Part 3 out of 33
Muse of the Lyre! illume my dream,
Thy Phoebus is my fancy's theme;
And hallowed is the harp I bear,
And hallowed is the wreath I wear,
Hallowed by him, the god of lays,
Who modulates the choral maze.
I sing the love which Daphne twined
Around the godhead's yielding mind;
I sing the blushing Daphne's flight
From this ethereal son of Light;
And how the tender, timid maid
Flew trembling to the kindly shade.
Resigned a form, alas, too fair,
Arid grew a verdant laurel there;
Whose leaves, with sympathetic thrill,
In terror seemed to tremble still!
The god pursued, with winged desire;
And when his hopes were all on fire,
And when to clasp the nymph he thought,
A lifeless tree was all he caught;
And 'stead of sighs that pleasure heaves,
Heard but the west-wind in the leaves!
But, pause, my soul, no more, no more--
Enthusiast, whither do I soar?
This sweetly-maddening dream of soul
Hath hurried me beyond the goal.
Why should I sing the mighty darts
Which fly to wound celestial hearts,
When ah, the song, with sweeter tone,
Can tell the darts that wound my own?
Still be Anacreon, still inspire
The descant of the Teian lyre:
Still let the nectared numbers float
Distilling love in every note!
And when some youth, whose glowing soul
Has felt the Paphian star's control,
When he the liquid lays shall hear,
His heart will flutter to his ear,
And drinking there of song divine,
Banquet on intellectual wine!
 This hymn to Apollo is supposed not to have been written by Anacreon;
and it is undoubtedly rather a sublimer flight than the Teian wing is
accustomed to soar. But in a poet of whose works so small a proportion has
reached us, diversity of style is by no means a safe criterion. If we knew
Horace but as a satirist, should we easily believe there could dwell such
animation in his lyre? Suidas says that our poet wrote hymns, and this
perhaps is one of them. We can perceive in what an altered and imperfect
state his works are at present, when we find a scholiast upon Horace
citing an ode from the third book of Anacreon.
 Here ends the last of the odes in the Vatican MS., whose authority
helps to confirm the genuine antiquity of them all, though a few have
stolen among the number, which we may hesitate in attributing to Anacreon.
Youth's endearing charms are fled;
Hoary locks deform my head;
Bloomy graces, dalliance gay,
All the flowers of life decay.
Withering age begins to trace
Sad memorials o'er my face;
Time has shed its sweetest bloom
All the future must be gloom.
This it is that sets me sighing;
Dreary is the thought of dying!
Lone and dismal is the road,
Down to Pluto's dark abode;
And, when once the journey's o'er,
Ah! we can return no more!
 The intrusion of this melancholy ode, among the careless levities of
our poet, reminds us of the skeletons which the Egyptians used to hang up
in the banquet-rooms, to inculcate a thought of mortality even amidst the
dissipations of mirth. If it were not for the beauty of its numbers, the
Teian Muse should disown this ode.
 Horace often, with feeling and elegance, deplores the fugacity of
 Regnier, a libertine French poet, has written some sonnets on the
approach of death, full of gloomy and trembling repentance. Chaulieu,
however, supports more consistently the spirit of the Epicurean
philosopher. See his poem, addressed to the Marquis de Lafare.
Fill me, boy, as deep a draught,
As e'er was filled, as e'er was quaffed;
But let the water amply flow,
To cool the grape's intemperate glow;
Let not the fiery god be single,
But with the nymphs in union mingle.
For though the bowl's the grave of sadness,
Ne'er let it be the birth of madness.
No, banish from our board tonight
The revelries of rude delight;
To Scythians leave these wild excesses,
Ours be the joy that soothes and blesses!
And while the temperate bowl we wreathe,
In concert let our voices breathe,
Beguiling every hour along
With harmony of soul and song.
 This ode consists of two fragments, which are to be found in
Athenaeus, book x., and which Barnes, from the similarity of their
tendency, has combined into one. I think this a very justifiable liberty,
and have adopted it in some other fragments of our poet.
 It was Amphictyon who first taught the Greeks to mix water with their
wine; in commemoration of which circumstance they erected altars to
Bacchus and the nymphs.
To Love, the soft and blooming child,
I touch the harp in descant wild;
To Love, the babe of Cyprian bowers,
The boy, who breathes and blushes flowers;
To Love, for heaven and earth adore him,
And gods and mortals bow before him!
 "This fragment is preserved in Clemens Alexandrinus, Storm, lib. vi.
and In Arsenius, Collect. Graec."--BARNES.
It appears to have been the opening of a hymn in praise of Love.
Haste thee, nymph, whose well-aimed spear
Wounds the fleeting mountain-deer!
Dian, Jove's immortal child,
Huntress of the savage wild!
Goddess with the sun-bright hair!
Listen to a people's prayer.
Turn, to Lethe's river turn,
There thy vanquished people mourn!
Come to Lethe's wavy shore,
Tell them they shall mourn no more.
Thine their hearts, their altars thine;
Must they, Dian--must they pine?
 This hymn to Diana is extant in Hephaestion. There is an anecdote of
our poet, which has led some to doubt whether he ever wrote any odes of
this kind. It is related by the Scholiast upon Pindar (Isthmionic. od. ii.
v. 1. as cited by Barnes) that Anaecreon being asked why he addressed all
his hymns to women, and none to the deities? answered, "Because women are
I have assumed, it will be seen, in reporting this anecdote, the same
liberty which I have thought it right to take in translating some of the
odes; and it were to be wished that these little infidelities were always
allowable in interpreting the writings of the ancients.
 Lethe, a river of Iona, according to Strabo, falling into the Meander.
In its neighborhood was the city called Magnesia, in favor of whose
inhabitants our poet is supposed to have addressed this supplication to
Diana. It was written (as Madame Dacier conjectures) on the occasion of
some battle, in which the Magnesians had been defeated.
