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ROBIN HOOD.
TO A FRIEND.

No! those days are gone away,
And their hours are old and grey,
And their minutes buried all
Under the down-trodden pall
Of the leaves of many years:
Many times have Winter's shears,
Frozen North, and chilling East,
Sounded tempests to the feast
Of the forest's whispering fleeces,
Since men knew nor rent nor leases.

No, the bugle sounds no more,
And the twanging bow no more;
Silent is the ivory shrill
Past the heath and up the hill;
There is no mid-forest laugh,
Where lone Echo gives the half
To some wight, amazed to hear
Jesting, deep in forest drear.

On the fairest time of June
You may go, with sun or moon,
Or the seven stars to light you,
Or the polar ray to right you;
But you never may behold
Little John, or Robin bold j
Never one, of all the clan,
Thrumming on an empty can
Some old hunting ditty, while
He doth his green way beguile
To fair hostess Merriment,
Down beside the pasture Trent;
For he left the merry tale,
Messenger for spicy ale.

Gone, the merry morris din; Gone, the song of Gamelyn; Gone, the tough-belted outlaw Idling in the "grene shawe;" All are gone away and past! And if Robin should be cast Sudden from his tufted grave, And if Marian should have Once again her forest days, She would weep, and he would craze: He would swear, for all his oaks, Fall'n beneath the dock-yard strokes, Have rotted on the briny seas; She would weep that her wild bees Sang not to her—strange! that honey Can't be got without hard money!

So it is; yet let us sing Honour to the old bow-string! Honour to the Bugle-horn! Honour to the woods unshorn! Honour to the Lincoln green! Honour to the archer keen! Honour to tight Little John, And the horse he rode upon! Honour to bold Robin Hood, Sleeping in the underwood! Honour to Maid Marian, And to all the Sherwood clan! Though their days have hurried by, Let us two a burden try.

SONNETS.

TO MY BROTHER GEORGE.

Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kist away the tears
That fill'd the eyes of Morn ;—the laurel'd peers

Who from the feathery gold of evening lean ;—

The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,

Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,— Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears

Must think on what will be, and what has been.

E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping

So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
And she her half-discover'd revels keeping.

But what, without the social thought of thee,

Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?

Had I a man's fair form, then might my sighs
Be echoed swiftly through that ivory shell
Thine ear, and find thy gentle heart ; so well

Would passion arm me for the enterprise:

But ah! I am no knight whose foeman dies;
No cuirass glistens on my bosom's swell;
I am no happy shepherd of the dell

Whose lips have trembled with a maiden's eyes.

Yet must I doat upon thee,—call thee sweet,
Sweeter by far than Hybla's honey'd roses
When steep'd in dew rich to intoxication.

Ah! I will taste that dew, for me 't is meet,
And when the moon her pallid face discloses,
I'll gather some by spells, and incantation.

O Solitude ! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings: climb with me the steep,—

Nature's observatory—whence the dell,

Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
May seem a span ; let me thy vigils keep
'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's swift leap

Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.

But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,

Whose words are images of thoughts refined,
Is my soul's pleasure ; and it sure must be

Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,

When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

How many bards gild the lapses of time!

A few of them have ever been the food

Of my delighted fancy,—I could brood Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime: And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,

These will in throngs before my mind intrude:

But no confusion, no disturbance rude
Do they occasion ; 't is a pleasing chime.
So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store;

The songs of birds—the whispering of the leaves— The voice of waters—the great bell that heaves

With solemn sound,—and thousand others more, That distance of recognizance bereaves,

Make pleasing music, and not wild uproar.

TO A FRIEND WHO SENT ME SOME ROSES.

As late I rambled in the happy fields,

What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew
From his lush clover covert ,—when anew

Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields:

I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,

A fresh-blown musk-rose; 't was the first that threw Its sweets upon the summer : graceful it grew

As is the wand that queen Titania wields.

And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,

I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd; But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me,

My sense with their deliciousness was spell'd: Soft voices had they, that with tender plea

Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquell'd

To G. A. w.

Nymph of the downward smile and sidelong glance!

In what diviner moments of the day

Art thou most lovely? when gone far astray
Into the labyrinths of sweet utterance?
Or when serenely wandering in a trance

Of sober thought? Or when starting away,

With careless robe to meet the morning ray,
Thou sparest the flowers in thy mazy dance?
Haply 't is when thy ruby lips part sweetly,

And so remain, because thou listenest:
But thou to please wert nurtured so completely

That I can never tell what mood is best,
I shall as soon pronounce which Grace more neatly

Trips it before Apollo than the rest.

WRITTEN ON THE DAY THAT MR. LEIGH HUNT LEFT PRISON.

What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state,

Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he,

In his immortal spirit, been as free
As the sky-searching lark, and as elate.
Minion of grandeur! think you he did wait?

Think you he nought but prison-walls did see,

Till, so unwilling, thou untum'dst the key?
Ah, no ! far happier, nobler was his fate!
In Spenser's halls he stray'd, and bowers fair,

Culling enchanted flowers ; and he flew
With daring Milton through the fields of air:

To regions of his own his genius true
Took happy flights. Who shall his fame impair

When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew?

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