Page images



OW wonderful is death!

Death and his brother sleep.

Queen Mab.

Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of eternity.

Music, when soft voices die,

Vibrates in the memory;

Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar

From the sphere of our sorrow!



Poems written in 1821.

Most wretched men

Are cradled into poetry by wrong;

They learn in suffering what they teach in song.

Julian and Maddalo.


THEN Freedom from her mountain height


Unfurled her standard to the air,

She tore the azure robe of night,

And set the stars of glory there.

She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies,
And striped its pure, celestial white,
With streakings of the morning light.

Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
By angel hands to valour given;
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,

And all thy hues were born in heaven.

For ever float that standard sheet!

Where breathes the foe but falls before us,

With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,

And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us.

The American Flag.

FELICIA HEMANS. 1794-1835.

LEAVES have their time to fall,

And flowers to wither at the North wind's breath,

And stars to set ;-but all,

Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!

Ay, call it holy ground,

The soil where first they trod,

The Hour of Death.

They have left unstained what there they found-
Freedom to worship God.

The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England.

JOHN KEATS. 1796-1820.

A THING of beauty is a joy for ever

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness.

Endymion. Line 1.

Music's golden tongue

Flattered to tears this aged man and poor.

St. Agnes' Eve. Stanza 3.

And lucent syrups, tinct with cinnamon.

Ibid. Stanza 30.

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.

Ode on a Grecian Urn.

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Those green-robed senators of mighty woods,
Tall oaks, branch-charmed by the earnest stars,
Dream, and so dream all night without a stir.

That large utterance of the early gods.

Hear ye not the hum




Of mighty workings.

Sonnet to Haydon.

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies

When a new planet swims into his ken;

Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific-and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise-
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Sonnet xi.


CHARLES WOLFE. 1791-1823.

OT a drum was heard, not a funeral note.
The Burial of Sir John Moore.

We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory!


But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,

With his martial cloak around him.



ROBERT POLLOK. 1798-1827.

E laid his hand upon 'the Ocean's mane'
And played familiar with his hoary locks.*
The Course of Time. Book iv. Line 689.

* And I have loved thee, Ocean!


And laid my hand upon thy mane.

BYRON. Childe Harold. Canto iv. St. 184.

He was a man

Who stole the livery of the court of Heaven

To serve the Devil in.

The Course of Time. Book viii. Line 616. With one hand he put

A penny in the urn of poverty,

And with the other took a shilling out. Ibid. Line 632.

J. HOWARD PAYNE. 1792-1852.

MID pleasures and palaces though we may roam,

Be it ever so humble there's no place like home.*

[blocks in formation]

Great thoughts, great feelings, came to them,

Like instincts, unawares.

A man's best things are nearest him,

Lie close about his feet.

The Men of Old.


* Home is home though it be never so homely,' was a proverb; it is

found in the collections of the seventeenth century.

From the Opera of Clari-the Maid of Milan.

« PreviousContinue »