence undisturbed might watch alone, So cold, so bright, so still.
The orb of day In southern climes o'er ocean's waveless field Sinks sweetly smiling : not the faintest breath Steals o'er the unruffled deep; the clouds of eve Reflect unmoved the lingering beam of day ; And vesper's image on the western main Is beautifully still. To-morrow comes : Cloud upon cloud, in dark and deepening mass, Rolls o'er the blackened waters ; the deep roar Of distant thunder mutters awfully ; Tempest unfolds its pinion o'er the gloom That shrouds the boiling surge ; the pitiless fiend, With all his windsand lightnings, tracks his prey; The torn deep yawns,
the vessel finds a grave Beneath its jagged gulf.
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY,
FROM “ CHILDE HAROLD."
'T is night, when Meditation bids us feel
Death hath but little left him to destroy ! Ah ! happy years ! once more who would not be
Night is the time for rest :
How sweet, when labors close, To gather round an aching breast
The curtain of repose, Stretch the tired limbs, and lay the head Down on our own delightful bed ! Night is the time for dreams :
The gay romance of life,
Mix in fantastic strife ;
To plough the classic field,
Its wealthy furrows yield ;
To wet with unseen tears
The joys of other years ;
O'er ocean's dark expanse, To hail the Pleiades, or catch
The full moon's earliest glance, That brings into the homesick mind All we have loved and left behind.
Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,
A flashing pang ! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
This is not solitude; 't is but to hold Converse with Nature's charms, and view her
Night is the time for care :
Brooding on hours misspent, To see the spectre of Despair
Come to our lonely tent; Like Brutus, midst his slumbering host, Summoned to die by Cæsar's ghost. Night is the time to think :
When, from the eye, the soul Takes flight; and on the utmost brink
Of yonder starry pole
Discerns beyond the abyss of night
What stays thee from the clouded noons, The dawn of uncreated light.
Thy sweetness from its proper place ?
Can trouble live with April days,
Or sadness in the summer moons ?
Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
The little speedwell's darling blue,
Deep tulips dashed with fiery dew, And commune there alone with God.
Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire.
O thou, new-year, delaying long,
Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
That longs to burst a frozen bud,
And Hood a fresher throat with song.
Now fades the last long streak of snow ;
Now bourgeons every maze of quick
About the flowering squares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.
Now rings the woodland loud and long,
The distance takes a lovelier hue, I Heard the trailing garments of the Night
And drowned in yonder living blue
The lark becomes a sightless song.
Now dance the lights on lawn and lea, I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
The flocks are whiter down the vale, Stoop o'er me from above ;
And milkier every milky sail The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
On winding stream or distant sea ; As of the one I love.
Where now the seamew pipes, or dives I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
In yonder greening gleam, and fly The manifold, soft chimes,
The happy birds, that change their sky That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
To build and brood, that live their lives Like some old poet's rhymes. From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
From land to land ; and in my breast My spirit drank repose ;
Spring wakens too ; and my regret The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, –
Becomes an April violet, From those deep cisterns flows.
And buds and blossoms like the rest.
What man has borne before !
DIE DOWN, O DISMAL DAY!
Die down, O dismal day, and let me live;
With colored clouds,--large, light, and fugitive, The best-beloved Night !
winds through pompous motions blown. Now it is death in life,
— a vapor dense Creeps round my window, till I cannot sec The far snow-shining mountains, and the glens
Shagging the mountain tops. O God! make free SPRING.
This barren shackled earth, so deadly coli, FROM “IN MEMORIAM."
Breathe gently forth thy spring, till winter flies
In rude amazement, fearful and yet bold, Dip down upon the northern shore,
While she performs her customed charities; O sweet new-year, delaying long :
I weigh the loaded hours till life is bare, Thou doest expectant Nature wrong ;
O God, forone clear day, a snowdrop, and sweet air! Delaying long, delay no more.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
Come with bows bent and with emptying of
Maiden most perfect, lady of light,
With a noise of winds and many rivers,
With a clamor of waters, and with might;
Over the splendor and speed of thy feet !
For the faint east quickens, the wan west shivers,
Round the feet of the day and the feet of the Waiting for the May.
night. Ah ! my heart is sick with longing,
Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her, Longing for the May,
Fold our hands round her knees and cliny? Longing to escape from study,
() that man's heart were as fire and could siring To the young face fair and ruddy,
to her, And the thousand charms belonging
Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring!
For the stars and the winds are unto her
As raiment, as songs of the harp-player;
For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her,
And the southwest-wind and the west-wind Sighing for the May,
sing Sighing for their sure returning,
For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of shows and sins ;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins ;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
The full streams feed on flower of rushes,
The faint fresh flame of the young year flushes
And fruit and leaf are as gold and fire,
And the oat is heard above the lyre,
And the hooféd heel of a satyr crushes
The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root.
And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night,
Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid,
Follows with dancing and fills with delight
The Mænad and the Bassarid;
And soft as lips that laugh and hide,
The god pursuing, the maiden hid.
The ivy falls with the Bacchanal's hair When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces, Over her eyebrows shading her eyes ; The mother of months in meadow or plain
The wild vine slipping down leaves bare Fills the shadows and windy places
Her bright breast shortening into sighs ; With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain ;
The wild vine slips with the weight of its leaves, And the brown bright nightingale amorous
But the berried ivy catches and cleaves Is half assuaged for Itylus,
To the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare For the Thracian ships and the foreign faces ;
The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies. The tongueless vigil, and all the pain.
DENIS FLORENCE MAC-CARTHY.
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.
He therefore that sustaineth
They that faint
With complaint Therefore are to blame; They add to their afflictions, And amplify the same.
THE Time hath laid his mantle by
Of wind and rain and icy chill, And dons a rich embroidery
Of sunlight poured on lake and hill. No beast or bird in earth or sky,
Whose voice doth not with gladness thrill, For Time hath laid his mantle by
Of wind and rain and icy chill.
CHARLES OF ORLEANS.
RETURN OF SPRING.
For if they could with patience
But if the mind
He that is melancholy,
Sparks of joy
Fly away ;
(Translation.) Gop shield ye, heralds of the spring, Ye faithful swallows, fleet of wing,
Houps, cuckoos, nightingales, Turtles, and every wilder bird, That make your hundred chirpings heri
Through the green woods and dales. God shield ye, Easter daisies all, Fair roses, buds, and blossoms small,
And he whom erst the gore Of Ajax and Narciss did print, Ye wild thyme, anise, balm, and mint,
I welcome ye once more. God shield ye, bright embroidered train Of butterflies, that on the plain
Of each sweet herblet sip; And ye, new swarms of bees, that go Where the pink flowers and yellow grow
To kiss them with your lip.