« PreviousContinue »
"As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabe an odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the Blest; with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league,
Cheer'd with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles.”
Joy is upon the lonely seas,
When Indian forests pour
Forth to the billow and the breeze
Their fragrance from the shore ;
Joy when the soft air's glowing sigh
Bears on the breath of Araby.
Oh ! welcome are the winds that tell
A wanderer of the deep
Where far away the jasmines dwell,
And where the myrrh-trees weep.
Bless'd, on the sounding surge and foam,
Are tidings of the citron's home!
The sailor at the helm they meet,
And hope his bosom stirs,
Upspringing, 'midst the waves to greet
The fair earth's messengers,
That woo hin), from the mournful main,
Back to ber glorious bowers again.
They woo him, whispering lovely tales
Of many a flowing glade,
And fount's brigbt gleam in island-vales
Of golden-fruited shade;
Across his lone ship's wake they bring
A vision and a glow of spring!
And oh! ye masters of the lay!
Come not e'en thus your songs,
That meet us on life's weary way
Amidst her toiling throngs?
140 TO ONE OF THE AUTOHR'S CHILDREN,
Yes! o'er the spirit thus they bear
A current of celestial air!
Their power is from the brighter clime
That in our birth hath part,
Their tones are of the world which time
Sears not within the heart;
They tell us of the living light
In its green places ever bright.
They call us with a voice divine
Back to our early love,
Our vows of youth at many a shrine
Whence far and soon we rove:
- Welcome, high thought and holy strain,
That make us Truth's and Hearen's again !*
TO ONE OF THE AUTHOR'S CHILDREN
ON HIS BIRTHDAY, 27th AUGUST, 1825.
Thou wak'st from happy sleep to play
With bounding heart, my boy!
Before thee lies a long bright day
Of summer and of joy.
Thou hast no heavy thought or dream
To cloud thy fearless eye;-
Long be it thus-life's early stream
Should still reflect the sky.
Yet ere the cares of life lie dim
On thy young spirit's wings,
Now in thy morn forget not Him
From whom each pure thought springs !
So in the onward vale of tears,
Where'er thy path may be,
When strength hath bow'd to 'evil years
He will remember thee.
* Written immediately after reading the "Remarks on the Charatoer and Writings of Milton," in the Christian Examiner.
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION, 17th SEPTEMBER, 1825.
WHERE sucks the bee now ?-Summer is flying,
Leaves on the grass-plot faded are lying ;
Violets are gone from the grassy dell,
With the cowslip-cups, where the faries dwell ;
The rose from the garden hath pass'd away-
Yet happy, fair boy! is thy natal day.
For love bids it welcome, the love which hath smiled
Ever around thee, my gentle child !
Watching thy footsteps, and guarding thy bed,
And pouring out joy on thy sunny head.
Roses may vanish, but this will stay-
Happy and bright is thy natal day
THERE were thick leaves above me and around,
And low sweet sighs, like those of childhood's sleep,
Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound
As of soft showers on water--dark and deep
Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still,
They seem'd but pictured glooms-a hidden rill,
Made music, sucb as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern-tufts ; and a tender gleam
Of soft green light, as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring through the woven beech-boughs down,
And steep'd the magic page wherein I read
Of royal chivalry and old renown,
A tale of Palestine.*Meanwhile the bee
Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle, wafting thoughts of fowers,
Blue skies, and amber sunshine--brightly free,
142 EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL.
On filmy wings the purple dragon-dy
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell
Where sat the lone wood-pigeon.
But ere long,
All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale, grew strong
On my chain'd soul- 'twas not the leaves I heard;
-A Syrian wind the lion-banner stirr'd,
Through its proud floating folds--'twas not the brook,
Singing in secret through its grassy glen--
A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen
Peal'd from the desert's lonely heart, and shook
The burning air. Like clouds when winds are high,
O'er glittering sands flew steeds of Araby,
And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees.—Then the shout
Oi merry England's joy swell'd freely out,
Sent through an Eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
Made shields dark mirrors to its depths of blue;
And harps were there--I heard their sounding strings,
As the waste echoed to the mirth of kings.
The bright ma squc faded-unto life's worn track
What call'd me, from its flood of glory, back?
A voice of happy childhood :- and they pass'd,
Banner, and harp, and Paynim trumpet's blast
Yet might I scarce bewail the vision gone,
My heart so leapt to thial svýcut laughter's tone.
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRLS' SCHOOL,
"Now in thy youth beseech of Him,
Who giveth, upbraiding not,
That his light in thy heart become not dim,
And his love be unforgot;
And thy God, in the darkest of Jays, will be
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee."
Hush! 'tis a holy hour--the quiet room
Seems like a temple, while yon soft lamp sheds
A faint and starry radiance, through the gloom
And the sweet stillness, down on bright young heads,
EVENING PRAYER AT A GIRL'S SCHOOL. 143
With all their clust'ring locks, untouch'd by care,
And bow'd, as flowers are bow'd with night-in prayer,
Gaze on,-'tis lovely childhood's lip and cheek,
Mantling beneath its earnest brow of thought-
Gaze-yet what seest thou in those fair, and meek,
And fragile things, as but for sunshine wrought?
- Thou seest what grief must nurture for the sky, What death must fashion for eteruity ! Oh! joyous creatures, that will sink to rest,
Lightly, when those pure orisons are done,
As birds with slumber's honey-dew oppress'd,
'Midst the dim folded leaves, at set of sun-
Lift up your hearts though yet no sorrow lies
Dark in the summer-heaven of those clear eyes ;
Though fresh within your breasts th' untroubled springs
Of hope make melody where'er ye tread;
And o'er your sleep bright shadows, from the wings
Of spirits visiting but youth, be spread;
Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
Is woman's tenderness-how soon her wo!
Her lot is on you—silent tears to weep,
And patient smiles to wear through suffering's hour,
And sumless riches, from Affection's deep,
To pour on broken reeds a wasted shower!
And to make idols, and to find them clay,
And to bewail that worship—therefore pray!
Her lot is on you-to be found untired,
Watching the stars out by the bed of pain.
With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspired,
And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain.
Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay,
And oh! to love through all things-therefore pray!
And take the thought of this calm vesper time,
With its low murmuring sounds and silvery light,
On through the dark days fading from their prime,
As a sweet dew to keep your souls from blight.
Earth will forsake-oh! happy to have given
Th’ unbroken heart's first fragrance unto Heaven?