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Then let dumb nature in that plea rejoice,
But be not thou to that dominion brought:
For speech in thee, some men's disparagement,
Thy purer gifts with glory shall augment.
In Parian marble of divinest price,
In fairest gems, in silver and in gold,
In flow'ry sweets, that have been steeped thrice
In Phoebus' beams, and now his image hold,
In fountains, and in woods, in beauteous meads,
In palaces of pomp, and love withal,
In scooped chariots, and in fiery steeds,
I am, indeed, most rich and prodigal!
The Sun cannot behold a greater lord,
Nor doth the eye of Jove survey a man, Whose fortune can such boundless wealth afford, E'er since the artificial world began: Thy face, which faults Olympus, is to me This orbed World, and Nature's treasury!
Daughter of Jove, encircled by the Hours,
The warbling Spring comes dancing from the gate
Of Heaven, and, ripe in majesty and state,
Pours from her golden ewer the purpling flowers
On mead, on mountain, on the hallow'd marge
Of sacred rivers; and the Mermaid chants
The seas into a calm; and the wood-haunts
Of coy Diana echo all at large
With the smooth songs of Philomel: awake,
Daughter of Heaven, and blameless memory;
Put on thy flowery sandals, and uptake
Thy golden rod, beloved of the Sky!
And with a tongue, like vernal thunder, make
Virtue the heir of immortality!
TO A BIRD THAT HAUNTED THE WATERS OF LAKEN IN THE WINTER.
O melancholy bird, a winter's day,
Thou standest by the margin of the pool; And, taught by God, dost thy whole being school To patience, which all evil can allay: God has appointed thee the fish thy prey; And giv'n thyself a lesson to the fool Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule, And his unthinking course by thee to weigh. There need not schools, nor the professor's chair, Though these be good, true wisdom to impart:
He, who has not enough for these to spare, Of time, or gold, may yet amend his heart, And teach his soul by brooks and rivers fair: Nature is always wise in every part.
ON BEHOLDING BODIHAM CASTLE,
ON THE BANK OF THE ROTHER, IN SUSSEX.
O thou, brave ruin of the passed time,
When glorious spirits shone in burning arms,
And the brave trumpet, with its sweet alarms,
Call'd honour! at the matin hour sublime,
And the grey ev'ning; thou hast had thy prime,
And thy full vigour, and the eating harms
Of age have robb'd thee of thy warlike charms, And plac'd thee here, an image in my rhyme; The owl now haunts thee, and, oblivion's plant, The creeping ivy, has o'er-veil'd thy towers; And Rother, looking up with eye askant, Recalling to his mind thy brighter hours,
Laments the time, when, fair and elegant, Beauty first laugh'd from out thy joyous bowers!
THE TEMPles of venus and mĀRS. First, in the chapel of the Paphian queen, Wrought on the wall, there may by you be seen A sight indeed full piteous to behold, The broken sleep; and the sighs deadly cold; The sacred tears; the wailings, a whole quire; The fiery strokes of the unrein'd desire; All, that love's servants in this world endure; And all the oaths their covenants assure; Pleasure; and hope; desire; fool-hardiness; Beauty; and youth; and purchas'd wantonness; Gold; charms; and force; and lies; and flattery: And waste expense; bus'ness; and jealousy, Upon whose head a golden sun-flower bland, And the false cuckoo sate upon her hand; Feasts; instruments; and carols; and ripe dances; Lust; and array; and all the circumstances Of Love; that I may reckon, and reckon on Till the mid-summer, and yet ne'er have done; All these were painted the fresh wall upon, And more than I can tell to any one; For Mount Citharon was depicted there, Where Venus hath her princely dwelling fair. All the world glow'd with the delightful place, The fount, eye, soul of passion and of grace; There was the garden, and the lustiness: Be sure they not forgot the porter, Idleness; Nor fair Narcissus, that from love is gone; Nor yet the folly of King Solomon ; Nor strength of Hercules, that tore hell up; Nor Circe, nor Medea's charmed cup; Nor Turnus, and his hard and fiery rage; Nor golden Cræsus in the Persian cage: By which it may be seen, that neither gold, Nor stronger wisdom, nor the courage bold, Nor strength, nor art, nor beauty's powerful face, Can hold with Venus any equal pace: What party in her realm have they, who rules The rolling world, and makes all people fools; Such as these were, who in her snare were caught, And often cried," Alas!" and all for nought: And these examples may suffice; although Ten thousands more may date from her their woe.