Like some wanton filly sporting,
Maid Of Thrace, thou flyest my courting.
Wanton filly! tell me why
Thou trip'st away, with scornful eye,
And seem'st to think my doating heart
Is novice in the bridling art?
Believe me, girl, it is not so;
Thou'lt find this skilful hand can throw
The reins around that tender form,
However wild, however warm.
Yes--trust me I can tame thy force,
And turn and wind thee in the course.
Though, wasting now thy careless hours,
Thou sport amid the herbs and flowers,
Soon shalt thou feel the rein's control,
And tremble at the wished-for goal!
 This ode, which is addressed to some Thracian girl, exists in
Heraclides, and has been imitated very frequently by Horace, as all the
annotators have remarked. Madame Dacier rejects the allegory, which runs
so obviously through the poem, and supposes it to have been addressed to a
young mare belonging to Polycrates.
Pierius, in the fourth book of his "Hieroglyphics," cites this ode, and
informs us that the horse was the hieroglyphical emblem of pride.
To thee, the Queen of nymphs divine,
Fairest of all that fairest shine;
To thee, who rulest with darts of fire
This world of mortals, young Desire!
And oh! thou nuptial Power, to thee
Who bearest of life the guardian key,
Breathing my soul in fervent praise,
And weaving wild my votive lays,
For thee, O Queen! I wake the lyre,
For thee, thou blushing young Desire,
And oh! for thee, thou nuptial Power,
Come, and illume this genial hour.
Look on thy bride, too happy boy,
And while thy lambent glance of joy
Plays over all her blushing charms,
Delay not, snatch her to thine arms,
Before the lovely, trembling prey,
Like a young birdling, wing away!
Turn, Stratocles, too happy youth,
Dear to the Queen of amorous truth,
And dear to her, whose yielding zone
Will soon resign her all thine own.
Turn to Myrilla, turn thine eye,
Breathe to Myrilla, breathe thy sigh.
To those bewitching beauties turn;
For thee they blush, for thee they burn.
Not more the rose, the queen of flowers,
Outblushes all the bloom of bowers
Than she unrivalled grace discloses,
The sweetest rose, where all are roses.
Oh! may the sun, benignant, shed
His blandest influence o'er thy bed;
And foster there an infant tree,
To bloom like her, and tower like thee!
 This ode is introduced in the Romance of Theodorus Prodromus, and is
that kind of epithalamium which was sung like a scolium at the nuptial
Rich in bliss, I proudly scorn
The wealth of Amalthea's horn;
Nor should I ask to call the throne
Of the Tartessian prince my own;
To totter through his train of years,
The victim of declining fears.
One little hour of joy to me
Is worth a dull eternity!
 He here alludes to Arganthonius, who lived, according to Lucian, an
hundred and fifty years; and reigned, according to Herodotus, eighty.
Now Neptune's month our sky deforms,
The angry night-cloud teems with storms;
And savage winds, infuriate driven,
Fly howling in the face of heaven!
Now, now, my friends, the gathering gloom
With roseate rays of wine illume:
And while our wreaths of parsley spread
Their fadeless foliage round our head,
Let's hymn the almighty power of wine,
And shed libations on his shrine!
They wove the lotus band to deck
And fan with pensile wreath each neck;
And every guest, to shade his head,
Three little fragrant chaplets spread;
And one was of the Egyptian leaf,
The rest were roses, fair and brief:
While from a golden vase profound,
To all on flowery beds around,
A Hebe, of celestial shape,
Poured the rich droppings of the grape!
 Longepierre, to give an idea of the luxurious estimation in which
garlands were held by the ancients, relates an anecdote of a courtezan,
who, in order to gratify three lovers, without leaving cause for Jealousy
with any of them, gave a kiss to one, let the other drink after her, and
put a garland on the brow of the third; so that each was satisfied with
his favor, and flattered himself with the preference.
A broken cake, with honey sweet,
Is all my spare and simple treat:
And while a generous bowl I crown
To float my little banquet down,
I take the soft, the amorous lyre,
And sing of love's delicious fire:
In mirthful measures warm and free,
I sing, dear maid, and sing for thee!
With twenty chords my lyre is hung,
And while I wake them all for thee,
Thou, O maiden, wild and young,
Disportest in airy levity.
The nursling fawn, that in some shade
Its antlered mother leaves behind,
Is not more wantonly afraid,
More timid of the rustling wind!
Fare thee well, perfidious maid,
My soul, too long on earth delayed,
Delayed, perfidious girl, by thee,
Is on the wing for liberty.
I fly to seek a kindlier sphere,
Since thou hast ceased to love me here!
Awhile I bloomed, a happy flower,
Till love approached one fatal hour,
And made my tender branches feel
The wounds of his avenging steel.
Then lost I fell, like some poor willow
That falls across the wintry billow!
Monarch Love, resistless boy,
With whom the rosy Queen of Joy,
And nymphs, whose eyes have Heaven's hue,
Disporting tread the mountain-dew;
Propitious, oh! receive my sighs,
Which, glowing with entreaty, rise
That thou wilt whisper to the breast
Of her I love thy soft behest:
And counsel her to learn from thee.
That lesson thou hast taught to me.
Ah! if my heart no flattery tell,
Thou'lt own I've learned that lesson well!
Spirit of Love, whose locks unrolled,
Stream on the breeze like floating gold;
Come, within a fragrant cloud
Blushing with light, thy votary shroud;
And, on those wings that sparkling play,
Waft, oh, waft me hence away!
Love! my soul is full of thee,
Alive to all thy luxury.
But she, the nymph for whom I glow
The lovely Lesbian mocks my woe;
Smiles at the chill and hoary hues
That time upon my forehead strews.
Alas! I fear she keeps her charms,
In store for younger, happier arms!
Hither, gentle Muse of mine,
Come and teach thy votary old
Many a golden hymn divine,
For the nymph with vest of gold.
