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TO THE PICTURE OF A DEAD GIRL.
The same—and oh ! how beautiful!- the same
As memory meets thee through the mist of years !
Love's roses on thy cheek, and feeling's flame
Lighting an eye unchanged in all—but tears!
Upon thy sever'd lips the very smile
Remember'd well, the sunlight of my youth;
But gone the shadow that would steal, the while,
To mar its brightness, and to mock its truth! -
Once more I see thee, as I saw thee last,
The lost restored,- the vision of the past!
How like to what thou wert and art not now!
Yet oh, how more resembling what thou art;
There dwells no cloud upon that pictured brow,
As sorrow sits no longer in thy heart;
Gone where its very wishes are at rest,
And all its throbbings hush’d, and achings heal'd ;-
till half I deem thee to my breast,
In thine immortal loveliness, reveal'd;
And see thee, as in some permitted dream,
There where thou art what here thou dost but seem!
I loved thee passing well;—thou wert a beam
Of pleasant beauty on this stormy sea,
With just so much of mirth as might redeem
Man from the musings of his misery;
Yet ever pensive,-like a thing from home!
Lovely and lonely as a single star!
But kind and true to me, as thou hadst come
From thine own element--so very far,
Only to be a cynosure to eyes
Now sickening at the sunshine of the skies !
138 TO THE PICTURE OF A DEAD GIRL.
It were a crime to weep!-'tis none to kneel,
As now I kneel, before this type of thee,
And worship her, who taught my soul to feel
Such worship is no vain idolatry :-
Thou wert my spirit's spirit-and thou art,
Though this be all of thee time hath not reft,
Save the old thoughts that hang about the heart,
Like wither'd leaves that many storms have left;
I turn from living looks—the cold, the dull,
To any trace of thee—the lost, the beautiful!
Broken, and bow'd, and wasted with regret,
I gaze and weep-why do I weep alone!
I would not-would not if I could forget,
But I am all remembrance-it hath grown
My very being !-Will she never speak?
The lips are parted, and the braided hair
Seem'd as it waved upon her brightening cheek,
And smile, and every thing—but breath-are there!
Oh, for the voice that I have stay'd to hear,
Only in dreams,—so many a lonely year!
It will not be ;-away, bright cheat, away!
Cold, far too cold to love !—thy look grows strange;
I want the thousand thoughts that used to play,
Like lights and shadowings, in chequer'd change:
That smile!--I know thou art not like her now,-
Within her land—where'er it be-of light,
She smiles not while a cloud is on my brow:-
When will it pass away—this heavy night!
Oh! will the cool, clear morning never come,
And light me to her, in her spirit's home!
THE LAUNCH OF THE NAUTILUS.
Up with thy thin transparent sail,
Thou tiny mariner !—The gale
Comes gently from the land, and brings
The odour of all lovely things
That Zephyr, in his wanton play,
Scatters in Spring's triumphant way;--
Of primrose pale, and violet,
And young anemone, beset
By thousand spikes of every hue,
Purple and scarlet, white and blue:
And every breeze that sweeps the earth
Brings the sweet sounds of love and mirth;
The shrilly pipe of things unseen
That pitter in the meadows green ;
The linnet's love-sick melody,
The laverock's carol loud and high;
And mellow'd, as from distance borne,
The music of the shepherd's horn.
Up, little Nautilus !—Thy day,
Of life and joy is come :-away!
food, that gleams so bright Beneath the morning's ruddy light, With gentlest surge scarce ripples o’er The lucid gems that pave the shore; Each billow wears its little spray, As maids wear wreaths on holiday; And maid ne'er danced on velvet green More blithely round the May's young queen, Than thou shalt dance o'er yon bright sea That wooes thy prow so lovingly. Then lift thy sail !—'Tis shame to rest, Here on the sand, thy pearly breast.
THE LAUNCH OF THE NAUTILUS.
Away! thou first of mariners ;-
Give to the wind all idle fears;
Thy freight demands no jealous care,
Yet navies might be proud to bear
The wondrous wealth, the unbought spell,
That load thy ruby-cinctured shell.
A heart is there to nature true,
Which wrath nor envy ever knew,-
A heart that calls no creature foe,
And ne'er design'd another's woe;-
A heart whose joy o'erflows its home,
Simply because sweet spring is come.
Up, beauteous Nautilus !-Away!
The idle muse that chides thy stay
Shall watch thee long, with anxious eye,
O'er thy bright course delighted fly;
And, when black storms deform the main,
Cry welcome to the sands again!
Heaven grant, that she through life's wild sea
May sail as innocent as thee;
And, homeward turn'd like thee may find
Sure refuge from the wave and wind.
I saw thee wedded :—thou didst go
Within the sacred aisle ;
Thy young cheek in a blushing glow,
Betwixt a tear and smile.
Thy heart was glad in maiden glee ;
But he it loved so fervently
Was faithless all the while :
I hate him for the vow he spoke-
I hate him for the vow he broke !
I hid the love that could not die
Its doubts, and hopes, and fears ; And buried all my misery
In secrecy and tears.
And days passid on—and thou didst prove
The pangs of unrequited love,
Even in thy early years :
And thou didst die—so fair and good-
In silence and in solitude.
While thou wert living I did hide
Affliction's secret pains;
I'd not have shock'd thy modest pride
For all the world contains :
But thou hast perish'd; and the fire,
That, often check'd, could ne'er expire,
Again unbidden reigns;-
It is no crime to speak my vow,
For, ah ! thou canst not hear it now.
Thou sleep'st beneath thy lowly stone
That dark and dreamless sleep;
And he, thy loved and chosen one,
Why goes he not to weep?
He does not kneel where I have knelt;
He cannot feel what I have felt
The anguish still and deep
The painful thoughts of what has been-
The canker worm that is not seen,
But I, as o'er the dark blue wave
Unconsciously I ride,
My thoughts are hovering o'er thy grave,
My soul is by thy side.
There is one voice that wails thee yet-
One heart that cannot e'er forget
The visions that have died :
And aye thy form is buried there-
A doubt-an anguish-a despair!