TO HARRIET * * * * *
Whose is the love that, gleaming through the world,
Wards off the poisonous arrow of its scorn ?
Whose is the warm and partial praise,
Virtue's most sweet reward

Beneath whose looks did my reviving soul
Riper in truth and virtuous daring grow?
Whose eyes have I gazed fondly on,
And loved mankind the more ?

Harriet ! on thine :thou wert my purer mind;
Thou wert the inspiration of my song ;

Thine are these early wilding flowers,

Though garlanded by me.
Then press into thy breast this pledge of love,
And know, though time may change and years may roll,

Each flow'ret gathered in my heart
It consecrates to thine.


How wonderful is Death,

Death and his brother Sleep !
One, pale as yonder waning moon,

With lips of lurid blue;

The other, rosy as the morn
When throned on ocean's wave,

It blushes o'er the world :
Yet both so passing wonderful !


Hath then the gloomy Power
Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchres

Seized on her sinless soul

Must then that peerless form
Which love and admiration cannot view

Without a beating heart, those azure veins
Which steal like streams along a field of snom,
That lovely outline, which is fair

As breathing marble, perish ?

Must putrefaction's breath
Leave nothing of this heavenly sight

But loathsomeness and ruin?

Spare nothing but a gloomy theme,
On which the lightest heart might moralize ?

Or is it only a sweet slumber

Stealing o'er sensation,
Which the breath of roseate morning

Chaseth into darkness ?

Will Ianthe wake again,
And give that faithful bosom joy
Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
Light, life, and rapture, from her smile ?

Yes ! she will wake again,
Although her glowing limbs are motionless,

And silent those sweet lips,

Once breathing eloquence
That might have soothed a tiger's rage,
Or thawed the cold heart of a conqueror.

Her dewy eyes are closed,
And on their lids, whose texture fine
Scarce hides the dark blue orbs beneath,

The baby Sleep is pillowed :
Her golden tresses shade

The bosom's stainless pride,
Curling like tendrils of the parasite

Around a marble column.
Hark! whence that rushing sound!

'Tis like the wondrous strain
That round a lonely ruin swells,
Which, wandering on the echoing shore,

The enthusiast hears at evening:
'Tis softer than the west wind's sigh;
'Tis wilder than the unmeasured notes
Of that strange lyre whose strings
The genii of the breezes sweep :

Those lines of rainbow light

Are like the moonbeams when they fall Through some cathedral window, but the teinte

[ocr errors]


Are such as may not find

Comparison on earth.
Behold the chariot of the Fairy Queen!
Celestial coursers paw the unyielding air;
Their filmy pennons at her word they furl,
And stop obedient to the reins of light:

These the Queen of Spells drew in,

She spread a charm around the spot,
And leaning graceful from the ethereal car,
Long did she gaze, and silently,

Upon the slumbering maid.
Oh! not the visioned poet in his dreams,
When silvery clouds float through the wildered brain,
When every sight of lovely, wild and grand,

Astonishes, epraptures, elevates--
When fancy at a glance combines

The wondrous and the beautiful,
So bright, so fair, so wild a shape

Hath ever yet beheld.
As that which reined the coursers of the air,
And poured the magic of her gaze
Upon the sleeping maid.

The broad and yellow moon

Shone dimly through her form-
That form of faultle-s symmetry;
The pearly and pellucid car

Moved not the moonlight's line :

'Twas not an earthly pageant;
Those who had looked upon the sight,

Passing all human glory,
Saw not the yellow moon,
Saw not the mortal scene,
Heard not the night-wind's rush,
Heard not an earthly sound,
Saw but the fairy pageant,
Heard but the heavenly strains

That filled the lonely dwelling.
The Fairy's frame was slight; yon fibrous cloud,

That catches but the palest tinge of even,
And which the straining eye can hardly seize

When melting into eastern twilight's shadow,
Were scarce so thin, so slight; but the fair star,
That gems the glittering coronet of morn,

Sheds not a light so mild, so powerful,
As that which, bursting from the Fairy's form,
Spread a purpureal halo round the scene,

Yet with an undulating motion,
Swayed to her outline gracefully.

[ocr errors][merged small]

From her celestial car
The Fairy Queen descended,

And thrice she waved her wand
Circled with wreaths of amaranth :

Her thin and misty form
Moved with the moving air,
And the clear silver tones,

As thus she spoke, were such

As are unheard by all but gifted ear.
Pairy. Stars ! your balmiest influence shed !

Elements ! your wrath suspend !
Sleep, Ocean, in the rocky bounds

That circle thy domain!
Let not a breath be seen to stir
Around yon grass-grown ruin's height,

Let even the restless gossamer
Sleep on the moveless air !

Soul of Ianthe I thou,
Judged alone worthy of the envied boon
That waits the good and the sincere ; that waits
Those who have struggled, and with resolute will
Vanquished earth's pride and meanness, burst the chains,
The icy chains of custom, and have shone
The day-stars of their age ;-Soul of Ianthe!

Awake! arise !
Sudden arose
Ianthe's Soul; it stood
All beautiful in naked purity,
The perfect semblance of its bodily frame.
Instinct with inexpressible beauty and grace,

Each stain of earthliness
Had passed away, it reassumed
Its native dignity, and stood

Immortal amid ruin.
Upon the couch the body lay,

Wrapt in the depth of slumber:
Its features were fixed and meaningless,

Yet animal life was there,
And every organ yet performed

Its natural functions ; 'twas a sight
Of wonder to behold the body and soul.

The self-game lineaments, the same

Marks of identity were there;
Yet, oh how different! One aspires to heaven,
Pants for its sempiternal heritage,
And ever-changing, ever-rising still,

Wantons in endless being.
The other, for a time the unwilling sport

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ElőzőTovább »