I weep that heaven-born Genius so shall





And oft, in Fancy's saddest hour, my soul [LATEST VERSION—1829]

Averted shudders at the poisoned bowl.

Now groans my sickening heart, as still O WHAT a wonder seems the fear of

I view death,

Thy corse of livid hue;

30 Seeing how gladly we all sink to sleep, Now indignation checks the feeble sigh, Babes, Children, Youths, and Men, Or flashes through the tear that glistens Night following night for threescore years

in mine eye! and ten! But doubly strange, where life is but a

Is this the land of song-ennobled line ? breath

Is this the land, where Genius ne'er in To sigh and pant with, up Want's rugged

vain steep.

Poured forth his lofty strain ?

Ah me! yet Spenser, gentlest bard divine, Away, Grim Phantom! Scorpion King, Beneath chill Disappointment's shade, away!

His weary limbs in lonely anguish lay’d. Reserve thy terrors and thy stings display And o'er her darling dead For coward Wealth and Guilt in robes Pity hopeless hung her head,

40 of State!

While "mid the pelting of that merciless Lo! by the grave I stand of one, for

storm,' whom

Sunk to the cold earth Otway's famished A prodigal Nature and a niggard Doom

form! (That all bestowing, this withholding all) Made each chance knell from distant spire Sublime of thought, and confident of or dome

fame, Sound like a seeking Mother's anxious From vales where Avon 1 winds the Mincall,

strel came. Return, poor Child! Home, weary truant,

Light-hearted youth! aye, as he home!

hastes along,

He meditates the future song, Thee, Chatterton! these unblest stones How dauntless Ælla fray'd the Dacyan protect

foe; From want, and the bleak freezings of And while the numbers flowing neglect.

strong Too long before the vexing Storm-blast In eddies whirl, in surges throng, driven

Exulting in the spirits' genial throe 50 Here hast thou found repose ! beneath | In tides of power his life-blood seems to this sod!

flow. Thou! O vain word ! thou dwell'st not with the clod!

And now his cheeks with deeper ardors Amid the shining Host of the Forgiven


[declare Thou at the throne of mercy and thy God His eyes have glorious meanings, that The triumph of redeeming Love dost More than the light of outward day hymn

shines there, (Believe it, O my Soul!) to harps of

A holier triumph and a sterner aim ! Seraphim.

Wings grow within him ; and he soars

above Yet oft, perforce ('tis suffering Nature's

1 Avon, a river near Bristol, the birth-place of call),

| Chatterton.



Or Bard's or Minstrel's lay of war or love. On scenes that well might melt thy soul; Friend to the friendless, to the sufferer Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view, health,

Thy native cot, where still, at close of day, He hears the widow's prayer, the good Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy man's praise;

lay; To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied Thy sister's shrieks she bade thee hear, wealth,


And mark thy mother's thrilling tear; 90 And young and old shall now see happy See, see her breast's convulsive throe, days.

Her silent agony of woe! On many a waste he bids trim gardens Ah! dash the poisoned chalice from thy rise,

hand! Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner's eyes ;

And thou hadst dashed it, at her soft And now in wrath he grasps the patriot

command, steel,

But that Despair and Indignation rose, And her own iron rod he makes Oppres- And told again the story of thy woes; sion feel.

Told the keen insult of the unfeeling

heart, Sweet Flower of Hope! free Nature's The dread dependence on the low-born genial child!

mind; That didst so fair disclose thy early Told every pang, with which thy soul bloom,

must smart, Filling the wide air with a rich perfume ! Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want

, For thee in vain all heavenly aspects

combined ! smil'd;

Recoiling quick, thou badest the friend From the hard world brief respite could

of pain they win


Roll the black tide of Death through The frost nipp'd sharp without, the can.

every freezing vein! ker prey'd within ! Ah! where are fled the charms of vernal Ye woods! that wave o'er Avon's rocky Grace,

steep, And Joy's wild gleams that lightened To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring o'er thy face?

deep! Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard For here she loves the cypress wreath to eye!

weave; Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps I view, Watching, with wistful eye, the saddenOn thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew,

ing tints of eve. And oh! the anguish of that shuddering Here, far from men, amid this pathless sigh!


