Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely It cannot be that Thou art gone ! clings ;

Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd :And trace in leaves and flowers that And thou wert aye a masker bold ! 30 round me lie

What strange disguise hast now put on, Lessons of love and earnest piety. To make believe, that thou art gone? So let it be; and if the wide world rings I see these locks in silvery slips, In mock of this belief, it brings

This drooping gait, this altered size : Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity. But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips, So will I build my altar in the fields, And tears take sunshine from thine eyes! diAnd the blue skymy fretted dome shall be, | Life is but thought : so think I will And the sweet fragrance that the wild That Youth and I are house-mates still.

flower yields Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee, Dew-drops are the gems of morning, Thee only God! and thou shalt not But the tears of mournful eve ! despise

Where no hope is, life's a warning Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice.

That only serves to make us grieve, ? 1820.

When we are old :
That only serves to make us grieve

With oft and tedious taking-leave,

Like some poor nigh-related guest,
VERSE, a breeze mid blossoms straying,

That may not rudely be dismist; Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee--

Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while, Both were mine! Life went a-maying

And tells the jest without the smile.

1823-1832 With Nature, Hope, and Poesy, When I was young!

THE REPROOF AND REPLY When I was young ?-Ah, woful When ! Ah ! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!

Or, The Flower-thief's Apology, for a robbery This breathing house not built with hands, committed in Mr. and Mrs. 's garden, on This body that does me grievous wrong, Sunday morning, 25th of May, 1823, between the O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands,

hours of eleven and twelve. How lightly then it flashed along :

‘FIE, Mr. Coleridge !--and can this be Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore, ,

you? On winding lakes and rivers wide,

Break two commandments? and in churchThat ask no aid of sail or oar,

time too! That fear no spite of wind or tide !

Have you not heard, or have you heard Nought cared this body for wind or

in vain, weather

The birth-and-parentage-recording strain? When Youth and I lived in't together. Confessions shrill, that out-shrill'd mack

arel drownFlowers are lovely; Love is flower-like; Friendship is a sheltering tree;

Fresh from the drop, the youth not yet

cut down. O! the joys, that came down shower-like, Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,

Letter to sweet - heart—the last dying Ere I was old !


And didn't all this begin in SabbathEre I was old ? Ah woful Ere,

breach? Which tells me, Youth's no longe here ! | You, that knew better! In broad open O Yout' ! for years so many and sweet,

day, 'Tis known, that Thou and I were one, Steal in, steal out, and steal our flowers I'll think it but a fond conceit





What could possess you?

Ah! sweet "Thus all conspir'd-each power of eye youth, I fear The chap with horns and tail was at your And this gay month, th' enchantress of

and ear,


ear !'

the year,


To cheat poor me (no conjuror, God Such sounds of late, accusing fancy

wot!) brought

And C-—m's self accomplice in the From fair C—— to the Poet's thought.

plot. Now hear the meek Parnassian youth's Can you then wonder if I went astray? reply =

Not bards alone, nor lovers mad as A bow, a pleading look, a downcasteye, —

they ;And then :

All Nature day-dreams in the month of

May. 'Fair dame! a visionary wight, And if I pluck'd 'each flower that sweetest Hard by your hill-side mansion sparkling


Who walks in sleep, needs follow must His thoughts all hovering round the

his nose. Muses' home, Long hath it been your poet's wont to Thus, long accustom'd on the twy-fork'd roam,

hill, 1 And many a morn, on his becharmed To pluck both flower and floweret at my sense


50 So rich a stream of music issued thence, The garden's maze, like No-man's-land, He deem'd himself, as it flow'd warbling

I tread, on,

Nor common law, nor statute in my Beside the vocal fount of Helicon !

head; But when, as if to settle the concern,

For my own proper smell, sight, fancy, A nymph too he beheld, in many a turn,

feeling, Guiding the sweet rill from its fontal

With autocratic hand at once repealing

Five Acts of Parliament 'gainst private urn, Say, can you blame ? — No! none that stealing ! saw and heard

But yet from C--m who despairs of Could blame a bard, that he thus inly

grace? stirr'd ;

There's no spring-gun or man-trap in that

face ! A muse beholding in each fervent trait, 30 Took Mary H-- for Polly Hymnia ! Let Moses then look black, and Aaron Or haply as there stood beside the maid

blue, One loftier form in sable stole array’d,

That look as if they had little else to If with regretful thought he hail'd in thee

For C——m speaks, “Poor youth! he's C---m, his long-lost friend, Mol Po

but a waif!

