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To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-treesy
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core ;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel-shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or in a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers :
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are
they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies : And full-grown lamps loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
VENICE -Oh! for a Brutus in these later years, To burst the heavier bond his country wears! Oh! for a Tully with the silver tongue! And oh, Venusia! that thy harp were strung One hour, to tell her sons the spell that lies In the deep azure of Italian skies ! And where art thou, with all thy songs and smiles, Thou dream-like city of the hundred isles ? Thy marble columns, and thy princely halls, Thy merry masques, and moonlight carnivals; Thy weeping myrtles, and thy orange bowers, Thy lulling fountains, 'mid ambrosial Aowers; The cloudless beauty of thy deep-blue skies, Thy star-light serenades to ladies' eyes; Thy lion, looking o'er the Adrian sea, Deħance to the world, and power to thee?That pageant of the sunny waves is gone, Her glory lives on memory's page alone; It flashes still in Shakspeare's living lay, And Otway's song has snatch'd it from decay ; But ah! her Chian steeds of brass no more May lord it proudly over sea and shore; Nor ducal sovereigns launch upon the tide, To win the Adriatic for their bride; Hush'd is the music of her gondoliers, And fled her glory of a thousand years; And Tasso's spirit round her seems to sigh, In every Adrian gale that wanders by!
T. K. HERVEY.
MY SISTER'S GRAVE.
The noon-day sun is riding high,
Along the calm and cloudless sky;
The mantle of its gorgeous glow
Floats sleepily o'er all below;
And heaven and earth are brightly gay
Beneath the universal ray:-
But not a wandering sunbeam falls
Within these high and hallow'd walls,
Which echo back my lonely tread,
Like solemn answers from the dead;
-The murmurs steal along the nave,
And die above-my sister's grave!
'Tis evening-still' I linger here;
Yet sorrow speaks not in a tear!
The silence is so sadly deep,
The place so pure, I dare not weep:
I sit as in a shapeless dream,
Where all is changing, save its theme;
And, if a sigh will sometimes heave
A heart that loves, but may not grieve,
It seems as though the spirits round
Sent back reproachfully the sound;
And then I start—and think I have
A chiding from my sister's grave!
The feeling is a nameless one
With which I sit upon thy stone,
And read the tale I dare not breathe,
Of blighted hope that sleeps beneath.
A simple tablet bears above
Brief record of a father's love,
And hints, in language yet more brief,
The story of a father's grief:
Around, the night-breeze sadly plays
With scutcheons of the elder days;
And faded banners dimly wave
On high-right o'er my sister's grave!
Lost spirit!-thine was not a breast
To struggle vainly after rest;
Thou wert not made to bear the strife,
Nor labour through the storms of life;
Thy heart was in too warm a mould
To mingle with the dull and cold;
And every thought that wrongd thy truth
Fell like a blight upon thy youth:
Thou shouldst have been, for thy distress,
Less pure, and oh! more passionless;
For sorrow's wasting mildew gave
Thy beauty to my sister's grave.
But all thy griefs, my girl! are o'er,-
Thy fair blue eyes shall weep no more;
"Tís sweet to know thy fragile form
Lies safe from every future storm:
Oft as I haunt the dreary gloom
That gathers round the peaceful tomb,
to see the lightning stream
Along thy stone, with fitful gleam,
To fancy in each flash are given
Thy spirit's visitings from heaven;
And smile-to hear the tempest rave
Above my sister's quiet grave!
T. K. HERVEY,
My God, I love and I adore ! But souls that love would know thee more. Wilt thou for ever hide, and stand Behind the labours of thy hand ? Thy hand, unseen, sustains the poles On which this huge creation rolls : The starry arch proclaims thy power, Thy pencil glows in every flower: In thousand shapes and colours rise Thy painted wonders to our eyes ; While beasts and birds with labouring throats Teach us a God in thousand notes. The meanest pin in Nature's frame Marks out some letter of thy name.
Where sense can reach or fancy rove,
From hill to hill, from field to grove,
Across the waves, around the sky,
There's not a spot, or deep or high,
Where the Creator has not trod,
And left the footstep of a God.
But are his footsteps all that we,
Poor grovelling worms, must know or see?
Thou maker of my vital frame!
Unveil thy face, pronounce thy name,
Shine to my sight, and let the ear
Which thou hast form'd the language hear.
Where is thy residence? Oh! why
Dost thou avoid my searching eye,
My longing sense ? Thou Great Unknown,
Say, do the clouds conceal thy throne?
Divide, ye clouds, and let me see
The Power that gives me leave to be.
Or, art thou all diffused abroad
Through boundless space, a present God,
Unseen, unheard, yet ever near!
What shall I do to find thee here?
Is there not some mysterious art
To feel thy presence at my heart?
To hear thy whispers soft and kind,
In holy silence of the mind ?
Then rest my thoughts; nor longer roam
In quest of joy, for Heaven's at home.
But, oh! thy beams of warmest love;
Sure they were made for worlds above.
How shall my soul her powers extend,
Beyond where Time and Nature end,
To reach those heights, thy best abode,
And meet thy kindest smiles, my God?
What shall I do? I wait thy call;
Pronounce the word, my life, my all.