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 'tis 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,
In 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 ; 'tis a pleasing chime.
So the unnumber'd sounds that evening store;

The songs of birds--the whispering of the leavesThe 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.



As late I rambled in the happy fields,

What time the skylark shakes the tremulousdew

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 ; 'twas 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 spellid : Soft voices had they, that with tender plea Whisperd of peace, and truth, and friendliness



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 'tis 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.





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 unturn’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 ?




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.



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.



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 'tis 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! 'Tis 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-haird 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 crown'd.


To one who has been long in city pent,

'Tis 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.


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