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Nor cold, nor stern, my soul ! yet I detést
These scented Rooms, where, to a gaudy throng, Heaves the proud Harlot her distended breast,
In intricacies of laborious song.
These feel not Music's genuine power, 'nor deign
To melt at Nature's passion-warbled plaint; But when the long-breath'd singer's' uptrill'd strain
Bursts in a squall—they gape for wonderment.
Hark! the deep buzz of Vanity and Hate !
Scornful, yet envious, with self-torturing sneer My lady eyes some maid of humbler state,
While the pert Captain, or the primmer Priest,
O give me, from this heartless scene releas’d,
To hear our old musician, blind and grey, (Whom stretching from my nurse's arms I kist,)
His Scottish tunes and warlike marches play,
By moonshine, on the balmy summer-night,
The while I dance amid the tedded hay
Or lies the purple evening on the bay
Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees
On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at ease, And while the lazy boat sways to and fro,
Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow, That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears.
But 0, dear Anne ! when midnight wind careers, And the gust pelting on the out-house shed
Makes the cock shrilly in the rain-storm crow,
To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe, Ballad of ship-wreck'd sailor floating dead,
Whom his own true-love buried in the sands! i Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice remeasures Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures
The Things of Nature utter ; birds or trees Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves, Or where the stiff grass mid the heath-plant waves, Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze. VOL. II.
The tedded hay, the first-fruits of the soil,
* One of the names (and meriting to be the only one) of the Myosotis Scorpioides Palustris ; a flower from six to twelve inches high, with blue blossom and bright yellow eye. It has the same name over the whole Empire of Germany (Vergissmein nicht), and we believe, in Denmark and Sweden,
In the cool morning twilight, early waked By her full bosom's joyless restlessness, Leaving the soft bed to her sleeping sister, Softly she rose, and lightly stole along, Down the slope coppice to the woodbine bower, Whose rich flowers, swinging in the morning breeze, Over their dim fast-moving shadows hung, Making a quiet image of disquiet In the smooth, scarcely moving river-pool. There, in that bower where first she own’d her love, And let me kiss my own warm tear of joy From off her glowing cheek, she sate and stretch'd The silk upon the frame, and work'd her name Between the Moss-Rose and Forget-Me-NOTHer own dear name, with her own auburn hair! That forc'd to wander till sweet spring return, I yet might ne'er forget her smile, her look, Her voice, (that even in her mirthful mood Has made me wish to steal away and weep,) Nor yet th’entrancement of that maiden kiss With which she promis'd, that when spring return'd, She would resign one half of that dear name, And own thenceforth no other name but mine!
TO A LADY.
With Falkner's “ Shipwreck."
Ah! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams,
In arched groves, the youthful poet's choice; Nor while half-list’ning, mid delicious dreams,
To harp and song from lady's hand and voice;
Nor yet while gazing in sublimer mood
On cliff, or cataract, in alpine dell;
Framing wild fancies to the ocean's swell;
Our sea-bard sang this song! which still he sings, ...
And sings for thee, sweet friend ! Hark, Pity, hark ! Now mounts, now totters on the Tempest's wings,
Now groans, and shivers, the replunging Bark!