The froth-born Goddess, ravishing to see,
Was naked, fleeting in the ample sea;
And, downwards from the waist, was hid from sight
By the green waves, as any crystal bright:
A citole in her right hand softly held;
And on her head, a type of summer swell'd
And blush'd like fire, and like all Eden smell'd,
A garland of the rose; and a white pair
Of doves above her flicker'd in the air:
And her son, Cupid, stood before her feet;
Two wings upon his shoulders, fair and fleet,
And blind as night, as he is often seen:
A bow he bare, and arrows bright and keen.
And now to tell you, on the westward side,
What colours the great painters did provide,
What portraiture upon the wall was spread,
Within the temple of grim Mars the red;
All painted was the wall, in dismal grace,
Like to the inward of the grisly place,
Call'd the great temple of the God in Thrace,
Where Mars his sovereign mansion still doth hold,
In frosty regions and eternal cold.
A forest on the wall was there exprest
In which there never wons nor man nor beast,
With knotty, knarry, barren trees, right old,
And sharp with stubs, and hideous to behold,
Where, like the thunder, ran a rumble through,
As though a storm would break down ev'ry bough,
And downward, (and a savage hill o'erbent,)
There stood the fane of Mars armipotent;
Wrought all of burned steel: the entrance keen
Was long, and strait, and ghastly to be seen;
And thereout came a rage, and air, God knows,
The gates from their great hinges heav'd and rose:
The northern light in at the door there shone;
For window on the massy wall was none,
Through which men might the open light discern:
The door was all of adamant eterne,
And clenched overthwart, and end-ways long,
With iron tough, and, for to make it strong,
Every great pillar of this house of war Was tun-great, of bright iron blazing far.
There saw I first the dark imagining
Of felony, and all the compassing;
The cruel ire, as red as burning coal;
The pick-purse; and pale fear, with ghastly soul;
The smiler, with the knife under the cloke;
The stables burning with the pitchy smoke;
The treason of the murdering of the bed ;
The open war, whose wounds for ever bled;
Contest with bloody knife, and menace keen,
And full of scritching cries the doleful scene;
The slayer of himself then saw I there,
His own heart-blood had bathed all his hair;
The nail, too, driven in the skull at night;
The cold death with the gaping mouth upright;
Amidst of all the temple sate Mischance,
With great discomfort, and pale countenance;
And saw I Madness, laughing in his ire;
Armed Complaint; Outcry; and fierce Desire
Of fiery outrage; in the bushes put,
I saw the corpse of him whose throat was cut ;
And flow'd the crimson blood on slaughter's bed,
A thousand slain, and not of sickness dead;
The tyrant with his prey from subject reft;
The town destroy'd, and not a rafter left;
The burnt ships dancing on the waves I saw ;
The hunter strangled in the wild bear's paw;
The child, eat by the fretting sow in cradle;
The cook, too, scalded, maugre his long ladle;
And every mortal act in every part;
The carter, over-ridden with his cart,
Under the wheel full low he lay adown.
PROCESSION AND HYMN IN HONOUR OF PAN.
Leading the way, young damsels danced along, Bearing the burden of a shepherd song; Each having a white wicker over brimm'd With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd, A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks As may be read of in Arcadian books; Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe, When the great deity, for earth too ripe, Let his divinity o'erflowing die
In music, through the vales of Thessaly:
Some idly trail'd their sheep-hooks on the ground,
And some kept up a shrilly-mellow sound
With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these,
Now coming from beneath the forest-trees,
A venerable priest full soberly,
Begirt with ministering looks: always his eye
Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept,
And after him his sacred vestments swept.
From his right hand there swung a vase,
Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light;
And in his left he held a basket full
Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull:
Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still
Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill.
His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath,
Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth
Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd
Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud
Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd,
Up-follow'd by a multitude that rear'd
Their voices to the clouds, a fair-wrought car,
Easily rolling so as scarce to mar
The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown:
Who stood therein did seem of great renown
Among the throng. His youth was fully blown,
Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown;
And, for those simple times, his garments were
A chieftain king's: beneath his breast, half bare,
Was hung a silver bugle, and between
His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen.
A smile was on his countenance; he seem'd,
To common lookers-on, like one who dream'd
Of idleness in groves Elysian :
But there were some who feelingly could scan
A lurking trouble in his nether-lip,
And see that oftentimes the reins would slip
Through his forgotten hands: then would they sigh,
And think of yellow leaves, of owlet's cry,
Of logs piled solemnly.-Ah, well-a-day,
Why should our young Endymion pine away!
Soon the assembly in a circle rang'd,
Stood silent round the shrine: each look was changed
To sudden veneration: women meek
Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each cheek
Of virgin-bloom paled gently for slight fear.
Endymion too, without a forest peer,
Stood, wan and pale, and with an unawed face,
Among his brothers of the mountain-chase.
In midst of all, the venerable priest
Ey'd them with joy from greatest to the least,
And, after lifting up his aged hands,
Thus spake he: -"Men of Latmos! shepherd
Whose care it is to guard a thousand flocks:
Whether descended from beneath the rocks
That overtop your mountains; whether come
From vallies where the pipe is never dumb;
Or from your swelling downs, where sweet air stirs
Blue hare-bells lightly, and where prickly furze
Buds lavish gold; or ye, whose precious charge,
Nibble their fill at ocean's very marge,
Whose mellow reeds are touch'd with sounds forlorn
By the dim echoes of old Triton's horn:
Mothers and wives! who day by day prepare
The scrip, with needments, for the mountain-air;
And all ye gentle girls who foster up
Udderless lambs, and in a little cup
Will put choice honey for a favoured youth:
Yea, every one attend! for in good truth
Our vows are wanting to our great god Pan.
Are not our lowing heifers sleeker than
Night-swollen mushrooms? Are not our wide plains
Speckled with countless fleeces? Have not rains
Green'd over April's lap? No howling sad
Sickens our fearful ewes; and we have had
Great bounty from Endymion our lord.
The earth is glad: the merry lark has pour'd
His early song against yon breezy sky,
That spreads so clear o'er our solemnity."
Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire
Of teeming sweets, enkindling sacred fire;
Anon he stain'd the thick and spongy sod
With wine, in honour of the shepherd-god.
Now while the earth was drinking it, and while
Bay-leaves were crackling in the fragrant pile,
And gummy frankincense was sparkling bright
'Neath smothering parsley, and a hazy light
Spread greyly eastward, thus a chorus sang:
"O thou! whose mighty palace-roof doth hang From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death
of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness; Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken; And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken
The dreary melody of bedded reeds
In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds
The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth;
Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth
Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx-do thou now,
By thy love's milky brow!
By all the trembling mazes that she ran,
Hear us, great Pan !
"O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles
Passion their voices cooingly among myrtles,
What time thou wanderest at eventide
Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side
Of thine enmossed realms: O thou, to whom
Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom
Their ripen'd fruitage; yellow-girted bees
Their golden honeycombs; our village-leas
Their fairest blossom'd beans and poppied corn ;
The chuckling linnet its five young unborn,
To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries
Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies
Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year
All its completions-be quickly near,
By every wind that nods the mountain-pine,
O forester divine!
"Thou, to whom every fawn and satyr flies
For willing service: whether to surprise
The squatted hare while in half sleeping fit;
Or upward ragged precipices flit
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw ;
Or by mysterious enticement draw
Bewilder'd shepherds to their path again;
Or to tread breathless round the frothy main,
And gather up all fancifullest shells
For thee to tumble into Naiads' cells,
And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping;
Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping,
The while they pelt each other on the crown
With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown-
By all the echoes that about thee ring,
Hear us, O satyr king!
“O Hearkener to the loud-clapping shears,
While ever and anon to his shorn peers
A ram goes bleating: Winder of the horn,
When snouted wild boars routing tender corn
Anger our huntsmen: Breather round our farms,
To keep off mildews, and all weather harms:
Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds,
That come a swooning over hollow grounds,
And wither drearily on barren moors:
Dread opener of the mysterious doors
Leading to universal knowledge—see,
Great son of Dryope,
The many that are come to pay their vows
With leaves about their brows!
Be still the unimaginable lodge For solitary thinkings; such as dodge Conception to the very bourne of heaven, Then leave the naked brain: be still the leaven, That spreading in this dull and clodded earth Gives it a touch ethereal-a new birth: Be still a symbol of immensity;
A firmament reflected in a sea;
An element filling the space between;
An unknown-but no more: we humbly screen
With uplift hands our foreheads lowly bending,
And giving out a shout most heaven-rending,
Conjure thee to receive our humble Pæan,
Upon thy Mount Lycean!"
Ever while they brought the burden to a close, A shout from the whole multitude arose, That lingered in the air like dying rolls Of abrupt thunder, when Ionian shoals Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine. Meantime, on shady levels, mossy fine, Young companies nimbly began dancing To the swift treble pipe, and humming string. Aye, those fair living forms swam heavenly To tunes forgotten-out of memory: [bred Fair creatures! whose young children's children Thermopyla its heroes-not yet dead, But in old marbles ever beautiful.
'Twixt nothing and Creation, I here swear,
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
And there she sits most meek and most alone;
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
Towards her with the Muses in thine heart;
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Waiting for silver-footed messages.
O Moon! the oldest shades 'mong oldest trees
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship.
Thou dost bless every where with silver lip,
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
Innumerable mountains rise, and rise,
Ambitious for the hallowing of thine eyes;
And yet thy benediction passeth not
One obscure hiding place, one little spot
Where pleasure may be sent: the nested wren
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy-leaf
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps
Within its pearly house.-The mighty deeps,
The monstrous sea is thine-the myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee, And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load.
Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode
Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Such utmost beauty? Alas! thou dost pine
For one as sorrowful: thy cheek is pale
For one whose cheek is pale: thou dost bewail
His tears, who weeps for thee. Where dost thou sigh?
Ah! surely that light peeps from Vesper's eye,
Or what a thing is love! 'Tis She, but lo!
How chang'd, how full of ache, how gone in woe!
She dies at the thinnest cloud; her loveliness
Is wan on Neptune's blue; yet there's a stress
Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
Dancing upon the waves, as if to please
The curly foam with amorous influence.
O, not so idle for down-glancing thence
She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
The thorny sharks from hiding-holes,and fright'ning
Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning.
Where will the splendor be content to reach ?
O love! how potent hast thou been to teach
Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells,
In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won.
Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath;
Thou leddest Orpheus through the gleams of death;
Thou madest Pluto bear thin element;
And now, O winged Chieftain, thou hast sent
A moon-beam to the deep, deep water-world,
To find Endymion.
On gold sand impearl'd
With lily shells, and pebbles milky white,
Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light
Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stay'd
His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid
His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
Lash'd from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
And so he kept until the rosy veils
Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
Were lifted from the water's breast, and fann'd
Into sweet air; and sober'd morning came
Meekly through billows:-when like taper-flame
Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
Along his fated way.
With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
Above, around, and at his feet; save things
More dead than Morpheus' imaginings:
Old rusted anchors, helmets, breast-plates large
Of gone sea-warriors; brazen beaks and targe;
Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
The sway of human hand; gold vase emboss'd
With long-forgotten story, and wherein
No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls,
Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rude
In ponderous stone, developing the mood
Of ancient Nox ;-then skeletons of man,
Of beast, behemoth, and leviathan,
And elephant and eagle, and huge jaw
Of nameless monster. A cold leaden awe
These secrets struck into him; and unless
Dian had chac'd away that heaviness,
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel,
He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.
"What is there in thee, Moon! that thou should'st My heart so potently? When yet a child [move I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd. Thou seem'dst my sister; hand in hand we went From eve to morn across the firmament. No apples would I gather from the tree, Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously: No tumbling water ever spake romance, But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance: No woods were green enough, no bower divine, Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine: In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take, Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake; And, in the summer-tide of blossoming, No one but thee hath heard me blithely sing And mesh my dewy flowers all the night. No melody was like a passing spright If it went not to solemnize thy reign. Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain By thee were fashion'd to the self-same end; And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen; Thou wast the mountain-top-the sage's penThe poet's harp-the voice of friends-the sun; Thou wast the river-thou wast glory won; Thou wast my clarion's blast-thou wast my steedMy goblet full of wine-my topmost deed :— Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon! O what a wild and harmonized tune My spirit struck from all the beautiful! On some bright essence could I lean, and lull Myself to immortality.