60 mene!

The spoons all right? the hen and

chickens safe? But most of you, soft warblings, I complain !

Well, well, he shall not forfeit our re'Twas ye that from the bee-hive of my


The Eighth Commandment was not Lured the wild fancies forth, a freakish

made for Bards !",

1823. rout,

1 The English Parnassus is remarkable for its And witch'd the air with dreams turn'd

two summits of unequal height, the lower deinside out.

nominated Hampstead, the higher Highgate.

do :




O close your eyes, and strive to see

The studious maid, with book on knee,O FAIR is Love's first hope to gentle Ah ! earliest-opend flower ; mind !

While yet with keen unblunted light As Eve's first star thro’ fleecy cloudlet The morning star shone opposite peeping;

The lattice of her bowerAnd sweeter than the gentle south-west Alone of all the starry host, wind,

As if in prideful scorn O'er willowy meads, and shadow'd Of flight and fear he stay'd behind, waters creeping,

To brave th' advancing morn. And Ceres' golden fields ;-the sultry hind

O! Alice could read passing well, Meets it with brow uplift, and stays his And she was conning then reaping

? 1824. Dan Ovid's mazy tale of loves,

And gods, and beasts, and men.


The vassal's speech, his taunting vein,

It thrill'd like venom thro' her brain ; 40

Yet never from the book

She rais'd her head, nor did she deign 'One word with two meanings is the traitor's The knight a single look. shield and shaft: and a slit tongue be his blazon!'

Caucasian Proverb. Off, traitor friend ! how dar'st thou fix · The Sun is not yet risen,

Thy wanton gaze on me? But the dawn lies red on the dew :

And why, against my earnest suit, Lord Julian has stolen from the hunters Does Julian send by thee? away,

· Go, tell thy Lord, that slow is sure : Is seeking, Lady, for you. Put on your dress of green,

Fair speed his shafts to-day ! Your buskins and your quiver ;

I follow here a stronger lure,

50 Lord Julian is a hasty man,

And chase a gentler prey.' Long waiting brook'd he never.

She said : and with a baleful smile I dare not doubt him, that he means

The vassal knight reeld offTo wed you on a day,

Like a huge billow from a bark Your lord and master for to be,

Toil'd in the deep sea-trough, And you his lady gay.

That shouldering sideways in mid plunge, O Lady! throw your book aside !

Is travers'd by a flash.
I would not that my Lord should chide.' And staggering onward, leaves the ear

With dull and distant crash.
Thus spake Sir Hugh the vassal knight
To Alice, child of old Du Clos,

And Alice sate with troubled mien

60 As spotless fair, as airy light

A moment ; for the scoff was keen, As that moon-shiny doe,

And thro' her veins did shiver ! The gold star on its brow, her sire's Then rose and donn'd her dress of green, ancestral crest!

Her buskins and her quiver.
For ere the lark had left his nest,
She in the garden bower below

There stands the flow'ring may-thorn Sate loosely wrapt in maiden white,

tree ! Her face half drooping from the sight,

From thro' the veiling mist you see A snow-drop on a tust of snow !

The black and shadowy stem ;с


[ocr errors]


[blocks in formation]

And there Lord Julian sate on steed;

Behind him, in a round, Stood knight and squire, and menial

train; Against the leash the greyhounds strain ;

The horses paw'd the ground.

When up the alley green, Sir Hugh

Spurr'd in upon the sward, And mute, without a word, did he

Fall in behind his lord.