Pretty nymph, of tender age,
Fair thy silky looks unfold;
Listen to a hoary sage,
Sweetest maid with vest of gold!
Would that I were a tuneful lyre,
Of burnished ivory fair,
Which, in the Dionysian choir,
Some blooming boy should bear!
Would that I were a golden vase.
That some bright nymph might hold
My spotless frame, with blushing grace,
Herself as pure as gold!
When Cupid sees how thickly now,
The snows of Time fall o'er my brow,
Upon his wing of golden light.
He passes with an eaglet's flight,
And flitting onward seems to say,
"Fare thee well, thou'st had thy day!"
Cupid, whose lamp has lent the ray,
That lights our life's meandering way,
That God, within this bosom stealing,
Hath wakened a strange, mingled feeling.
Which pleases, though so sadly teasing,
And teases, though so sweetly pleasing!
* * * * *
Let me resign this wretched breath
Since now remains to me
No other balm than kindly death,
To soothe my misery!
* * * * *
I know thou lovest a brimming measure,
And art a kindly, cordial host;
But let me fill and drink at pleasure--
Thus I enjoy the goblet most.
I fear that love disturbs my rest,
Yet feel not love's impassioned care;
I think there's madness in my breast
Yet cannot find that madness there!
* * * * *
From dread Leucadia's frowning steep,
I'll plunge into the whitening deep:
And there lie cold, to death resigned,
Since Love intoxicates my mind!
* * * * *
Mix me, child, a cup divine,
Crystal water, ruby wine;
Weave the frontlet, richly flushing
O'er my wintry temples blushing.
Mix the brimmer--Love and I
Shall no more the contest try.
Here--upon this holy bowl,
I surrender all my soul!
SONGS FROM THE GREEK ANTHOLOGY.
HERE AT THY TOMB.
Here, at thy tomb, these tears I shed,
Tears, which though vainly now they roll,
Are all love hath to give the dead,
And wept o'er thee with all love's soul;--
Wept in remembrance of that light.
Which naught on earth, without thee, gives,
Hope of my heart! now quenched in night,
But dearer, dead, than aught that lives.
Where is she? where the blooming bough
That once my life's sole lustre made?
Torn off by death, 'tis withering now,
And all its flowers in dust are laid.
Oh earth! that to thy matron breast
Hast taken all those angel charms,
Gently, I pray thee, let her rest,--
Gently, as in a mother's arms.
SALE OF CUPID.
Who'll buy a little boy? Look, yonder is he,
Fast asleep, sly rogue on his mother's knee;
So bold a young imp 'tisn't safe to keep,
So I'll part with him now, while he's sound asleep.
See his arch little nose, how sharp 'tis curled,
His wings, too, even in sleep unfurled;
And those fingers, which still ever ready are found
For mirth or for mischief, to tickle, or wound.
He'll try with his tears your heart to beguile,
But never you mind--he's laughing all the while;
For little he cares, so he has his own whim,
And weeping or laughing are all one to him.
His eye is as keen as the lightning's flash,
His tongue like the red bolt quick and rash;
And so savage is he, that his own dear mother
Is scarce more safe in his hands than another.
In short, to sum up this darling's praise,
He's a downright pest in all sorts of ways;
And if any one wants such an imp to employ,
He shall have a dead bargain of this little boy.
But see, the boy wakes--his bright tears flow--
His eyes seem to ask could I sell him? oh no,
Sweet child no, no--though so naughty you be,
You shall live evermore with my Lesbia and me.
TO WEAVE A GARLAND FOR THE ROSE.
BY PAUL, THE SILENTIARY.
To weave a garland for the rose.
And think thus crown'd 'twould lovelier be,
Were far less vain than to suppose
That silks and gems add grace to thee.
Where is the pearl whose orient lustre
Would not, beside thee, look less bright?
What gold could match the glossy cluster
Of those young ringlets full of light?
Bring from the land, where fresh it gleams,
The bright blue gem of India's mine,
And see how soon, though bright its beams,
'Twill pale before one glance of thine:
Those lips, too, when their sounds have blest us
With some divine, mellifluous air,
Who would not say that Beauty's cestus
Had let loose all its witcheries there?
Here, to this conquering host of charms
I now give up my spell-bound heart.
Nor blush to yield even Reason's arms,
When thou her bright-eyed conqueror art.
Thus to the wind all fears are given;
Henceforth those eyes alone I see.
Where Hope, as in her own blue heaven,
Sits beckoning me to bliss and thee!
WHY DOES SHE SO LONG DELAY?
BY PAUL, THE SILENTIARY.
Why does she so long delay?
Night is waning fast away;
Thrice have I my lamp renewed,
Watching here in solitude,
Where can she so long delay?
Where, so long delay?
Vainly now have two lamps shone;
See the third is nearly gone:
Oh that Love would, like the ray
Of that weary lamp, decay!
But no, alas, it burns still on,
Still, still, burns on.
Gods, how oft the traitress dear
Swore, by Venus, she'd be here!
But to one so false as she
What is man or deity?
Neither doth this proud one fear,--
No, neither doth she fear.
TWIN'ST THOU WITH LOFTY WREATH THY BROW?
BY PAUL, THE SILENTIARY.
Twin'st thou with lofty wreath thy brow?
Such glory then thy beauty sheds,
I almost think, while awed I bow
'Tis Rhea's self before me treads.
Be what thou wilt,--this heart
Adores whate'er thou art!
Dost thou thy loosened ringlets leave,
Like sunny waves to wander free?
Then, such a chain of charms they weave,
As draws my inmost soul from me.
Do what thou wilt,--I must
Be charm'd by all thou dost!
Even when, enwrapt in silvery veils,
Those sunny locks elude the sight,--
Oh, not even then their glory fails
To haunt me with its unseen light.
Change as thy beauty may,
It charms in every way.
For, thee the Graces still attend,
Presiding o'er each new attire,
And lending every dart they send
Some new, peculiar touch of fire,
Be what thou wilt,--this heart
Adores what'er thou art!
