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TO MY BROTHERS.
Small, busy flames play through the fresh-laid coals,
And their faint cracklings o'er our silence creep
Like whispers of the household gods that keep
Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,
Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That thus it passes smoothly, quietly:
May we together pass, and calmly try
From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER.
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
When a new planet swims into his ken;
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—.
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS AT AN EARLY HOUR.
Give me a golden pen, and let me lean
On heap'd-up flowers, in regions clear, and far;
Or hand of hymning angel, when 't is seen
The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And half-discover'd wings, and glances keen.
The while let music wander round my ears,
And full of many wonders of the spheres:
Keen fitful gusts are whispering here and there
Among the bushes, half leafless and dry;
The stars look very cold about the sky, And I have many miles on foot to fare Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air,
Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily,
Or of those silver lamps that burn on high, Or of the distance from home's pleasant lair: For I am brimfull of the friendliness
That in a little cottage I have found; Of fair-hair'd Milton's eloquent distress,
And all his love for gentle Lycid' drown'd; Of lovely Laura in her light green dress,
And faithful Petrarch gloriously crowned.
To one who has been long in city pent,
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
ADDRESSED TO HAYDON.
High-mindedness, a jealousy for good,
A loving-kindness for the great man's fame,
In noisome alley, and in pathless wood:
And where we think the truth least understood.
A money-mongering, pitiable brood.
How glorious this affection for the cause
AV hat when a stout unbending champion awes
Unnumber'd souls breathe out a still applause,
ADDRESSED TO THE SAME.
Great spirits now on earth are sojourning:
Catches his freshness from Archangel's wing:
He of the rose, the violet, the spring,
The social smile, the chain for Freedom's sake: And lo ! whose steadfastness would never take
A meaner sound than Raphael's whispering.
And other spirits there are standing apart
These, these will give the world another heart,
Of mighty workings?
Listen awhile, ye nations, and be dumb.
ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET.
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead:
That is the grasshopper's—he takes the lead
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
Good Kosciusko ! thy great name alone
Is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling;
Of the wide spheres—an everlasting tone.
And now it tells me, that in worlds unknown,
The names of heroes, burst from clouds concealing, And changed to harmonies, for ever stealing
Through cloudless blue, and round each silver throne.
It tells me too, that on a happy day,
When some good spirit walks upon the earth,
Gently commingling, gives tremendous birth
To a loud hymn, that sounds far, far away
Happy is England ! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown Through its tall woods with high romances blent; Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
Enough their simple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging:
Yet do I often warmly burn to see
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.
THE HUMAN SEASONS.
Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming nigh
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close ; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
ON A PICTURE OF LEANDER.
Come hither, all sweet maidens soberly,
TO AILSA BOCK.
Hearken, thou craggy ocean pyramid!