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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
A gentle empire o'er fraternal souls.
And while, for rhymes, I search around the poles,

Your eyes are fix'd, as in poetic sleep,

Upon the lore so voluble and deep,
That aye at fall of night our care condoles.
This is your birth-day, Tom, and I rejoice

That thus it passes smoothly, quietly:
Many such eves of gently whispering noise

May we together pass, and calmly try
What are this world's true joys,—ere the great Voice

From its fair face shall bid our spirits fly.
November 18,1816.

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
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told

That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes

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;
Bring me a tablet whiter than a star,

Or hand of hymning angel, when 't is seen

The silver strings of heavenly harp atween:
And let there glide by many a pearly car,
Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond jar,

And half-discover'd wings, and glances keen.

The while let music wander round my ears,
And as it reaches each delicious ending,
Let me write down a line of glorious tone,

And full of many wonders of the spheres:
For what a height my spirit is contending!
'T is not content so soon to be alone.

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,
'T is very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer

Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair

And gentle tale of love and languishment?

Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye

Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:

E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

ADDRESSED TO HAYDON.

High-mindedness, a jealousy for good,

A loving-kindness for the great man's fame,
Dwells here and there with people of no name,

In noisome alley, and in pathless wood:

And where we think the truth least understood.
Oft may be found a " singleness of aim,"
That ought to frighten into hooded shame

A money-mongering, pitiable brood.

How glorious this affection for the cause
Of steadfast genius, toiling gallantly!

AV hat when a stout unbending champion awes
Envy, and malice to their native sty?

Unnumber'd souls breathe out a still applause,
Proud to behold him in his country's eye.

ADDRESSED TO THE SAME.

Great spirits now on earth are sojourning:
He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,
Who on Helvellyn's summit, wide awake,

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
Upon the forehead of the age to come;

These, these will give the world another heart,
And other pulses. Hear ye not the hum

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
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights, for when tired out with fun,

He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills

The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

December 30,1816.

TO KOSCIUSKO.

Good Kosciusko ! thy great name alone

Is a full harvest whence to reap high feeling;
It comes upon us like the glorious pealing

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,
Thy name with Alfred's, and the great of yore,

Gently commingling, gives tremendous birth

To a loud hymn, that sounds far, far away
To where the great God lives for evermore.

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,
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;

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,
Down-looking aye, and with a chasten'd light,
Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white,
And meekly let your fair hands joined be,
As if so gentle that ye could not see,
Untouch'd, a victim of your beauty bright,
Sinking away to his young spirit's night,
Sinking bewilder'd 'mid the dreary sea:
'T is young Leander toiling to his death;
Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weary lips
For Hero's cheek, and smiles against her smile.
O horrid dream ! see how his body dips
Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile:
He's gone ; up bubbles all his amorous breath!

TO AILSA BOCK.

Hearken, thou craggy ocean pyramid!
Give answer from thy voice, the sea-fowl's screams!
When were thy shoulders mantled in huge streams!
When, from the sun, was thy broad forehead hid?

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