WHEN THE SAD WORD.
BY PAUL, THE SILENTIARY.
When the sad word, "Adieu," from my lip is nigh falling,
And with it, Hope passes away,
Ere the tongue hath half breathed it, my fond heart recalling
That fatal farewell, bids me stay,
For oh! 'tis a penance so weary
One hour from thy presence to be,
That death to this soul were less dreary,
Less dark than long absence from thee.
Thy beauty, like Day, o'er the dull world breaking.
Brings life to the heart it shines o'er,
And, in mine, a new feeling of happiness waking,
Made light what was darkness before.
But mute is the Day's sunny glory,
While thine hath a voice, on whose breath,
More sweet than the Syren's sweet story,
My hopes hang, through life and through death!
MY MOPSA IS LITTLE.
My Mopsa is little, my Mopsa is brown,
But her cheek is as smooth as the peach's soft down,
And, for blushing, no rose can come near her;
In short, she has woven such nets round my heart,
That I ne'er from my dear little Mopsa can part,--
Unless I can find one that's dearer.
Her voice hath a music that dwells on the ear,
And her eye from its orb gives a daylight so clear,
That I'm dazzled whenever I meet her;
Her ringlets, so curly, are Cupid's own net,
And her lips, oh their sweetness I ne'er shall forget--
Till I light upon lips that are sweeter.
But 'tis not her beauty that charms me alone,
'Tis her mind, 'tis that language whose eloquent tone
From the depths of the grave could revive one:
In short, here I swear, that if death were her doom,
I would instantly join my dead love in the tomb--
Unless I could meet with a live
STILL, LIKE DEW IN SILENCE FALLING.
Still, like dew in silence falling,
Drops for thee the nightly tear
Still that voice the past recalling,
Dwells, like echo, on my ear,
Day and night the spell hangs o'er me,
Here forever fixt thou art:
As thy form first shone before me,
So 'tis graven on this heart,
Love, oh Love, whose bitter sweetness,
Dooms me to this lasting pain.
Thou who earnest with so much fleetness,
Why so slow to go again?
UP, SAILOR BOY, 'TIS DAY.
Up, sailor boy, 'tis day!
The west wind blowing,
The spring tide flowing,
Summon thee hence away.
Didst thou not hear yon soaring swallow sing?
Chirp, chirp,--in every note he seemed to say
'Tis Spring, 'tis Spring.
Up boy, away,--
Who'd stay on land to-day?
The very flowers
Would from their bowers
Delight to wing away!
Leave languid youths to pine
On silken pillows;
But be the billows
Of the great deep thine.
Hark, to the sail the breeze sings, "Let us fly;"
While soft the sail, replying to the breeze,
Says, with a yielding sigh,
"Yes, where you; please."
Up, boy, the wind, the ray,
The blue sky o'er thee,
The deep before thee,
All cry aloud, "Away!"
IN MYRTLE WREATHS.
In myrtle wreaths my votive sword I'll cover,
Like them of old whose one immortal blow
Struck off the galling fetters that hung over
Their own bright land, and laid her tyrant low.
Yes, loved Harmodius, thou'rt undying;
Still midst the brave and free,
In isles, o'er ocean lying,
Thy home shall ever be.
In myrtle leaves my sword shall hide its lightning,
Like his, the youth, whose ever-glorious blade
Leapt forth like flame, the midnight banquet brightening;'
And in the dust a despot victim laid.
Blest youths; how bright in Freedom's story
Your wedded names shall be;
A tyrant's death your glory,
Your meed, a nation free!
TO JOSEPH ATKINSON, ESQ.
MY DEAR SIR,
I feel a very sincere pleasure in dedicating to you the Second Edition of
our friend LITTLE'S Poems. I am not unconscious that there are many in the
collection which perhaps it would be prudent to have altered or omitted;
and, to say the truth, I more than once revised them for that purpose;
but, I know not why, I distrusted either my heart or my judgment; and the
consequence is you have them in their original form:
_non possunt nostros multae, Faustine, liturae
emendare jocos; una litura potest_.
I am convinced, however, that, though not quite a _casuiste relache_, you
have charity enough to forgive such inoffensive follies: you know that the
pious Beza was not the less revered for those sportive Juvenilia which he
published under a fictitious name; nor did the levity of Bembo's poems
prevent him from making a very good cardinal.
Believe me, my dear friend.
With the truest esteem,
_April 19, 1802_
FRAGMENTS OF COLLEGE EXERCISES.
_Nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus_.--JUV.
Mark those proud boasters of a splendid line,
Like gilded ruins, mouldering while they shine,
How heavy sits that weight, of alien show,
Like martial helm upon an infant's brow;
Those borrowed splendors whose contrasting light
Throws back the native shades in deeper night.
Ask the proud train who glory's train pursue,
Where are the arts by which that glory grew?
The genuine virtues with that eagle-gaze
Sought young Renown in all her orient blaze!
Where is the heart by chymic truth refined,
The exploring soul whose eye had read mankind?
Where are the links that twined, with heavenly art,
His country's interest round the patriot's heart?
* * * * *
_Justum bellum quibus necessarium, et pia arma quibus nulla nisi in
armis relinquitur spes_.--LIVY.
* * * * *
Is there no call, no consecrating cause
Approved by Heav'n, ordained by nature's laws,
Where justice flies the herald of our way,
And truth's pure beams upon the banners play?
Yes, there's a call sweet as an angel's breath
To slumbering babes or innocence in death;
And urgent as the tongue of Heaven within,
When the mind's balance trembles upon sin.
Oh! 'tis our country's voice, whose claim should meet
An echo in the soul's most deep retreat;
Along the heart's responding chords should run,
Nor let a tone there vibrate--but the one!
Ask what prevailing, pleasing power
Allures the sportive, wandering bee
To roam untired, from flower to flower,
He'll tell you, 'tis variety.
Look Nature round; her features trace,
Her seasons, all her changes see;
And own, upon Creation's face,
The greatest charm's variety.
For me, ye gracious powers above!
Still let me roam, unfixt and free;
In all things,--but the nymph I love
I'll change, and taste variety.
But, Patty, not a world of charms
Could e'er estrange my heart from thee;--
No, let me ever seek those arms.
There still I'll find variety.
TO A BOY, WITH A WATCH,
WRITTEN FOR A FRIEND
Is it not sweet, beloved youth,
To rove through Erudition's bowers,
And cull the golden fruits of truth,
And gather Fancy's brilliant flowers?
And is it not more sweet than this,
To feel thy parents' hearts approving,
And pay them back in sums of bliss
The dear, the endless debt of loving?
It must be so to thee, my youth;
With this idea toil is lighter;
This sweetens all the fruits of truth,
And makes the flowers of fancy brighter.
The little gift we send thee, boy,
May sometimes teach thy soul to ponder,
If indolence or siren joy
Should ever tempt that soul to wander.
'Twill tell thee that the winged day
Can, ne'er be chain'd by man's endeavor;
That life and time shall fade away,
While heaven and virtue bloom forever!
If I swear by that eye, you'll allow,
Its look is so shifting and new,
That the oath I might take on it now
The very next glance would undo.
Those babies that nestle so sly
Such thousands of arrows have got,
That an oath, on the glance of an eye
Such as yours, may be off in a shot.
Should I swear by the dew on your lip,
Though each moment the treasure renews,
If my constancy wishes to trip,
I may kiss off the oath when I choose.
Or a sigh may disperse from that flower;
Both the dew and the oath that are there;
And I'd make a new vow every hour,
To lose them so sweetly in air.
But clear up the heaven of your brow,
Nor fancy my faith is a feather;
On my heart I will pledge you my vow,
And they both must be broken together!
Remember him thou leavest behind,
Whose heart is warmly bound to thee,
Close as the tenderest links can bind
A heart as warm as heart can be.
Oh! I had long in freedom roved,
Though many seemed my soul to snare;
'Twas passion when I thought I loved,
'Twas fancy when I thought them fair.
Even she, my muse's early theme,
Beguiled me only while she warmed;
Twas young desire that fed the dream,
And reason broke what passion formed.
But thou-ah! better had it been
If I had still in freedom roved,
If I had ne'er thy beauties seen,
For then I never should have loved.
Then all the pain which lovers feel
Had never to this heart been known;
But then, the joys that lovers steal,
Should _they_ have ever been my own?
Oh! trust me, when I swear thee this,
Dearest! the pain of loving thee,
The very pain is sweeter bliss
Than passion's wildest ecstasy.
That little cage I would hot part,
In which my soul is prisoned now,
For the most light and winged heart
That wantons on the passing vow.
Still, my beloved! still keep in mind,
However far removed from me,
That there is one thou leavest behind,
Whose heart respires for only thee!
And though ungenial ties have bound
Thy fate unto another's care,
That arm, which clasps thy bosom round,
Cannot confine the heart that's there.
No, no! that heart is only mine
By ties all other ties above,
For I have wed it at a shrine
Where we have had no priest but Love.
When Time who steals our years away
Shall steal our pleasures too,
The memory of the past will stay
And half our joys renew,
Then, Julia, when thy beauty's flower
Shall feel the wintry air,
Remembrance will recall the hour
When thou alone wert fair.
Then talk no more of future gloom;
Our joys shall always last;
For Hope shall brighten days to come,
And Memory gild the past.
Come, Chloe, fill the genial bowl,
I drink to Love and thee:
Thou never canst decay in soul,
Thou'lt still be young for me.
And as thy; lips the tear-drop chase,
Which on my cheek they find,
So hope shall steal away the trace
That sorrow leaves behind.
Then fill the bowl--away with gloom!
Our joys shall always last;
For Hope shall brighten days to come,
And Memory gild the past.
But mark, at thought of future years
When love shall lose its soul,
My Chloe drops her timid tears,
They mingle with my bowl.
How like this bowl of wine, my fair,
Our loving life shall fleet;
Though tears may sometimes mingle there,
The draught will still be sweet.
Then fill the cup--away with gloom!
Our joys shall always last;
For Hope will brighten days to come,
And Memory gild the past.
Have you not seen the timid tear,
Steal trembling from mine eye?
Have you not marked the flush of fear,
Or caught the murmured sigh?
And can you think my love is chill,
Nor fixt on you alone?
And can you rend, by doubting still,
A heart so much your own?
To you my soul's affections move,
Devoutly, warmly true;
My life has been a task of love,
One long, long thought of you.
If all your tender faith be o'er,
If still my truth you'll try;
Alas, _I_ know but _one_ proof more--
I'll bless your name, and die!
REUBEN AND ROSE.
A TALE OF ROMANCE.
The darkness that hung upon Willumberg's walls
Had long been remembered with awe and dismay;
For years not a sunbeam had played in its halls,
And it seemed as shut out from the regions of day.
Though the valleys were brightened by many a beam,
Yet none could the woods of that castle illume;
And the lightning which flashed on the neighboring stream
Flew back, as if fearing to enter the gloom!
"Oh! when shall this horrible darkness disperse!"
Said Willumberg's lord to the Seer of the Cave;--
"It can never dispel," said the wizard of verse,
"Till the bright star of chivalry sinks in the wave!"
And who was the bright star of chivalry then?
Who _could_ be but Reuben, the flower of the age?
For Reuben was first in the combat of men,
Though Youth had scarce written his name on her page.
For Willumberg's daughter his young heart had beat,
For Rose, who was bright as the spirit of dawn,
When with wand dropping diamonds, and silvery feet,
It walks o'er the flowers of the mountain and lawn.
Must Rose, then, from Reuben so fatally sever?
Sad, sad were the words of the Seer of the Cave,
That darkness should cover that castle forever,
Or Reuben be sunk in the merciless wave!
