[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Open wide the mind's cage-door,
She 'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy let her loose;
Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn's red-lipped fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting : What do then
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear fagot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the cakód snow is shuffled
From the plough-boy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad
With a mind self-overawed

Fancy, high-commissioned;—send her 1
She has vassals to attend her;
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May
From dewy sward or thorny spray :
All the heapéd autumn's wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth :
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it; — thou shalt heal
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reapéd corn ;
Sweet birds antheming the morn;
And in the same moment — hark 1
'T is the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plumed lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May ;
And every leaf and every flower
Pearléd with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celléd sleep;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the beehive casts its swarm ;
Acorns ripe down-pattering
While the autumn breezes sing.

O sweet Fancy let her loose; Everything is spoilt by use: Where's the cheek that doth not fade,

Too much gazed at . Where's the maid ;

Whose lip mature is ever new
Where's the eye, however blue,
Doth not weary Where's the face
One would meet in every place
Where's the voice, however soft,
One would hear so very oft
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth.
Let then wingéd Fancy find
Thee a mistress to thy mind;
Dulcet-eyed as Ceres' daughter,
Ere the God of Torment taught her
How to frown and how to chide;
With a waist and with a side
White as Hebe's, when her zone
Slipt its golden clasp, and down
Fell her kirtle to her feet,
While she held the goblet sweet,
And Jove grew languid. — Break the mesh
Of the Fancy's silken leash;
Quickly break her prison-string,
And such joys as these she'll bring :
Let the wingéd Fancy roam
Pleasure never is at home.
John KEATs.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

O BLEst of heaven, whom not the languid
Of luxury, the siren not the bribes
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant honor, can seduce to leave
Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of nature fair imagination culls
To charm the enlivened soul | What though not

Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honors his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marble and the sculptured gold
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the Spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds; for him the hand
Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze

[ocr errors]

Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreproved. Northence partakes
Fresh pleasure only; for the attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her powers,
Becomes herself harmonious: wont so oft
On outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair-inspired delight: her tempered powers
Refine at length, and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Down the dell she tripped and through the glade,
Peeped the squirrel from the hazel shade,
And from out the tree
Swung, and leaped, and frolicked, void of fear;
While bold blackbird piped that all might hear,
“Little Bell,” piped he.

Little Bell sat down amid the fern, –
“Squirrel, squirrel, to your task return;
Bring me nuts," quoth she.
Up away the frisky squirrel hies, –
Golden wood-lights glancing in his eyes,
And adown the tree
Great ripe nuts, kissed brown by July sun,
In the little lap dropped one by one.
Hark, how blackbird pipes to see the fun '
“Happy Bell,” pipes he.

Little Bell looked up and down the glade, –
“Squirrel, squirrel, if you're not afraid,
Come and share with me !”
Down came squirrel eager for his fare,
Down came bonny blackbird, I declare ;
Little Bell gave each his honest share, —
Ah the merry three
And the while these frolic playmates twain
Piped and frisked from bough to bough again,
'Neath the morning skies,
In the little childish heart below
All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow,
And shine out in happy overflow
From her blue, bright eyes.

By her snow-white cot at close of day,
Knelt sweet Bell, with folded palms, to pray ;
Very calm and clear
Rose the praying voice to where, unseen,
In blue heaven, an angel shape serene

Paused awhile to hear. “What good child is this,” the angel said, “That with happy heart beside her bed

Prays so lovingly " Low and soft, O, very low and soft, Crooned the blackbird in the orchard croft,

“Bell, dear Bell ” crooned he.

“Whom God's creatures love,” the angel fair
Murmured, “God doth bless with angels' care;
Child, thy bed shall be
Folded safe from harm. Love, deep and kind,
Shall watch around and leave good gifts behind,
Little Bell, for thee . "

[merged small][ocr errors]


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all
through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there:
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below ;
When, what to my wondering eyes should ap-
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them
by name :
“Now, Dasher now, Dancer now, Prancer
and Vixen
Comet ! on, Cupid on, Donder and
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall !
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all !”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, - and St. Nicholas

[ocr errors]

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof The Prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

[merged small][ocr errors]

As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes how they twinkled ! his dimples how merry His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, — a right jolly oldelf; And I laughed, when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle; But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to alla good-night !” CLEMENT C. MOORE. –0–


THE Frost looked forth, one still, clear night,
And he said, “Now I shall be out of sight;
So through the valley and over the height
In silence I 'll take my way.
I will not go like that blustering train,
The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain,
Who make so much bustle and noise in vain,
But I'll be as busy as they !”

Then he went to the mountain, and powdered its
He climbed up the trees, and their boughs he
With diamonds and pearls, and over the breast
Of the quivering lake he spread
A coat of mail, that it need not fear
The downward point of many a spear
That he hung on its margin, far and near,
Where a rock could rear its head.

He went to the windows of those who slept.
And over each pane like a fairy crept,
Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,
By the light of the moon were seen
Most beautiful things. There were flowers and
There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees,
There were cities, thrones, temples, and towers,
and these
All pictured in silver sheen

But he did one thing that was hardly fair, –

11e peeped in the cupboard, and, finding there

That all had forgotten for him to prepare, —
“Now, just to set them a thinking,

I'll bite this basket of fruit,” said he ;

“This costly pitcher I 'll burst in three,

And the glass of water they've left for me
Shall tehick / to tell them I 'm drinking.”

MISS Gould. —o


I Buing fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet birds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain ;
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers
Lightning, my pilot, sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder ;
It struggles and howls at fits.
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills and the crags and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes, And his burning plumes outspread,

Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, When the morning star shines dead.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »