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INSIDE OF KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL,
Tax not the royal Saint with vain expense,
With ill-matched aims the Architect who planned-
Albeit labouring for a scanty band
Of white-robed Scholars only—this immense
And glorious Work of fine intelligence !
Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore
Of nicely-calculated less or more ;
So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense
These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof
Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,
Where light and shade repose, where music dwells
Lingering, and wandering on as loth to die;
Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
That they were born for immortality.
ETHEREAL Minstrel ! pilgrim of the sky !
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound ?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground ?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!
[To the last point of vision, and beyond, Mount, daring warbler! that love-prompted strain, ("Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond) Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain : Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing All independent of the leafy spring.]
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine :
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam ;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!
WHY ART THOU SILENT? IS THY LOVE A
Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair ?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant ?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant-
Bound to thy service with unceasing care,
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak—though this soft warm heart, once free to
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow
'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine-
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may
The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motion of the Storm
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."
Thus Nature spake—The work was done-
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene ;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
WRITTEN IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER, 1802.
O FRIEND! I know not which way I must look
For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
To think that now our life is only drest
For show ; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
Or groom !- We must run glittering like a brook 5
In the open sunshine, or we are unblest :
The wealthiest man among us is the best :
No grandeur now in nature or in book
Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
This is idolatry : and these we adore :
Plain living and high thinking are no more:
The homely beauty of the good old cause
Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,
And pure religion breathing household laws.