To the wizard she flew, saying, "Tell me, oh, tell?
Shall my Reuben no more be restored to my eyes?"
"Yes, yes--when a spirit shall toll the great bell
Of the mouldering abbey, your Reuben shall rise!"
Twice, thrice he repeated "Your Reuben shall rise!"
And Rose felt a moment's release from her pain;
And wiped, while she listened, the tears from her eyes.
And hoped she might yet see her hero again.
That hero could smite at the terrors of death,
When he felt that he died for the sire of his Rose;
To the Oder he flew, and there, plunging beneath,
In the depth of the billows soon found his repose.--
How strangely the order of destiny falls!
Not long in the waters the warrior lay,
When a sunbeam was seen to glance over the walls,
And the castle of Willumberg basked in the ray!
All, all but the soul of the maid was in light,
There sorrow and terror lay gloomy and blank:
Two days did she wander, and all the long night,
In quest of her love, on the wide river's bank.
Oft, oft did she pause for the toll of the bell,
And heard but the breathings of night in the air;
Long, long did she gaze on the watery swell,
And saw but the foam of the white billow there.
And often as midnight its veil would undraw,
As she looked at the light of the moon in the stream,
She thought 'twas his helmet of silver she saw,
As the curl of the surge glittered high in the beam.
And now the third night was begemming the sky;
Poor Rose, on the cold dewy margent reclined,
There wept till the tear almost froze in her eye,
When--hark!--'twas the bell that came deep in the wind!
She startled, and saw, through the glimmering shade,
A form o'er the waters in majesty glide;
She knew 'twas her love, though his cheek was decayed,
And his helmet of silver was washed by the tide.
Was this what the Seer of the Cave had foretold?--
Dim, dim through the phantom the moon shot a gleam;
'Twas Reuben, but, ah! he was deathly and cold,
And fleeted away like the spell of a dream!
Twice, thrice did he rise, and as often she thought
From the bank to embrace him, but vain her endeavor!
Then, plunging beneath, at a billow she caught,
And sunk to repose on its bosom forever!
'Twas a new feeling--something more
Than we had dared to own before.
Which then we hid not;
We saw it in each other's eye,
And wished, in every half-breathed sigh,
To speak, but did not.
She felt my lips' impassioned touch--
'Twas the first time I dared so much,
And yet she chid not;
But whispered o'er my burning brow,
"Oh! do you doubt I love you now?"
Sweet soul! I did not.
Warmly I felt her bosom thrill,
I prest it closer, closer still,
Though gently bid not;
Till--oh! the world hath seldom heard
Of lovers, who so nearly erred,
And yet, who did not.
That wrinkle, when first I espied it,
At once put my heart out of pain;
Till the eye, that was glowing beside it,
Disturbed my ideas again.
Thou art just in the twilight at present,
When woman's declension begins;
When, fading from all that is pleasant,
She bids a good night to her sins.
Yet thou still art so lovely to me,
I would sooner, my exquisite mother!
Repose in the sunset of thee,
Than bask in the noon of another.
TO MRS. .......
ON SOME CALUMNIES AGAINST HER CHARACTER.
Is not thy mind a gentle mind?
Is not that heart a heart refined?
Hast thou not every gentle grace,
We love in woman's mind and face?
And, oh! art _thou_ a shrine for Sin
To hold her hateful worship in?
No, no, be happy--dry that tear--
Though some thy heart hath harbored near,
May now repay its love with blame;
Though man, who ought to shield thy fame,
Ungenerous man, be first to shun thee;
Though all the world look cold upon thee,
Yet shall thy pureness keep thee still
Unharmed by that surrounding chill;
Like the famed drop, in crystal found,
Floating, while all was frozen round,--
Unchilled unchanging shalt thou be,
Safe in thy own sweet purity.
 This alludes to a curious gem, upon which Claudian has left
us some very elaborate epigrams. It was a drop of pure water enclosed
within a piece of crystal. Addison mentions a curiosity of this kind at
Milan; and adds; "It is such a rarity as this that I saw at Vendoeme in
France, which they there pretend is a tear that our Saviour shed over
Lazarus, and was gathered up by an angel, who put it into a little crystal
vial, and made a present of it to Mary Magdalen".
--_in lachrymas verterat omne merum_.
TIB. lib. i. eleg. 5.
Press the grape, and let it pour
Around the board its purple shower:
And, while the drops my goblet steep,
I'll think in woe the clusters weep.
Weep on, weep on, my pouting vine!
Heaven grant no tears, but tears of wine.
Weep on; and, as thy sorrows flow,
I'll taste the luxury of woe.
When I loved you, I can't but allow
I had many an exquisite minute;
But the scorn that I feel for you now
Hath even more luxury in it.
Thus, whether we're on or we're off,
Some witchery seems to await you;
To love you was pleasant enough,
And, oh! 'tis delicious hate you!
IN ALLUSION TO SOME ILLIBERAL CRITICISMS.
Why, let the stingless critic chide
With all that fume of vacant pride
Which mantles o'er the pendant fool,
Like vapor on a stagnant pool.
Oh! if the song, to feeling true,
Can please the elect, the sacred few,
Whose souls, by Taste and Nature taught,
Thrill with the genuine pulse of thought--
If some fond feeling maid like thee,
The warm-eyed child of Sympathy,
Shall say, while o'er my simple theme
She languishes in Passion's dream,
"He was, indeed, a tender soul--
No critic law, no chill control,
Should ever freeze, by timid art,
The flowings of so fond a heart!"
Yes, soul of Nature! soul of Love!
That, hovering like a snow-winged dove,
Breathed o'er my cradle warblings wild,
And hailed me Passion's warmest child,--
Grant me the tear from Beauty's eye,
From Feeling's breast the votive sigh;
Oh! let my song, my memory find,
A shrine within the tender mind!