[blocks in formation]

The huntress is in her dress of green,-
And forth they go ; she with her bow,

Her buskins and her quiver !-
The squire--no younger e’er was seen
With restless arm and laughing een,

He makes his javelin quiver.
And had not Ellen stay'd the race,
And stopp'd to see, a moment's space,

The whole great globe of light
Give the last parting kiss-like touch
To the eastern ridge, it lack'd not

They had o'erta’en the knight.
It chanced that up the covert lane,

Where Julian waiting stood,
A neighbour knight prick'd on to join

The huntsmen in the wood.
And with him must Lord Julian go,

Tho' with an anger'd mind :
Betroth'd not wedded to his bride,
In vain he sought, 'twixt shame and

Excuse to stay behind.
He bit his lip, he wrung his glove,
He look'd around, he look'd above,

But pretext none could find or frame.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

" You sent betimes. Not yet unbarr’d

I found the middle door ; Two stirrers only met my eyes,

Fair Alice, and one more.

I came unlook'd for: and, it seem'd,

In an unwelcome hour;
And found the daughter of Du Clos

Within the lattic'd bower.

? 1825.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• But hush ! the rest may wait. If lost, With fatal aim, and frantic force,

190 No great loss, I divine ;


The shaft was hurl'd !-a lifeless corse, And idle words will better suit

Fair Alice from her vaulting horse, A fair maid's lips than mine.'

Lies bleeding on the glade. 'God's wrath! speak out, man,' Julian cried,

LOVE, A SWORD O'ermaster'd by the sudden smart ;And feigning wrath, sharp, blunt, and THOUGH veiled in spires of myrtlerude,

wreath, The knight his subtle shift pursued.

Love is a sword which cuts its sheath, * Scowl not at me ; command my skill,

And through the clefts itself has made, To lure your hawk back, if you will,

We spy the flashes of the blade ! But not a woman's heart.

But through the clefts itself has made, ««Go ! (said she) tell him, --- slow is We likewise see Love's flashing blade sure ;


By rust consumed, or snapt in twain : Fair speed his shafts to-day !

And only hilt and stump remain. ? 1825. I follow here a stronger lure,

And chase a gentler prey.
· The game, pardie, was full in sight,

That then did, if I saw aright,
The fair dame's eyes engage ;

A BIRI), who for his other sins
For turning, as I took my ways,

Had lived amongst the Jacobins ; I saw them fix'd with steadfast gaze

Though like a kitten amid rats, Full on her wanton page.'

Or callow tit in nest of bats,

He much abhorr'd all democrats ; The last word of the traitor knight

Yet nathless stood in ill report It had but entered Julian's ear,- Of wishing ill to Church and Court, From two o'erarching oaks between, Though he'd nor claw, nor tooth, nor With glistning helm-like cap is seen,

sting, Borne on in giddy cheer,

And learnt to pipe God save the King ;

Though each day did new feathers A youth, that ill his steed can guide ;


10 Yet with reverted face doth ride,

All swore he had a leathern wing ; As answering to a voice,

Nor polish'd wing, nor feather'd tail, That seems at once to laugh and chide

Nor down-clad thigh would aught avail ; Not mine, dear mistress,' still he ·

And though his tongue devoid of gallcried,

He civilly assured them all :"'Tis this mad filly's choice.' 180

"A bird am I of Phoebus' breed, With sudden bound, beyond the boy,

And on the sunflower cling and feed ; See ! see! that face of hope and joy,

My name, good sirs, is Thomas Tit!' That regal front ! those cheeks aglow! The bats would hail him brother cit, Thou needed'st but the crescent sheen,

Or, at the furthest, cousin-german. A quiver'd Dian to have been,

At length the matter to determine, Thou lovely child of old Du Clos !

He publicly denounced the vermin ;

He spared the mouse, he praised the owl; Dark as a dream Lord Julian stood, But bats were neither flesh nor fowl. Swift as a dream, from forth the wood, Blood-sucker, vampire, harpy, goul, Sprang on the plighted Maid !

I Came in full clatter from his throat,



« VorigeDoorgaan »