In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to Such were the struggles of the

rove, gloomy hour,

Like star-beam on the slow sequestered When Care, of withered brow,

tide Prepared the poison's death-cold Lone-glittering, through the high tree power:


branching wide. Already to thy lips was raised the bowl, And here, in Inspiration's eager hour,

When near thee stood Affection meek When most the big soul feels the master(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek)

These wilds, these caverns roaming Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll



ing power,

I 20

Round which the screaming sea-gulls And greet with smiles the young-eyed soar,

Poesy With wild unequal steps he passed along, All deftly masked as hoar Antiquity. Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful | Alas, vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood brow

Of Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood! Would pause abrupt—and gaze upon the Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream, waves below.

Where Susquehannah pours his untamed

stream; Poor Chatterton! he sorrows for thy fate And on some hill, whose forest-frowning Who would have praised and loved thee,

side ere too late.

Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer Poor Chatterton! farewell! of darkest


150 hues

Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee, This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped Sweet Harper of time-shrouded Mintomb;

strelsy ! But dare no longer on the sad theme And there, soothed sadly by the dirgeful muse,

wind, Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred Muse on the sore ills I had left behind. doom :

1790-1829. For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing,

ON OBSERVING A BLOSSOM ON Have blackened the fair promise of my spring;

THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY 1796 And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart

SWEET flower ! that peeping from thy The last pale Hope that shivered at my

russet stem heart!

Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort

This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teethHence, gloomy thoughts! no more my

chattering month soul shall dwell

Hath borrow'd Zephyr's voice, and gazed On joys that were! no more endure to

upon thee weigh

With blue voluptuous eye) alas, poor

130 The shame and anguish of the evil day,

Flower ! Wisely forgetful! O'er the ocean swell

These are but flatteries of the faithless Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell Where Virtue calm with careless step Perchance, escaped its unknown polar may stray ;

cave, And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay,

Even now the keen North-East is on its The wizard Passions weave a holy spell !

way. Flower that must perish ! shall I liken

thee O Chatterton! that thou wert yet alive! Sure thou would'st spread the canvass to

To some sweet girl of too too rapid growth the gale,

Nipp'd by consumption mid untimely And love with us the tinkling team to

charms? drive

Or to Bristowa's bard, 1 the wondrous O'er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale;

boy! And we, at sober eve, would round thee

An amaranth, which earth scarce seem'd throng,

to own,

141 Hanging, enraptured, on thy stately song,

1 Chatterton.


Till disappointment came, and pelting

FRAGMENT wrong Beat it to earth? or with indignant grief

FROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's The early year's fast-flying vapours stray hope,

In shadowing trains across the orb of day: Bright flower of hope killed in the And we, poor insects of a few short hours, opening bud ?

Deem it a world of gloom. Farewell, sweet blossom ! better fate be Were it not better hope a nobler doom, thine

Proud to believe that with more active And mock my boding ! Dim similitudes

powers Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one On rapid many-coloured wing hour

We thro'one bright perpetual Spring From anxious Self, Life's cruel task- Shall hover round the fruits and flowers, master !

Screen’d by those clouds and cherish'd And the warm wooings of this sunny

by those showers !

1796. day Tremble along my frame and harmonize

TO The attempered organ, that even saddest thoughts

I MIX in life, and labour to seem free, Mix with some sweet sensations, like With common persons pleased and harsh tunes

common things, Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument. While every thought and action tends to


thee, And every impulse from thy influence springs.


TO A PRIMROSE THESE, Virtue, are thy triumphs, that

THE FIRST SEEN IN THE SEASON adorn Fitliest our nature, and bespeak us born

Nitens et roboris expers For loftiest action; not to gaze and

Turget et insolida est : et spe delectat.