And I will smile when critics chide,
And I will scorn the fume of pride
Which mantles o'er the pendant fool,
Like vapor round some stagnant pool!
Mock me no more with Love's beguiling dream,
A dream, I find, illusory as sweet:
One smile of friendship, nay, of cold esteem,
Far dearer were than passion's bland deceit!
I've heard you oft eternal truth declare;
Your heart was only mine, I once believed.
Ah! shall I say that all your vows were air?
And _must_ I say, my hopes were all deceived?
Vow, then, no longer that our souls are twined
That all our joys are felt with mutual zeal;
Julia!--'tis pity, pity makes you kind;
You know I love, and you would _seem_ to feel.
But shall I still go seek within those arms
A joy in which affection takes no part?
No, no, farewell! you give me but your charms,
When I had fondly thought you gave your heart.
My fates had destined me to rove
A long, long pilgrimage of love;
And many an altar on my way
Has lured my pious steps to stay;
For if the saint was young and fair,
I turned, and sung my vespers there.
This, from a youthful pilgrim's fire,
Is what your pretty saints require:
To pass, nor tell a single bead,
With them would be profane indeed!
But, trust me, all this young devotion
Was but to keep my zeal in motion;
And, every humbler altar past,
I now have reached THE SHRINE at last!
TO A LADY,
WITH SOME MANUSCRIPT POEMS,
ON LEAVING THE COUNTRY.
When, casting many a look behind,
I leave the friends I cherish here--
Perchance some other friends to find,
But surely finding none so dear--
Haply the little simple page,
Which votive thus I've traced for thee,
May now and then a look engage,
And steal one moment's thought for me.
But, oh! in pity let not those
Whose hearts are not of gentle mould,
Let not the eye that seldom flows
With feeling's tear, my song behold.
For, trust me, they who never melt
With pity, never melt with love;
And such will frown at all I've felt,
And all my loving lays reprove.
But if, perhaps, some gentler mind,
Which rather loves to praise than blame,
Should in my page an interest find.
And linger kindly on my name;
Tell him--or, oh! if, gentler still,
By female lips my name be blest:
For where do all affections thrill
So sweetly as in woman's breast?--
Tell her, that he whose loving themes
Her eye indulgent wanders o'er,
Could sometimes wake from idle dreams,
And bolder flights of fancy soar;
That Glory oft would claim the lay,
And Friendship oft his numbers move;
But whisper then, that, "sooth to say,
His sweetest song was given to Love!"
Though Fate, my girl, may bid us part,
Our souls it cannot, shall not sever;
The heart will seek its kindred heart,
And cling to it as close as ever.
But must we, must we part indeed?
Is all our dream of rapture over?
And does not Julia's bosom bleed
To leave so dear, so fond a lover?
Does _she_, too, mourn?--Perhaps she may;
Perhaps she mourns our bliss so fleeting;
But why is Julia's eye so gay,
If Julia's heart like mine is beating?
I oft have loved that sunny glow
Of gladness in her blue eye beaming--
But can the bosom bleed with woe
While joy is in the glances beaming?
No, no!--Yet, love, I will not chide;
Although your heart _were_ fond of roving,
Nor that, nor all the world beside
Could keep your faithful boy from loving.
You'll soon be distant from his eye,
And, with you, all that's worth possessing.
Oh! then it will be sweet to die,
When life has lost its only blessing!
Sweet lady, look not thus again:
Those bright, deluding smiles recall
A maid remember'd now with pain,
Who was my love, my life, my all!
Oh! while this heart bewildered took
Sweet poison from her thrilling eye,
Thus would she smile and lisp and look,
And I would hear and gaze and sigh!
Yes, I did love her--wildly love--
She was her sex's best deceiver!
And oft she swore she'd never rove--
And I was destined to believe her!
Then, lady, do not wear the smile
Of one whose smile could thus betray;
Alas! I think the lovely wile
Again could steal my heart away.
For, when those spells that charmed my mind
On lips so pure as thine I see,
I fear the heart which she resigned
Will err again and fly to thee!
In vain we fondly strive to trace
The soul's reflection in the face;
In vain we dwell on lines and crosses,
Crooked mouth or short proboscis;
Boobies have looked as wise and bright
As Plato or the Stagirite:
And many a sage and learned skull
Has peeped through windows dark and dull.
Since then, though art do all it can,
We ne'er can reach the inward man,
Nor (howsoe'er "learned Thebans" doubt)
The inward woman, from without,
Methinks 'twere well if nature could
(And Nature could, if Nature would)
Some pithy, short descriptions write
On tablets large, in black and white,
Which she might hang about our throttles,
Like labels upon physic-bottles;
And where all men might read--but stay--
As dialectic sages say,
The argument most apt and ample
For common use is the example.
For instance, then, if Nature's care
Had not portrayed, in lines so fair,
The inward soul of Lucy Lindon.
_This_ is the label she'd have pinned on.
Within this form there lies enshrined
The purest, brightest gem of mind.
Though Feeling's hand may sometimes throw
Upon its charms the shade of woe,
The lustre of the gem, when veiled,
Shall be but mellowed, not concealed.
* * * * *
Now, sirs, imagine, if you're able,
That Nature wrote a second label,
They're her own words--at least suppose so--
And boldly pin it on Pomposo.
When I composed the fustian brain
Of this redoubted Captain Vain.
I had at hand but few ingredients,
And so was forced to use expedients.
I put therein some small discerning,
A grain of sense, a grain of learning;
And when I saw the void behind,
I filled it up with--froth and wind!
* * * * *
ON HER BIRTHDAY.
When Time was entwining the garland of years,
Which to crown my beloved was given,
Though some of the leaves might be sullied with tears,
Yet the flowers were all gathered in heaven.
And long may this garland be sweet to the eye,
May its verdure forever be new;
Young Love shall enrich it with many a sigh,
And Sympathy nurse it with dew.
A REFLECTION AT SEA.
