To C. Lloyd, On His Proposing To Domesticate With The Author
A mount, not wearisome and bare and steep, But a green mountain variously up-piled Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep Or colored lichens with slow oozing weep; Where cypress and the darker yew start wild; And 'mid the summer torrent's gentle dash Dance brightened the red clusters of the ash; Beneath whose boughs, by stillest sounds beguiled, Calm pensiveness might muse herself to sleep; Till haply startled by some fleecy dam, That rustling on the bushy cliff above With melancholy bleat of anxious love Made meek enquiry for her wand'ring lamb: Such a green mountain 'twere most sweet to climb E'en while the bosom ached with loneliness-- How heavenly sweet, if some dear friend should bless Th' advent'rous toil, and up the path sublime Now lead, now follow; the glad landscape round Wide and more wide, increasing without bound!
O then 'twere loveliest sympathy, to mark The berries of the half up-rooted ash Dripping and bright; and list the torrent's dash-- Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark, Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock; In social silence now, and now t' unlock The treasured heart; arm linked in friendly arm, Save if the one, his muse's witching charm Mutt'ring brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag; Till high o'er-head his beck'ning friend appears, And from the forehead of the topmost crag Shouts eagerly; for haply there uprears That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight Seen from below, when eve the valley dims, Tinged yellow with the rich departing light; And haply, basoned in some unsunned cleft, A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears, Sleeps unsheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the gale! Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left, Stretched on the crag, and shadowed by the pine, And bending o'er the clear delicious fount, Ah, dearest Charles! it were a lot divine To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, While west winds fanned our temples, toil-bedewed Then downwards slope, oft-pausing, from the mount To some low mansion in some woody dale, Where, smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss!
Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore, The hill of knowledge I essayed to trace; That verd'rous hill with many a resting-place And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour To glad and fertilize the subject plains; That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod, And many a fancy-blest and holy sod Where inspiration, his diviner strains Low-murm'ring, lay; and starting from the rocks Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age, And mad oppression's thunder-clasping rage!
O meek retiring spirit! we will climb, Cheering and cheered, this lovely hill sublime; And from the stirring world uplifted high (Whose noises faintly wafted on the wind To quiet musings shall attune the mind, And oft the melancholy theme supply), There while the prospect thro' the gazing eye Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul, We'll laugh at wealth, and learn to laugh at fame, Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same, As neighb'ring fountains image each the whole.
It may indeed be fantasy when I Essay to draw from all created things Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings; And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie Lessons of love and earnest piety. So let it be; and if the wide world rings In mock of this belief, it brings Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity. So will I build my altar in the fields, And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be, And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee, Thee only God! and thou shalt not despise Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice.
One kiss, dear maid! I said and sighed, Your scorn the little boon denied. Ah why refuse the blameless bliss? Can danger lurk within a kiss?
Yon viewless wand'rer of the vale, The spirit of the western gale, At morning's break, at evening's close Inhales the sweetness of the rose And hovers o'er th' uninjured bloom Sighing back the soft perfume. Vigor to the zephyr's wing Her nectar-breathing kisses fling; And he the glitter of the dew Scatters on the rose's hue. Bashful, lo! she bends her head, And darts a blush of deeper red!
Too well those lovely lips disclose The triumphs of the op'ning rose: O fair! O graceful! bid them prove As passive to the breath of love. In tender accents, faint and low, Well-pleased I hear the whispered 'No!' The whispered 'No' ---- how little meant! Sweet falsehood, that endears consent! For on those lovely lips the while Dawns the soft relenting smile, And tempts with feigned dissuasion coy The gentle violence of joy.
To the Nightingale
Sister of love-lorn Poets, Philomel! How many Bards in city garret pent, While at their window they with downward eye Mark the faint lamp-beam on the kennell'd mud, And listen to the drowsy cry of Watchmen (Those hoarse unfeather'd Nightingales of Time!), How many wretched Bards address thy name, And hers, the full-orb'd Queen that shines above. But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark, Within whose mild moon-mellow'd foliage hid Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains. O! I have listen'd, till my working soul, Waked by those strains to thousand phantasies, Absorb'd hath ceas'd to listen! Therefore oft, I hymn thy name: and with a proud delight Oft will I tell thee, Minstrel of the Moon! 'Most musical, most melancholy' Bird! That all thy soft diversities of tone, Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs That vibrate from a white-arm'd Lady's harp, What time the languishment of lonely love Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow, Are not so sweet as is the voice of her, My Sara - best beloved of human kind! When breathing the pure soul of tenderness, She thrills me with the Husband's promis'd name!