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Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river shallows, borne aloft,
Or sinking, as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn,
Hedge-crickets sing; and now, with treble soft,
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
287. FROM "HYPERION."
There is a roaring in the bleak-grown pines
When Winter lifts his voice; there is a noise
Among immortals when a God gives sign,
With hushing finger, how he means to load
His tongue with the full weight of utterless thought,
With thunder, and with music, and with pomp:
Such noise is like the roar of bleak-grown pines;
Which, when it ceases in this mountained world,
No other sound succeeds; but ceasing here,
Among these fallen, Saturn's voice therefrom
Grew up like organ, that begins anew
Its strain, when other harmonies, stopped short,
Leave the dinned air vibrating silverly.
"Not in my own sad breast,
Which is its own great judge and searcher out,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus:
Not in the legends of the first of days,
Studied from that old spirit-leaved book
Which starry Uranus with finger bright
Saved from the shores of darkness, when the waves
Low-ebbed still hid it up in shallow gloom;
And the which book ye know I ever kept
For my firm-based footstool:- Ah, infirm!
Not there, nor in sign, symbol, or portent
Of element, earth, water, air, and fire,
At war, at peace, or inter-quarrelling
One against one, or two, or three, or all
Each several one against the other three,
As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods
Drown both, and press them both against earth's face
Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath
Wherefrom I take strange lore, and read it deep',
Can I find reason why ye should be thus:
No, nowhere can unriddle, though I search,
And pore on Nature's universal scroll
Even to swooning, why ye, Divinities,
The first-born of all shaped and palpable Gods,
Should cower beneath what, in comparison,
Is untremendous might. Yet ye are here,
O'erwhelmed, and spurned, and battered, ye are here! O Titans, shall I say 'Arise!' - Ye groan:
Shall I say 'Crouch!' - Ye groan. What can I then? O Heaven wide! O unseen parent dear!
What can I? Tell me, all ye brethren Gods,
How we can war, how engine our great wrath !
O, speak your counsel now, for Saturn's ear
Is all a-hungered. Thou, Oceanus,
Ponderest high and deep; and in thy face
I see, astonied, that severe content
Which comes of thought and musing: give us help!"
288. ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.
Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loath} What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
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;
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goa! — yet, do not grieve
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Eterne Apollo! that thy sister fair
Is of all these the gentlier-mightiest.
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She ur.observéd 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 ministering 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 everywhere, 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
O Moon! far spooming ocean bows to thee,
And Tellus feels her forehead's cumbrous load.
THOMAS CAMPBELL. 1777-1844. (Manual, p. 416 )
FROM "THE PLEASURES OF HOPE.
290. HOPE BEYOND THE GRAVE.
Unfading HOPE! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return!
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
O, then, thy kingdom comes! Immortal Power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin,
And all the phœnix spirit burns within!
O, deep-enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes!
Yet half I hear the panting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die!
Mysterious worlds, untravelled by the sun,
Where Time's far wandering tide has never run,
From your unfathomed shades and viewless spheres
A warning comes, unheard by other ears.
'Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud!
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod
The roaring waves, and called upon his God,
With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks and hovers o'er the dark abyss!
Daughter of Faith! awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;
Melt and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness o'er the parting soul!
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of Dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er the pangs of Nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of Heaven undazzled by the blaze;
On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hushed his waves, and midnight still
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill!
291. THE SOLDIER'S DREAM.
for the night-cloud had lowered
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky:
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array,
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track;
"Twas Autumn and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.
I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life's morning march, when my bosom was young; I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft, And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.
Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friends never to part
My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart.
rest, thou art weary and worn; And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay: But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn, And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.