See how, beneath the moonbeam's smile,
Yon little billow heaves its breast,
And foams and sparkles for awhile,--
Then murmuring subsides to rest.
Thus man, the sport of bliss and care,
Rises on time's eventful sea:
And, having swelled a moment there,
Thus melts into eternity!
CLORIS AND FANNY.
Cloris! if I were Persia's king,
I'd make my graceful queen of thee;
While FANNY, wild and artless thing,
Should but thy humble handmaid be.
There is but _one_ objection in it--
That, verily, I'm much afraid
I should, in some unlucky minute,
Forsake the mistress for the maid.
Say, did you not hear a voice of death!
And did you not mark the paly form
Which rode on the silvery mist of the heath,
And sung a ghostly dirge in the storm?
Was it the wailing bird of the gloom,
That shrieks on the house of woe all night?
Or a shivering fiend that flew to a tomb,
To howl and to feed till the glance of light?
'Twas _not_ the death-bird's cry from the wood,
Nor shivering fiend that hung on the blast;
'Twas the shade of Helderic--man of blood--
It screams for the guilt of days that are past.
See, how the red, red lightning strays,
And scares the gliding ghosts of the heath!
Now on the leafless yew it plays,
Where hangs the shield of this son of death.
That shield is blushing with murderous stains;
Long has it hung from the cold yew's spray;
It is blown by storms and washed by rains,
But neither can take the blood away!
Oft by that yew, on the blasted field,
Demons dance to the red moon's light;
While the damp boughs creak, and the swinging shield
Sings to the raving spirit of night!
TO JULIA WEEPING.
Oh! if your tears are given to care,
If real woe disturbs your peace,
Come to my bosom, weeping fair!
And I will bid your weeping cease.
But if with Fancy's visioned fears,
With dreams of woe your bosom thrill;
You look so lovely in your tears,
That I must bid you drop them still.
TO ... ....
In slumber, I prithee how is it
That souls are oft taking the air,
And paying each other a visit,
While bodies are heaven knows where?
Last night, 'tis in vain to deny it,
Your soul took a fancy to roam,
For I heard her, on tiptoe so quiet,
Come ask, whether _mine_ was at home.
And mine let her in with delight,
And they talked and they laughed the time through;
For, when souls come together at night,
There is no saying what they mayn't do!
And _your_ little Soul, heaven bless her!
Had much to complain and to say,
Of how sadly you wrong and oppress her
By keeping her prisoned all day.
"If I happen," said she, "but to steal
"For a peep now and then to her eye,
"Or, to quiet the fever I feel,
"Just venture abroad on a sigh;
"In an instant she frightens me in
"With some phantom of prudence or terror,
"For fear I should stray into sin,
"Or, what is still worse, into error!
"So, instead of displaying my graces,
"By daylight, in language and mien,
"I am shut up in corners and places,
"Where truly I blush to be seen!"
Upon hearing this piteous confession,
_My_ Soul, looking tenderly at her,
Declared, as for grace and discretion,
He did not know much of the matter;
"But, to-morrow, sweet Spirit!" he said,
"Be at home, after midnight, and then
"I will come when your lady's in bed,
"And we'll talk o'er the subject again."
So she whispered a word in his ear,
I suppose to her door to direct him,
And, just after midnight, my dear,
Your polite little Soul may expect him.
WRITTEN DURING ILLNESS.
The wisest soul, by anguish torn,
Will soon unlearn the lore it knew;
And when the shrining casket's worn,
The gem within will tarnish too.
But love's an essence of the soul,
Which sinks hot with this chain of clay;
Which throbs beyond the chill control
Of withering pain or pale decay.
And surely, when the touch of Death
Dissolves the spirit's earthly ties,
Love still attends the immortal breath,
And makes it purer for the skies!
Oh Rosa, when, to seek its sphere,
My soul shall leave this orb of men,
That love which formed its treasure here,
Shall be its _best_ of treasures then!
And as, in fabled dreams of old,
Some air-born genius, child of time,
Presided o'er each star that rolled,
And tracked it through its path sublime;
So thou, fair planet, not unled,
Shalt through thy mortal orbit stray;
Thy lover's shade, to thee still wed,
Shall linger round thy earthly way.
Let other spirits range the sky,
And play around each starry gem;
I'll bask beneath that lucid eye,
Nor envy worlds of suns to them.
And when that heart shall cease to beat,
And when that breath at length is free,
Then, Rosa, soul to soul we'll meet,
And mingle to eternity!
The wreath you wove, the wreath you wove,
Is fair--but oh, how fair,
If Pity's hand had stolen from Love
One leaf, to mingle there!
If every rose with gold were tied,
Did gems for dewdrops fall,
One faded leaf where Love had sighed
Were sweetly worth them all.
The wreath you wove,--the wreath you wove
Our emblem well may be;
Its bloom is yours, but hopeless Love
Must keep its tears for me.
THE SALE OF LOVES.
I dreamt that, in the Paphian groves,
My nets by moonlight laying,
I caught a flight of wanton Loves,
Among the rose-beds playing.
Some just had left their silvery shell,
While some were full in feather;
So pretty a lot of Loves to sell,
Were never yet strung together.
Come buy my Loves,
Come buy my Loves,
Ye dames and rose-lipped misses!--
They're new and bright,
The cost is light,
For the coin of this isle is kisses.
First Cloris came, with looks sedate.
The coin on her lips was ready;
"I buy," quoth she, "my Love by weight,
"Full grown, if you please, and steady."
"Let mine be light," said Fanny, "pray--
"Such lasting toys undo one;
"A light little Love that will last to-day,--
"To-morrow I'll sport a new one."
Come buy my Loves,
Come buy my Loves,
Ye dames and rose-lipped misses!--
There's some will keep,
Some light and cheap
At from ten to twenty kisses.
The learned Prue took a pert young thing,
To divert her virgin Muse with,
And pluck sometimes a quill from his wing.
To indite her billet-doux with,