OVID, Metam. run From clime to clime; or batten in the Thy smiles I note, sweet early flower, sun,

That peeping from thy rustic bower Dragging a drony flight from flower to The festive news to earth dost bring, flower,

A fragrant messenger of spring. Like summer insects in a gaudy hour ;

But, tender blossom, why so pale? Nor yet o'er love-sick tales with fancy

Dost hear stern winter in the gale ? range "'Tis pitiful, 'tis passing To catch one vernal glance and die ?

And didst thou tempt the ungentle sky strange! But on life's varied views to look around

Such the wan lustre sickness wears And raise expiring sorrow from the When health's first feeble beam appears ; ground:

So languid are the smiles that seek And he, who thus hath borne his part | To settle on the care-worn cheek

assign'd In the sad fellowship of human kind, When timorous hope the head uprears, Or for a moment soothed the bitter pain Still drooping and still moist with tears, Of a poor brother— has not lived in If, through dispersing grief, be seen vain !


Of bliss the heavenly spark serene.

And cry,


And sweeter far the early blow,

Or wither with the lightning's flash of Fast following after storms of woe,

Wit; Than (comfort's riper season come) Or with sublimer mien and tones more Are full-blown joys and pleasure's gaudy deep, bloom.

1796. Charm sworded Justice from mysterious


• By violated Freedom's loud Lament,

Her Lamps extinguish'd and her Temple ADDRESSED TO J. HORNE TOOKE ANI)


By the forc'd tears her captive Martyrs 28TH, 1796, TO CELEBRATE HIS POLL


By each pale Orphan's feeble cry for BRITONS ! when last ye met, with distant

bread; streak

By ravag'd Belgium's corse - impeded So faintly promised the pale Dawn to

Flood, break;

And Vendee steaming still with brothers' So dim it stain'd the precincts of the Sky

blood !' E’en Expectation gaz'd with doubtful And if amid the strong impassion’d Tale, Eye.

Thy Tongue should falter and thy Lips But now such fair Varieties of Light

turn pale; O’ertake the heavy sailing Clouds of If transient Darkness film thy aweful Night;

Eye, Th' Horizon kindles with so rich a red, And thy tir’d Bosom struggle with a sigh: That tho’ the Sun still hides his glorious Science and Freedom shall demand to head

hear Th’impatient Matin-bird, assur'd of Day, Who practis’d on a Life so doubly dear; Leaves his low nest to meet its earliest Infus'd the unwholesome anguish drop ray ;

by drop, Loud the sweet song of Gratulation sings, Pois'ning the sacred stream they could And high in air claps his rejoicing wings !

not stop !

40 Patriot and Sage! whose breeze - like Shall bid thee with recover'd strength Spirit first

relate The lazy mists of Pedantry dispers’d How dark and deadly is a Coward's (Mists in which Superstition's pigmy band

Hate : Seem'd Giant Forms, the Genii of the What seeds of death by wan Confinement Land !),

sown, Thy struggles soon shall wak’ning Britain When Prison - echoes mock'd Disease's bless,

groan ! And Truth and Freedom hail thy wish'd Shall bid th' indignant Father flash success.

dismay, Yes Tooke! tho’ foul Corruption's wolfish And drag the unnatural Villain into Day throng

Whol to the sports of his flesh'd Ruffians Outmalice Calumny's imposthum'd

left Tongue,

Two lovely Mourners of their Sire bereft! Thy Country's noblest and determin'd | 'Twas wrong, like this, which Rome's Choice,

first Consul bore, Soon shalt thou thrill the Senate with

1 'Dundas left thief-takers in Horne Tooke's thy voice;

House for three days, with his two Daughters With gradual Dawn bid Error's phantoms alone: for Horne Tooke kee no servant.'-flit,

S. T. C. To Estlin.





« VorigeDoorgaan »